News of the WeekVirology

Resurrected Influenza Virus Yields Secrets of Deadly 1918 Pandemic

Science  07 Oct 2005:
Vol. 310, Issue 5745, pp. 28-29
DOI: 10.1126/science.310.5745.28

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As worries about a new flu pandemic mount, researchers have figured out the traits that made the 1918 influenza virus, which killed between 20 million and 50 million people, so virulent. Although a study on page 77 of this issue of Science sheds new light on these questions, it raises a host of others because the researchers reconstructed the complete virus, which no longer existed anywhere on Earth.