Monday, March 31, 2008

H5N1 Step in the Right Direction

Does anyone remember a time not so long ago when we were facing our immanent demise from a little virus affectionately called “Bird Flu” that was supposed to knock us all on our ear? Well, to be perfectly honest, it wasn’t at the forefront of my list of concerns either. But a recent poultry headline caught my eye and rekindled my interested with the infamous H5N1. Now who amongst you isn’t interested in possible death by bird virus? Remarkably, the rest of the world hasn’t forgotten about our recent “brush with death” and has been working behind the scenes to unravel the mysteries of the virus in attempt to create a viable, marketable vaccine. Migrating Canada Geese, once eliminated au mass to prevent them from carrying the disease from poultry facility to poultry facility can begin to rest easy on their laurels due to news of promising research on H5N1 protein composition. Using this information, researches in the US and Tokyo have discovered simple manipulations of a viral protein that inhibits the replication process of the virus itself. Of course, more tests must be run before anyone runs out and buys the fireworks, but the results are looking promising. To view the whole article and for a more in-depth structural explanation of the protein deletion, see the following site <>. I’m always a fan of new and developing scientific shenanigans on an accusingly benign virus, but with Switzerland now in the scope of Bird Flu’s next assault, a bit of good news on the vaccination front couldn’t come at a better time. To read more on Swiss troubles, see

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