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Influenza

New flu vaccine could provide immunity against all strains of influenza virus

June 19, 2007 A significant new flu vaccine with the potential to protect against all strains of influenza, including pandemic and annual, was unveiled yesterday. Previously undisclosed pre-clinical data showing how PepTcell’s FLU-v vaccine has such groundbreaking and lifesaving potential was presented at the 2007 Options for the Control of Influenza Conference, in Toronto, Canada. The results show that a vaccine targeted at parts of the virus which do not change from year-to-year, can be effective against lethal influenza strains.  Read More

Image: Stephen Cusack, EMBL Grenoble

February 27, 2007 The term Spanish Flu seems almost innocuous to those who are unaware of its history. Spanish Flu swept the world in the years after World War One, killing somewhere between 2.5 and 5% of the human population of Planet earth. Around 20% of the world population suffered from the disease which killed more people than had WW1 and more than the Black Death of the 1300s – it remains the most deadly outbreak of disease in world history. Spanish Flu was caused by a mutation of the bird-specific H1N1 strain of the influenza virus. More recently, another highly infectious avian strain (H5N1 also known as Bird Flu ) has caused great concern that it might also mutate to allow human-to-human transmission and cause another catastrophic pandemic. Specific mutations in a viral protein, the polymerase, contribute to the ability of the bird virus to jump the species barrier to humans. European researchers have now produced the first three-dimensional image of part of this key protein. The study, which is published in the current issue of Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, investigates the structure and function of the protein and sheds light on how polymerase mutations contribute to transmission of avian flu to humans.  Read More

New anti-microbial 'paint' kills flu, bacteria

December 5, 2006 A new "antimicrobial paint" developed at MIT can kill influenza viruses that land on surfaces coated with it, potentially offering a new weapon in the battle against a disease that kills hundreds of thousands a of people every year. Clearly, the new substance, could be applied to doorknobs or other surfaces where germs tend to accumulate, significantly aiding the fight against the spread of the flu.  Read More

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