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"Bird Flu" Similar to Deadly 1918 Flu, Gene Study Finds
Scientists have reconstructed the genetic code of the deadly 1918 "Spanish flu," which swept the globe and killed an estimated 20 to 40 million people. Among their findings: The 1918 virus strain developed in birds and was similar to the "bird flu" that today has spurred fears of another worldwide epidemic.
By studying the once deadly 1918 virus's genetic information, scientists may become better able to predict future pandemics, or widespread epidemics. It may also aid the development of new vaccines, antiviral medicines, and other treatments to cope with flus.
"The purpose was to get at questions relating to the 1918 pandemic," said Jeffery Taubenberger, of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) in Rockville, Maryland. Taubenberger co-authored one of several related papers in this week's issues of the journals Nature and Science.
"How did this particular virus form and get into humans? How did a pandemic start?" Taubenberger said. "Why was this particular virus so virulent? And in a broader sense what can we learn from the lessons of 1918 that can help us in the future?"
Influenza viruses were unknown in 1918, so there was no way for doctors or scientists to directly study the flu during or after the outbreak.
But some institutions, like the AFIP, preserved tissue samples from 1918 flu victims. Those 87-year-old samples—and others from a victim who was buried in, and preserved by, Alaskan permafrost—yielded tiny fragments of genetic material that were used to piece together the virus's genetic coding signature.
The final genes of the virus's genome sequence are being published this week. Scientists used the completed, full viral sequence to create a live virus with the eight viral genes of the Spanish flu, named for an early, devastating outbreak in Spain.
2005-11-03 11:48:58 補充：
只能兩千字，哈哈..抱歉Source(s): National Geographic News
- 1 decade ago
Subject: bird flu outbreak in japan
Broadcast Date: 10/31/05 at 10AM, 4PM, and 7PM
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IN ASIAN NEWS...
CHICKENS AT A FARM NEAR TOKYO HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR AN
ANTIBODY INDICATING THAT THEY WERE INFECTED WITH A BIRD FLU
VIRUS AT SOME TIME IN THE PAST.
THE STRAIN OF THE VIRUS HAS NOT BEEN CONFIRMED, BUT THE FARM
IN IBARAKI, NORTH OF TOKYO, WILL DESTROY ALL ITS ROUGHLY
IT IS THE H5 TYPE OF BIRD FLU, BUT OFFICIALS DON'T HAVE
DETAILS ABOUT THE STRAIN.