It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Some Basics About Flu Viruses

page: 1

log in


posted on Jul, 26 2009 @ 11:40 AM
I did some research into flu viruses and found out a few interesting facts. Unlike other viruses such as polio or smallpox, which have DNA that mutates very slowly, flu viruses have RNA which is much more prone to mutation during reproduction. Like other viruses, flu virus RNA is surrounded by a protein shell that has specificly shaped proteins sticking out of the shell. Think of a soccer ball with spikes sticking out of it. These spikes, because of their unique shape, are able to attach themselves to a particular kind of receptor that in the case of flu, exist on lung cells. When a flu virus comes in contact with the right kind of receptor, it then injects it's RNA into the attached cell, and that RNA then cannibalizes that cells genetic material in order to make more spiked soccer balls. Eventually the cell dies from being taken apart from the inside but by then many, many copies of the virus have been released. Antibodies are different kinds of proteins that also have unique shapes and when the right kind of antibody comes into contact with the right kind of virus, it attaches itself to one of the spikes, thereby preventing that spike from 'docking' with a cell's receptor. When the body makes millions of copies of the same antibody, than all of the spikes on a virus are blocked.

Flu viruses have 8 genes. If a host cell has two different viruses inside it at the same time, then it's possible for those two viruses to swap genes or pieces of genes from each other to produce a completely new strain. The 1918 spanish flu was a combination of human and swine flu. Not all combinations are viable. In other words, some combinations of genes are incapable of reproducing. It therefore stands to reason that the more strains of flu are present in the same host cell, the more possible combinations of genes you could get and the less likely it is that a particular new strain would be viable and able to reproduce itself instead of disappearing.

So this new swine flu strain that started in Mexico (by the way, almost all new flu strains start in the far east and move westward), has been determined to have genetic material from three different swine flus(from different parts of the world), one human flu and one strain of (asian) bird flu. That means that all five viruses had to have been in not only the same (human/animal) body at the same time but also the very same cell at the same time AND have combined in just the right way so that the new virus is capable of reproducing itself. ON the face of it, pretty unlikely to have occurred naturally. Extremely so in fact.

Flu vaccines made from last winter's flu strains are only partially effective against similar strains because some but not all of the antibodies produced by the vaccine will actually block the spikes from docking with the receptors. But antibodies generated from ordinary flu vaccines, will be almost useless against completely new strains such as this new swine flu. Healthy immune systems produce more antibodies(of various shapes) all the time (compared to weak systems) and therefore may have enough of the right kind to nip a new infection in the bud or at least slow it down so that the symptoms are mild.

Typical symptoms of a flu are a) high fever, b) muscle or joint pain c) headaches d) congestion. There is a growing body of anecdotal evidence as well as clinical evidence in Europe, that high fevers have a beneficial side effect of killing off any cells in the body that are cancerous. At least one clinic in Germany has been curing cancer patients for years by inducing a temporary fever using high frequency radio waves(along with other therapies as well).

posted on Jul, 26 2009 @ 12:16 PM
Taking steps like this to educate yourself regarding the science behind all of this is one of the best things you can do.

Thanks for bringing up some of these facts. In the end, it helps everyone make smarter choices.

I've ALWAYS known that fevers are there for a purpose. It's the body's first option of defense against foreign invaders.

Kinda like global warming? haha

Anyhow, thanks much, it's appreciated!

posted on Jul, 26 2009 @ 12:51 PM
Since we are discussing the influenza virus, I want to again post a link to information about the dangers of Antivirals designed to fight influenza.

WARNING: Antiviral Drugs may kill you.

Choosing how to fight the flu is your choice, if you feel that you will die from it possibly taking Antivirals may be your best choice.

However for most perfectly healthy people, simply allowing your body to fight it naturally may be your best bet.

When dealing with disease and medication, we must keep our considerations balanced and weigh the pros and cons of both sides of the issue.

After you know what you are dealing with, you can make an educated decision.

Thank you for posting this information Studenofhistory, I am starring your post and flagging your thread in hopes that others may learn a few things about the subject.

However, I have one small request, would you please post links to your research or give us the title's of the books you got it from, as some of us would like to continue researching the matter more in depth.

I do believe your information is pretty accurate, but I would also like to delve deeper into the subject at the same time.

Good thread

posted on Jul, 26 2009 @ 12:57 PM
Most of the information in my post came from a book called Viruses by Arnold J. Levine. Lots of illustrations and pictures including an electron microscope picture of a virus (not flu) that looks and operates like a hypodermic needle with spider legs! Another good book with more general information is Microbiology: Principles and Explorations (6th edition) by Jacquelyn G. Black. I found both these books at my local library.

posted on Jul, 26 2009 @ 01:01 PM
Thank you for the prompt reply, as I am very interested in Microbiology I will write these down and take a look for them on my next library excursion.

They look like very good books, and will make my restroom breaks all the more educational!

posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 05:16 PM
thank you studentofhistory. Your post is exactly why ATS is my favorite site. We've got the best people on the web here.

top topics

log in