Agriculture
Watching out for vultures
Got Milk? How?
Earth-Friendly Fabrics
Amphibians
Bullfrogs
Newts
Tree Frogs
Animals
Poor Devils
Helping the Cause of Macaws
Insects Take a Breather
Behavior
Swedish Rhapsody
Slumber by the numbers
Night of the living ants
Birds
Condors
Flamingos
Flightless Birds
Chemistry and Materials
The metal detector in your mouth
Unscrambling a Gem of a Mystery
Smelly Traps for Lampreys
Computers
Batteries built by Viruses
Lighting goes digital
The Book of Life
Dinosaurs and Fossils
The bug that may have killed a dinosaur
From Mammoth to Modern Elephant
The Paleontologist and the Three Dinosaurs
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Earth
Slip Slidin' Away—Under the Sea
Earth from the inside out
Groundwater and the Water Cycle
Environment
Toxic Cleanups Get a Microbe Boost
Bald Eagles Forever
A Change in Climate
Finding the Past
If Only Bones Could Speak
Preserving Ancient Warrior Paint
Unearthing Ancient Astronomy
Fish
Saltwater Fish
Tilapia
White Tip Sharks
Food and Nutrition
Yummy bugs
Making good, brown fat
Food for Life
GSAT English Rules
Adjectives and Adverbs
Subject and Verb Agreement
Whoever vs. Whomever
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Exam Preparation
GSAT Mathematics
Secrets of an Ancient Computer
Math of the World
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
Human Body
Spitting Up Blobs to Get Around
Prime Time for Broken Bones
Don't Eat That Sandwich!
Invertebrates
Oysters
Horseshoe Crabs
Snails
Mammals
Black Bear
Porcupines
Bulldogs
Parents
Children and Media
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
Physics
Strange Universe: The Stuff of Darkness
Powering Ball Lightning
Dreams of Floating in Space
Plants
Fungus Hunt
White fuzzy mold not as friendly as it looks
Pumping Up Poison Ivy
Reptiles
Gila Monsters
Crocodiles
Pythons
Space and Astronomy
A Family in Space
World of Three Suns
Planning for Mars
Technology and Engineering
Model Plane Flies the Atlantic
Young Scientists Take Flight
Smart Windows
The Parts of Speech
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
What is a Verb?
What is a Preposition?
Transportation
Troubles with Hubble
Charged cars that would charge
Flying the Hyper Skies
Weather
Watering the Air
Weekend Weather Really Is Different
Science loses out when ice caps melt
Add your Article

A Better Flu Shot

Getting a flu shot hurts, but getting the flu is even worse. Every winter, sore throats, fevers, and other flu symptoms keep lots of kids home from school. And unfortunately, the shot, which is supposed to prevent people from getting the flu, doesn't always work as well as doctors would like. Now, researches have found a new, quicker way to

Getting a flu shot hurts, but getting the flu is even worse. Every winter, sore throats, fevers, and other flu symptoms keep lots of kids home from school. And unfortunately, the shot, which is supposed to prevent people from getting the flu, doesn’t always work as well as doctors would like.

In a study during the 2004–2005 flu season, 151 people were given a high dose of a caterpillar-assisted vaccine. None came down with the flu. Just 2 of 150 people who got a low dose of the new vaccine got sick. In comparison, 7 of 153 people given a fake vaccine developed the flu.

“This is the first time this … vaccine has been shown to protect people against the flu,” says John J. Treanor of the University of Rochester (N.Y.) Medical Center, who led the study.

The flu, also called influenza, is caused by a virus that mutates over time. So, every summer, scientists try to guess which strains of the virus are going to spread around the globe the next winter. They then develop a vaccine to fight those strains.

The old vaccine contains a small amount of the influenza virus. Given the right dose, our bodies learn how to fight the virus without actually getting sick.

For years, vaccine makers have grown the old flu vaccine inside of chicken eggs. Doing this, however, takes 6 months. That’s too long to make changes during years when the vaccine isn’t working as well as it should.

That’s why some researchers think that caterpillar cells might make better flu-vaccine factories than chicken eggs. In the study, researchers at Protein Sciences Corporation grew caterpillar cells in the lab. Then, they infected the cells with a type of insect virus called a baculovirus.

Normally, baculovirus produces a specific baculovirus protein. The researchers altered the virus, however, so that it churned out an influenza protein instead. When injected into people, this protein caused their immune systems to build up defenses against the flu.

Each strain of influenza makes a slightly different version of the influenza protein. Using caterpillar cells as factories instead of chicken eggs, scientists could make quicker changes if they realized that the vaccine they were currently making would not be effective against the coming flu season’s strain.

The new technique would take 2 months instead of 6 to produce flu vaccines, the researchers say. That speed could save lives. About 36,000 people die of the flu in the United States each year. Another 226,000 end up in the hospital because of it.

But before caterpillar cells can become a front-line weapon against the flu, scientists have some more work to do.

“Overall, I’d say it’s encouraging,” says Gary Nabel, director of the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. But “is it ready to swoop in tomorrow and replace conventional vaccines? No.”—E. Sohn

 

A Better Flu Shot
A Better Flu Shot








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™