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For an avian flu and a human flu to mix it up, they have to infect the same animal. Scientists have long considered the pig a likely mixing vessel, because pig cells have surface molecules that allow entry to both kinds of virus. A pig could conceivably catch a human flu from a farmer and a bird virus from, say, ducks at the same farm. The two viruses could then "reassort," creating a hybrid that—in the worst case—would now be able to infect human cells while still carrying bird-virus genes that would make it radically new to the immune system of the people who catch it, and unusually virulent.
Originally posted by Spacevelvet
Was this from Time magazine or National Geographic? I'm a little confused by your post and would like more info on this article.