David Baker

Designer molecules
4:44 pm
Thu May 12, 2011

Engineering a new way to block the flu virus

A bright-green engineered protein molecule is binding to a portion of the influenza virus (in yellow and gray), showing the complicated surface, with its crevices and bulges.
Sarel Fleishman U.W.

Seattle researchers have created a new way to fight the flu virus, and potentially pave the way for a new class of medicines.

You probably remember how the flu pandemic two years ago eventually included such a scramble to get the vaccine that people stood in long lines -- and even lied about the ages of their children to get it earlier. It takes months to make influenza vaccine, which has to be grown in chicken eggs. And every year the whole process has to start over, as the virus keeps mutating and evolving. 

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