Have scientists unlocked the flu's secret?


With flu season upon us, a new study might’ve figured out exactly how the virus infects a person.

Researchers at the Whitehead Institute of Biomedical Research used mice to examine the immune system’s response to the flu. (Via KSHB

Typically, the immune system works by identifying a virus when it enters the body and storing information about the virus in the memory B cells of the lungs. (Via NPR

But as HealthDay explains, these virus-specific memory B cells can be tough to isolate. In order to study them, “the researchers attached a fluorescent label to the flu virus, which allowed them to identify flu-specific B cells. They then used a cloning technique to create a line of mice with virus-specific B cells and cell receptors.”

“It kills the initial round of cells our immune system releases when a foreign body is present. That gives the virus time to replicate and flourish, before the second round of attack can begin.”  (Via WECT

In a news release, the researchers explained: “The virus targets memory cells in the lung, which allows infection to be established -- even if the immune system has seen this flu before.” (Via Whitehead Institute of Biomedical Research)  

The researchers say they hope their findings can lead to more effective vaccines for the flu, as well as other types of viruses. They do caution, however, that research on mice doesn’t always translate to similar results in humans. (Via WILXWAWS)

That study can be found in the journal Nature. 

- See more at newsy.com


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Health

Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls continues to impress 25 years later
Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls continues to impress 25 years later

I was lucky enough to work and learn alongside former Dayton Daily News food critic Ann Heller over the course of many years together at the paper. She helped inform my writing, my editing, my eye, my thought process, my palate and so much more and I am fortunate to still be able to call her my friend. So when her name came up in conversation during...
Coupon deals of the week
Coupon deals of the week

Coupon availability and coupon values may vary within different regions or neighborhoods. Always Discreet Pads This week at Rite-Aid, Always Discreet pads are on sale two for $10. Visit www.coupons.com and print out two copies of the $3 off one Always Discreet pads coupon. When you buy two, you will also earn 200 PlentiPoints, which is equivalent to...
Parenting with Dr. Ramey: Raising genuine, not entitled, kids

In a zealous effort to help kids feel good about themselves, parents may be raising a generation of entitled kids who are particularly vulnerable to chronic distress and unhappiness. It’s great to recognize kids when their behavior is appropriate. However, many parents have taken this to an extreme, heaping unconditional praise upon their children...
D.L. Stewart: Finding the right TV show is a remote possibility

My wife and I spent an hour watching television the other night. Well, actually, we only spent half an hour watching — the first half hour was spent trying to find the program we wanted to see. Because, as a story in The New York Times last week declared, television today is a “hyper-fragmented mess with a jumble of on-demand services.&rdquo...
How ‘Bad Boys’ became the ‘Cops’ theme song — and a youth anthem
How ‘Bad Boys’ became the ‘Cops’ theme song — and a youth anthem

You know the song. Everyone knows the song — and that’s in large part thanks to “Cops,” which has aired more than 1,000 episodes to date and is celebrating that milestone with a special Monday on Spike. Florida-based reggae group Inner Circle first released “Bad Boys” in 1987 before “Cops...
More Stories