Flu viruses mutate extremely fast, and the only way to stop them to destroy their ability to evolve. Scientists may have found the secret to creating a universal flu vaccine using this theory.
According to a team of Princeton researchers, there are two crucial points making flu less severe once you've contracted it. Identifying this would greatly cut down the contagiosness of the virus and target the parts of the virus that are the most unchanging and the least adaptable.
The idea behind this is to not look at the constantly evolving part of the virus, but instead target something that's not changing. Current flu vaccines target hemagglutinin, or HA, which are proteins on the surface of the virus that attach to the host cells. If it can't attach to a host, then it will quickly perish. The problem here is that these proteins are extremely adaptable, and before you know it the virus strain has evlved a resistance to the vaccine.
The universal vaccine that's being designed now is made to ignore the hemagglutinin and go after other proteins inside the virus. These proteins are stable and they can't evolve under pressure in the same way that HA can which makes them vulnerable to longer lasting vaccines than the proteins on the surface.
This would reduce the severity of flu cases as well as reduce outbreaks of highly contagious new strains. According to researchers:
"We found that by putting the brakes on flu transmission, you could also put the brakes on flu evolution. Our model illustrates how we can control the flu this way, instead of simply reacting to it every few years. You can close schools and administer our current crop of vaccines and antiviral drugs as much as you want, but never realistically enough to stop transmission over any extended period of time. With the cross-protective vaccines, we may be able to finally throw a blanket on the transmission of all flu strains over the long term in a way that can impact the virus' evolution."
Every year we make predictions about what the coming years have got for us. However, it is pretty clear now that social media marketing is staying here for a long time and its power is attributed to the fact that it keeps on evolving. It keeps on getting more flexible and adaptable as the time progresses. Getting more responsive to new technology, constantly meeting user expectations and introduction of new and better features makes it an ideal leveraging platform for businesses. Read more
There are over 1.2 billion people worldwide who spend over an hour every day, on average, playing video games. The negative impacts of video games have been debated for over 20 years but the recent researches are pretty interesting. Many game designers and psychologists believe that playing video games is good for your brain. Whole-hearted engagement in creative challenges have a lot benefits associated with it. Spending your energy to solve difficult problems never go in vain. It has already been proven that people who play more video games have better perceptual and cognitive abilities. Read more
Now that we’re well and truly enjoying the spring weather, it’s time to start thinking about the long, hot summer that’s just around the corner. While you may still be waiting for the times when the weekends become an endless round of days at the beach and garden parties, now’s the chance to get some summer preparation done. Read more