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  • Science Ticker

    Finches can pass H7N9 bird flu to chickens

    Finches, parakeets and sparrows are the ultimate source of H7N9 avian influenza, a new study concludes.

    More than 600 people have contracted H7N9 bird flu in China, and more than 200 have died. Most of the people probably caught it from infected chickens, but it hasn’t been clear where chickens pick up the virus.

    In laboratory experiments, society finches spread H7N9 from their...

    03/17/2015 - 13:23 Microbiology
  • Science Ticker

    Potential H7N9 bird flu vaccine shows promise

    Two doses of a newly developed H7N9 bird flu vaccine seem to trigger a safe, effective immune response in humans. The results of the early-stage vaccine trial suggest that the preventive treatment should be developed further and that scientists are a step closer to being able to counter a potential H7N9 flu pandemic using a clinically tested vaccine, researchers argue April 30 in Science...

    04/30/2014 - 15:05 Clinical Trials, Immune Science
  • Science Visualized

    Second wave of bird flu ups pandemic worries

    A new type of flu began making people sick in China in 2013. Researchers quickly discovered that the virus was a type of avian influenza, known as H7N9, never before seen in humans. In one year the virus has surged twice, sickening 370 people in China and killing 115 (according to data available as of February 28).

    As with seasonal flu, infections tapered off during the summer of 2013...

    03/11/2014 - 11:57 Health, Immune Science, Biomedicine
  • Science Ticker

    Mutated H7N9 strain is drug resistant, spreadable

    A mutated strain of the H7N9 influenza virus that infects humans is resistant to the antiviral drug Tamiflu. Becoming drug resistant does not appear to affect the ability of the virus to infect cells.

    In contrast, when the seasonal flu virus becomes drug resistant, its ability to move among hosts and grow within them is reduced. The mutated, drug resistant H7N9 virus, however, was still...

    12/10/2013 - 14:52 Biomedicine
  • Science Ticker

    H7N9 flu still better adapted to infect birds over humans

    Even though the H7N9 bird flu killed 44 people in China in 2013, the virus still appears to be better adapted to infecting birds.

    Researchers studied the structure of proteins from one strain of the H7N9 virus that caused the outbreak and tested how strongly one of the proteins bound to molecules on the surfaces of bird and human cells. The structure of the virus appears to be better...

    12/05/2013 - 18:15 Molecular Evolution, Health
  • Science Ticker

    H7N9 bird flu appears again

    Chinese health authorities reported a new case of H7N9 bird flu on October 15.

    That virus sickened 135 people earlier this year, killing 44. Most of the cases occurred in March and April before poultry markets in the country closed to limit the virus’ spread, but two cases were recorded in July.

    It is too soon to tell if the new case represents a resurgence of the flu or is another...

    10/15/2013 - 12:32 Immune Science
  • News

    Flu researchers plan to repeat controversial work

    After stirring up controversy by creating airborne-transmissible versions of one deadly bird flu virus, scientists intend to do it again with another. This time, the experiments will involve H7N9, a new strain of avian influenza that infected 134 people in China this year, killing 43.

    The experiments involve mutating the virus or mixing it with other flu viruses to create ones that can...

    08/07/2013 - 12:33 Science & Society, Immune Science
  • News in Brief

    Deadly flu virus flourishes in lung cells

    A strain of bird flu that has sickened 132 people and killed 37 in China this year may have more potential to spread worldwide than the dreaded H5N1 avian influenza does.

    The new flu, known as H7N9 avian influenza, latches onto sugars that coat bird cells — and it can cling to sugars on human cells too, Yuelong Shu of the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention and colleagues...

    07/03/2013 - 12:54 Immune Science
  • News

    Tests show that deadly flu could spread among people

    A new bird flu that has killed 36 people in China can spread from ferret to ferret through the air. A laboratory test showing airborne transmission of the H7N9 avian influenza virus between the animals has raised fears that the virus is poised to become a human pandemic.

    The H7N9 avian influenza virus emerged suddenly at the end of February and has infected 131 people. A few patients may...

    05/23/2013 - 13:52 Immune Science
  • News

    New flu in China reveals its avian origins

    A new type of bird flu that has killed 11 people in China combines genes from three existing influenza viruses, scientists report April 11 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

    Since Chinese officials confirmed March 29 that three people had contracted H7N9 avian influenza, the virus has sickened 43 people. Of those still alive, many have severe illness, while others developed only...

    04/12/2013 - 13:39 Immune Science