A DNA-based vaccine shows promise against avian flu Though it has fallen from the headlines.

Ho, Rockefeller’s Irene Diamond Professor and scientific director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, regarding his co-workers at Taiwan’s Academia Sinica, has generated a vaccine that stimulates immunity to a wide range of H5N1 viruses in mice through the use of DNA rather than dead virus particles grown in eggs. Such a vaccine, which consists of plasmid DNA which has been genetically modified to elicit specific immune responses, is much easier to quickly modify and produce – important advantages when racing to prevent an epidemic. Related StoriesNew research examines previously unknown key to DNA repairEntirely fresh enzymatic process of DNA synthesisESCMID, ESWI demand increased flu vaccination insurance coverage amongst healthcare professionalsHo and his collaborators 1st had to handle virus specificity: Because H5N1 viruses are incredibly varied, and mutate fast, the researchers created a consensus sequence that included all the conserved parts of the gene encoding the virus’s outer protein.Holmes, Andrew T. Chan, Jennifer A. Chan, Graham A. Colditz, Charles S. Fuchs., Journal of Clinical Oncology, Vol 24, No 22 , 2006: pp. 3527-3534.

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