Scientists have used gene-editing techniques to stop the bird flu virus from spreading in chicken cells grown in the lab. The team prevented the virus from taking hold by deleting a section of chicken DNA inside lab-grown cells.
Six months ago, a Chinese scientist announced that he had edited the genomes of two babies born last year. The germline edits with CRISPR-Cas9 supposedly changed the CCR5 gene to prevent HIV from invading immune cells. An analysis of records in the U.K. Biobank shows that having two copies of this mutation is associated with a 21 percent increase in mortality.
A study of influenza virus transmission in Nicaraguan households reveals new insights into the type of immune responses that may be protective against influenza virus infection, report investigators. The findings could help scientists design more effective influenza vaccines and lead to the development of novel universal influenza vaccines.
The most severe pandemic in recent history, killing some 50 million people worldwide, the Spanish influenza, may have emerged up to two years earlier than previously believed. And, according to a new and influential study, its early manifestation was ignored at the time as a 'minor infection.'
A team of scientists has tackled this fundamental question and recently identified a target to 'tone down' the hyper-active immunity to influenza infection. These novel findings have promising clinical implications in the near future for the treatment of flu.
The ever-changing 'head' of an influenza virus protein has an unexpected Achilles heel, report scientists. The team discovered the structure of a naturally occurring human antibody that recognizes and disrupts a portion of the hemagglutinin (HA) protein that the virus uses to enter and infect cells. The investigators determined that the antibody, FluA-20, binds tightly to an area on the head of the HA protein that is only briefly accessible to antibody attack.
A new class of biomaterial developed by researchers for an infectious disease nanovaccine effectively boosted immunity in mice with metabolic disorders linked to gut bacteria -- a population that shows resistance to traditional flu and polio vaccines.
When researchers examined mice that had recovered from severe influenza, they came upon a surprising discovery: Taste bud cells had grown in the animals' lungs. The team believes the cells may play a role in immunity.
A new technology may make H3N2 vaccine development a bit easier. Researchers describe a new cell line that enables better growth of H3N2 for vaccine use. The virus is also far less likely to mutate during production using this cell line, improving the chances of a match between vaccine and circulating influenza viruses.
Influenza type B, though generally less widespread than type A, poses a formidable threat for vulnerable populations like the elderly and the young. In the 2012-2013 flu season, for example, influenza type B caused the majority of deaths due to flu among children, according to data from the CDC. New findings suggest that an efficient way to boost the efficacy of vaccines against influenza type B might be hiding in plain sight.