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SCI/TECH: Flu viruses can quickly swap genes

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posted on Jul, 26 2005 @ 10:30 PM
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Research published in the Public Library of Science Biology, has indicated that influenza strains are constantly swapping genes. This swapping is giving rise to new and often dangerous strains of the disease. The swapping is also occurring at a much faster rate than previously believed.
 



[url=http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20050726/sc_nm/health_flu_dc[/url]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Strains of the influenza virus are constantly swapping genes among themselves and giving rise to new, dangerous strains at a rate faster than previously believed, U.S. researchers reported on Monday.

They found that slightly mutated influenza A strains in New York that circulated between 1999 and 2004 gave rise to the so-called Fujian strain that caused a troublesome outbreak in the 2003-2004 flu season.

Such events probably are what lead to the occasional pandemics of flu that can kill millions of people, David Lipman and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health found.


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Its getting pretty scary. If these viruses are swapping genes it is going to be difficult if not impossible to develop an effective vaccine. They can develop a vaccine many months after a particular strain pops out, but the virus may and is just mutating to a different form as it plays the genetic version of twister. A slight modification of the H5N1 virus could make it as easily communicable as the common cold.

[edit on 7/26/05 by FredT]

[edit on 7/26/05 by FredT]




posted on Aug, 21 2005 @ 12:49 PM
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There are quite a few different H5N1 genes floating around and the upcoming migration will create many more. Migration is getting serious and H5N1 is about to enter Europe




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