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Zombie Bird Flu!

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Zombie Bird Flu!

Postby WharfRat » Thu Oct 06, 2005 10:30 am

The 1918 influenza bug that killed millions is back from the dead...

Deadly 1918 flu virus lives again
Only in the lab, but even so...
By Lucy Sherriff
The Register
Published Thursday 6th October 2005 09:47 GMT

Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention (CDP) have, apparently without a sense of irony, reconstructed the particular strain of the flu virus that was behind the 1918 flu pandemic. That outbreak killed between 20-50m people worldwide.

The scientists rebuilt the virus using a process known as reverse genetics. The team extracted samples of the dead virus from the lung tissue of a victim of the 1918 pandemic. The body has been frozen in the Arctic tundra for 80 years. This material was then combined with modern flu viruses to resurrect the original strain.

The scientists say the work, published in the October 7 issue of Science, will help prepare for the next time a deadly flu strain breaks out in the human population, and will shed light on why the 1918 pandemic was so much more deadly than later flu pandemics in 1957 and 1968.

"By identifying the characteristics that made the 1918 influenza virus so harmful, we have information that will help us develop new vaccines and treatments," said Dr. Terrence Tumpey, a senior microbiologist at the CDC.

Lab tests have shown that the recreated batch of the virus is as lethal as the original. Lab mice and chick embryos infected with the virus died quickly, and it also grew rapidly in cultures of human lung cells. Normal flu strains don't have quite such a lethal impact, the researchers said.

A separate study has shown that the 1918 strain was originally an avian flu. At some point, it gained a mutation which allowed it to cross into the human population, and spread from person to person.

This work also revealed that the 1918 strain and the H5N1 strain of bird flu, share some mutations which allow them to spread more easily, according to reports. So far, although the H5N1 virus has killed more than fifty people since 2003, there have been no confirmed cases of human-to-human transmission.

Critics of this research argue that recreating the 1918 virus was unneccessary, and that there is now a risk that the virus could escape the lab, or that the research could be exploited by terrorist organisations.

However, scientists have long warned that another flu pandemic is inevitable, and say that work like this will mean we'll be better prepared when it happens.


This is unbelievable, that they're able to genetically engineer viruses from almost a century ago. 8-o
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Postby StlSluggers » Thu Oct 06, 2005 11:35 am

Jurassic Park, baby. Jurassic Park.

:-°
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Postby logan » Thu Oct 06, 2005 11:55 am

that's scientists for ya. hopefully it does actually help instead of getting out of control.
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Postby Simulacrum » Thu Oct 06, 2005 12:05 pm

Resident Evil 5: Bird Flu

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:-b
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Postby WharfRat » Thu Oct 06, 2005 12:08 pm

logan wrote:that's scientists for ya. hopefully it does actually help instead of getting out of control.


My girl's mom works at one of the top storage facilities for viral agents. It's a private company, has contracts with government and academia. I got to take a tour once, and obviously I didn't get to see everything, but I saw enough to make me feel pretty safe from accidental lab outbreaks. These people are hardcore when it comes to security, quarantines, etc.
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Postby BaseballFann0008 » Thu Oct 06, 2005 12:09 pm

:-o
Hot Chick Draft:
1.01: Scarlett Johansson
2.12: Mila Kunis
3.01: Malin Akerman
4.12: Britney Spears
5.01: Jessica Simpson
6.12: Penelope Cruz
7.01: Tera Patrick
8.12: Christina Milian
9.01: Cameron Diaz
10.12: Lucy Liu
11.1: Jamie Lynn Sigler
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Postby logan » Thu Oct 06, 2005 2:18 pm

WharfRat wrote:
logan wrote:that's scientists for ya. hopefully it does actually help instead of getting out of control.


My girl's mom works at one of the top storage facilities for viral agents. It's a private company, has contracts with government and academia. I got to take a tour once, and obviously I didn't get to see everything, but I saw enough to make me feel pretty safe from accidental lab outbreaks. These people are hardcore when it comes to security, quarantines, etc.


yeah i have no doubt. i'm not the alarmist type personally and i'm sure there are plenty of things in these labs that are 10 times worse than this flu. i just hope it does help them to hedge of a possible flu outbreak in the future.
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Postby acsguitar » Thu Oct 06, 2005 3:08 pm

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OH God No Don't Drink that one!!
I'm too lazy to make a sig at the moment
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Postby Mookie4ever » Thu Oct 06, 2005 3:52 pm

Maybe if they recreate the exact conditions on 1918 the Cubs can win again.....oh wait was that 1908? Dial it back another 10 years doc.
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Postby Half Massed » Thu Oct 06, 2005 7:58 pm

This has the feeling of the beginning of a formula monster/horror movie...
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