Researchers unlock secrets of 1918 flu pandemic

pandemic.jpgWASHINGTON (Reuters) – Researchers have found out what made the 1918 flu pandemic so deadly — a group of three genes that lets the virus invade the lungs and cause pneumonia.

They mixed samples of the 1918 influenza strain with modern seasonal flu viruses to find the three genes and said their study might help in the development of new flu drugs.

The discovery, published in Tuesday’s issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could also point to mutations that might turn ordinary flu into a dangerous pandemic strain.

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One Response to Researchers unlock secrets of 1918 flu pandemic

  1. Pam Walter says:

    Wow! Let’s hope they can develop a vaccine for this before we have another pandemic. This is a wonderful example of how the past can contribute to the present, even in the areas of science.

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