Most people don’t think of the flu as being life threatening. However, 36,000 American’s die because of the flu virus each year. Now, with the help of millions in NIH research funding, scientists at Rockefeller University have devised a strategy for improving existing flu vaccines. The new vaccines will better protect people against these ever-mutating viruses. And this new strategy might eliminate the need for annual flu shots, while at the same time saving thousands of lives.Read More
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The flu is something that everyone experiences at some time. Even after receiving an annual flu shot, many people still fall ill due to a different strain of the flu that the shot does not protect against. Generally, the flu shot protects against three common strains of influenza, leaving people still vulnerable to getting the flu. Researchers at Rockefeller University have developed a new method of creating the flu vaccine that could potentially work against many more strains of influenza. (Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).
With this winter's epic flu invasion maxing out emergency room space and leaving pharmacies without enough flu vaccine, influenza research is a hot topic in the news. Inquiring minds want to know: when will we have the tools to put this mutating foe out of commission once and for all? One very interesting approach to the problem of outsmarting the flu virus involves disrupting its timing by altering a critical protein it needs to exit the cell. At Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, microbiologist and virologist Benjamin R. tenOever recently published an article on his lab research into the molecular basis of virus pathogenicity in the journal Cell Reports. He was also interviewed by NPR just last week for their shots health news program, where he described the carefully-orchestrated maneuvering of the flu virus both into and out of the host cell by likening it to a bank robbery. If one part of the plan doesn't go off like clockwork, the gig is up.
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