Scientists Create The Definitive Flu Killer

University of Texas Southwestern's scientists have created a new flu vaccine that can protect us against any kind of flu, not just one type. Unlike the current type of vaccines, this can even protect us if the virus mutates.

That's the big problem of the current vaccines: every year, medical experts guess what's going to be the dominant flu strain and create a vaccine using a weakened version of that virus. If that virus mutates, the vaccines becomes useless, which is why people get the flu even when they get vaccinated.

The team led by Dr Beatrice Fontoura took a completely different approach:

What we are doing is something different. We are actually stimulating our own response which is already there — boost it — to fight an infection.

Their solution boosts our natural immunological system, targeting a protein in our bodies called REDD-1. Fontoura's team discovered that, when REDD-1 levels are low in a cell, the flu virus can easily infect the cell. The vaccine increases the protein's levels, creating a shield that is impossible for the virus to penetrate.

According to the team, the new vaccine is so effective that it can even protect us against the Spanish Flu, the H1N1 influenza virus that killed between 50 and 100 million in 1918, mostly healthy young adults. Another deadly H1N1 virus was the Swine Flu, which may have infected 11-21 per cent of the world's population in 2009.

Sadly, the vaccine is still not ready for mass distribution yet. They have to complete the usual procedures to be introduced in the market, a process that may take years. [CBS]

Image: Vladimir Koletic/Shutterstock


Comments

    I hate the flu so this is great news,
    I'm willing to wait for the test to be correctly done to avoid the whole unforeseen side effects of rushed drugs.
    Go science!

    Isn't this how they started a zombie movie?

    Queue "I am Legend".

    This is going to cause trouble and it's a new topic entirely but does anyone else think that religious people who reject all the beliefs behind science should perhaps not be allowed... or at least... be last in line to get vaccinations like these?

    Far be it for me to say they have less of a right to reap the rewards of science but they hardly deserve it - you can't sit around throwing out opinions on which kinds of science you believe in. Like religion itself, you either take it on completely or you don't at all, there shouldn't be any shades of grey.

      Wow dude, I am a devout atheist, but that seems rather a silly thing to say! Most religious people no doubt don't have any issue with science, so I don't think your comment is even rational!

      Quite a few of the top scientists in the world are religious. Usually along the lines that what they discover through science is proof of some form of intelligent design. Add that to their beliefs and it makes their faith even stronger.

      I'm not sure what religion you're referring to, but it seems like a massively large generalisation to even suggest that

        Intelligent design or evolution? My vote is with the latter.

        If we were intelligent design over evolution we surely wouldn't have so many basic physical flaws.

        E.g. Wisdom teeth - in some cases can kill you if not removed by a professional. What purpose do they serve in our oh so intelligent design...

        An idea - they don't serve a purpose (at least, anymore), logically they would appear to be the result of evolution not removing things humans obviously no longer need.

        Generalisations aside - as we all know there are always exceptions, it seems like many religious (namely catholics/christians) are more concerned with stopping gay people from getting married than they are with actually practicing their religion or admitting that there may be more to this planet than 7 days of creation and a few thousand years. Why should they be first in line to accept the rewards provided by those working towards proving evolution (in history and present) and science to of far more worth.

        The existence of Neanderthals alone disprove the idea of creationism - with them all being an estimated 40,000+ years old and all.

          Jack,

          Have you heard that Wisdom tooth aren't vestigial?

          http://creation.com/vestigial-arguments-remnants-of-evolution
          http://creation.com/are-wisdom-teeth-third-molars-vestiges-of-human-evolution

          Furthermore I fail to see how a tooth is an example of a bad design? They serve there purpose ie chewing very well.

          But back to your main point. Are you suggesting that no religious people are involved and have ever been involved in science progress and thus should be prevented from having such a vaccine against the flu?

            I think what he was saying is that it's interesting how some choose to actively reject science, genetic modification etc. but are quick to jump in line for their new and improved flu injection. A little bit misguided in delivery I think, but he definitely has a valid point in there somewhere.

            Holy shit, a creationist. I didn't know you guys still existed.

            Hahahahahahahaha....

            Sorry, had to get that out of my system.

              I'm going to have to agree with Geoff - there's just 0 evidence of anything biblical ever being true... whereas many findings in science don't even make sense without evolution.

              Everyone can come out from under their rocks whenever they feel comfortable to do so, but don't take science for granted while you ready yourself.

    I got infected by swine flu, just called in sick.
    It took me 1 hour to make something to eat, bones hurt like fuck!

    Anyways, I wonder what the results from the trails were.
    If there's any sideeffects of the RED1 impenetrable.

    I'd rather take the risk for now, and not have it.
    Or... Not take the risk now?

    Idk, I just want to see the results.

    I just hope that our kids down the track don't end up completely unprotected from any form of cold or flu! Seems to me we need our bodies to generate it's own defence system. Maybe you shouldn't be able to use this vaccine until you have actually gotten the flu and fought it off first?

      "Seems to me we need our bodies to generate it’s own defence system."

      That's exactly what this and every vaccine does. A flu vaccine doesn't kill the flu, it teaches your own immune system how to kill the flu or how to prevent it infecting you in the first case.

      I suspect you're getting confused with antibiotics. Overuse of antibiotics IS a serious problem as it both interferes with our immune system's ability to learn how to fight bacteria, and encourages the evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

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