A Step Closer to a Universal Flu Shot That Protects for Life

FluShot

Antibodies developed in patients who had the H1N1 pandemic flu strain that protect against a variety of flu strains.

The swine flu outbreak that swept across the globe claiming over 14,000 lives could provide scientists with a vital clue to creating a universal vaccine, a study claims. Researchers have found several patients infected with the 2009 H1N1 pandemic flu strain have developed antibodies that are protective against a variety of flu strains.

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Incredible Opening Ceremony as China Celebrates the Shanghai World Expo 2010

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Visitors to the Spanish pavilion are greeted by a gigantic animated baby

Shanghai celebrated the opening of the 2010 World Expo today with a lavish display of fireworks, fountains and laser lights.  Like the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the event showcased China’s growing economic and geopolitical sway. (Pics)

 

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Garlic – China’s Hottest New Asset

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Farmers select garlic for packaging
Shao Mingqing was a jobless young man from Shandong province with only a junior high school diploma when his luck turned around a few months ago with the skyrocketing price of garlic.  The 22-year-old Shao now drives an 180,000-yuan Toyota he bought with the money he made on the garlic market.
 
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Researchers Working To Treat Pandemic Flu By Arming The Immune System

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Researchers creating a new vaccine against H1N1 hope to harness the power of the immune system’s dendritic cells, which are responsible for directing the body’s immune response.

Viruses multiply incredibly quickly once they’ve infected their victim–so fast that antiviral medications such as Tamiflu are only effective if given during the first few days of an infection. After that, the viral load is just too high for a single drug to fight off. But researchers are working on a treatment for the H1N1 virus (or swine flu) that uses a different approach. Rather than disabling the virus with a drug, they’re creating a vaccine that can activate and steer a patient’s own immune cells to attack the invader.

 

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Less Education Means More H1N1 Concern In The U.S.

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Low-income Americans with no more than a high school education appear more likely to get vaccinated against H1N1 swine flu than people with more money and better schooling, according to a poll released on Friday.   A telephone survey of 3,003 U.S. adults conducted by Thomson Reuters found that 49.8 percent of people with lower education levels were very concerned about H1N1, compared with only 29 percent of those with at least a four-year college degree.

 

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New H1N1 Flu Can Kill Fast According To Researchers

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A drawing of a pig and a biohazard sign mark the door of a lab where samples are tested for the H1N1 swine flu virus

The new H1N1 flu is “strikingly different” from seasonal influenza, killing much younger people than ordinary flu and often killing them very fast, World Health Organization officials said on Friday.   A review of studies done during the seven months the virus has been circulating shows it is usually mild, but can cause unusual and severe symptoms in an unlucky few, according to a WHO-sponsored meeting in Washington this week.

 

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Flu Vaccines Hit A Wall – Scientists Struggle To Speed Vaccine Development

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Making a vaccine against seasonal influenza is a constant catch-up game. Scientists must predict which of the constantly mutating virus strains will be most virulent six months in the future, the amount of time it takes to manufacture the vaccine. The system has worked well enough for the regular flu. But when new, virulent strains emerge–including the current, rapidly spreading swine flu (H1N1)–the traditional approach falls short. Even as consumers clamored for a vaccine, it took seven months and around 48,000 confirmed U.S. cases before the first H1N1 vaccines were shipped to hospitals around the country.

 

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