Scientist creates new flu virus that can kill all of humanity

Working at a lab with a relatively low level-two biosafety rating, University of Wisconsin-Madison professor Yoshihiro Kawaoka has created a strain of flu that can completely escape the human immune system. The new genetically-engineered virus is based on H1N1, which may have killed 500,000 people just five years ago. » 7/02/14 7:30pm 7/02/14 7:30pm

The Dangers (and Benefits) of Designing Mutant Super Viruses

Take an already deadly flu virus like H1N1—killer of an estimated 284,000 people—and imagine how to make it worse. How about a virus impossible for your immune system to detect? This is not just a thought experiment—a controversial Wisconsin lab known for concocting dangerous mutant viruses has actually created such… » 7/02/14 5:20pm 7/02/14 5:20pm

Military Future-Lasers Could Help Detect Bombs and the Flu

DARPA is investigating handheld UV laser devices to help soldiers detect biological and chemical weapons from a safe distance. But when they master that technology, it won't just be used on the battlefield; it could also help public health workers detect and track outbreaks of communicable diseases. Fighting flu with… » 3/21/14 2:20pm 3/21/14 2:20pm

​The Flu Shot Is Less Effective in Men With High Testosterone

For years, Sabra Klein has been trying to start a conversation about sex. The Johns Hopkins immunologist studies why women have stronger immune systems than men—a phenomenon that underlies the fact that women are three times more likely to develop autoimmune diseases—but are also better protected by vaccines. The… » 12/23/13 3:00pm 12/23/13 3:00pm

Setting the Record Straight: Debunking All the Flu Vaccine Myths

It’s that time again — that time when dozens of spurious articles pop up all over the web touting all the dangers of the flu vaccine. Articles on unreliable, alarmist, misinformative sites like Natural News, Mercola, chiropractic blogs and other such sites rail against the “toxins” in the vaccine, or claim the flu… » 10/31/13 9:40am 10/31/13 9:40am

When the Next Flu Pandemic Hits, Keep Your Smartphone to Yourself

At the end of World War I, tens of millions of people died in just a few short years. But these deaths had nothing to do with the bullets and bayonets that had taken so many lives in battle. It was, instead, the Spanish Flu, which killed off about 5% of the world's population from 1918 until 1920. Were a similar… » 10/14/13 2:59pm 10/14/13 2:59pm

Scientists Create a Blueprint For the First Universal Flu Vaccine

A team of British scientists just took a major stride forward in the quest to develop a universal flu vaccine. Using data gathered after the 2009 swine flu outbreak, the team from the Imperial College London have a game plan to develop a vaccine that stands to save as many as half a million lives every year. » 9/23/13 11:40am 9/23/13 11:40am

All the Different Animal Flus You Could Possibly Catch

The internet is often awash with news of new types of flu—spread from pigs, birds and all kinds of other creatures—but it's not easy to tell which ones you should really be worried about. Fortunately, this visualization explains exactly which strains you can pick up, and just how dangerous they are. » 4/10/13 8:42am 4/10/13 8:42am

Flu Pandemic Causes Soup Delivery Explosion

In case you hadn't heard, pretty much everyone in America has the Flu right now. It's bad for economic productivity—unless you work in the food delivery business, in which case, the listless and miserable are a boon for business. The online food ordering service Seamless reports huge month-over-month increases in some… » 1/17/13 2:00pm 1/17/13 2:00pm