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January 30, 2006

Unique gene makes bird flu virus deadly

Via MSNBC.com: Genes make bird flu virus deadly, study finds.

Scientists may have found out what makes the H5N1 influenza virus so deadly — bird flu viruses have a gene that may make them especially destructive to cells, U.S. researchers reported on Thursday.

All the bird flu viruses studied by the team at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis had the gene and none of the human influenza viruses did, they said.

People infected with the H5N1 bird flu virus in Vietnam and Thailand had the"avian" version of the flu virus, as did the victims of the 1918 influenza pandemic, which killed tens of millions of people globally, the researchers said.

Posted by dymaxion at January 30, 2006 09:30 PM

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