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Universal Flu Vaccine "Blueprint" Discovered

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the common-cure dept.

Medicine 100

minty3 writes "Scientists say they used the pandemic as a 'natural experiment' to discover how the body's immune system builds resistance to the flu. The research, published in the journal Nature Medicine, showed how certain immune cells helped some avoid the severe illness. 'Our findings suggest that by making the body produce more of this specific type of CD8 T cell, you can protect people against symptomatic illness,' said study leader Professor Ajit Lalvani, from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London, in a statement. 'This provides the blueprint for developing a universal flu vaccine.'"

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In before (-1, Troll)

G-News.ch (793321) | about a year ago | (#44927255)

someone buries the evidence

Good news (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44927281)

That's good news for people with universal flu.

Re:Good news (1)

Roachie (2180772) | about a year ago | (#44929295)

The Stand was not an instruction manual.

Re:Good news (1)

odie5533 (989896) | about a year ago | (#44929669)

Technically it's good for the people might be in contact with the one's that have universal flu. The people that already have it are goners.

Re:Good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44934935)

Technically it's good for the people might be in contact with the one's that have universal flu.

I see they still haven't cured Grocer's Apostrophe Syndrome.

crazy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44927351)

Don't tell Jenny McCarthy or that has (never) been Jim Carry. Those two geniuses would be all over this.

How quickly can you bury this? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44927375)

Right, try to kill a multibillion dollar annual industry and see how quickly this research just vanishes. /cynic

Re:How quickly can you bury this? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44927457)

Finding a cure puts people out of work. Researchers, Doctors, Nurses.

Thanks Obama!

Re:How quickly can you bury this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44927499)

Typical SD douche.

Re:How quickly can you bury this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44930959)

There are more disease out there that is more nasty than the flu.
When can we get this vacine ?

Why bury? (4, Insightful)

denzacar (181829) | about a year ago | (#44927485)

If I was a multibillion dollar industry I'd very much appreciate the fact of having a product that gets sold to every human being on the planet, every year right about the time for holidays, scoring me a big boost in the Q4.

But then again I also believe that based on available evidence it was Lee Harvey Oswald that shot Kennedy.

Re:Why bury? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44927537)

If it's too universal, you don't need a new "cocktail" every year.
Immunity may persist.
or worse, you could get a generic... (India would force it to happen)

(same AC)

Re:Why bury? (1)

Atzanteol (99067) | about a year ago | (#44928695)

You mean people will stop having children?

Re:Why bury? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44929147)

If they mix the correct pregnancy hormone in with the flu vaccine then yes the women will become sterile and no longer be able to have children. This was found to be the case with a tetanus vaccination program.

Birth control through vaccinations, the wonder of the ages. But, I do have some concerns about this being done covertly.

Re:Why bury? (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | about a year ago | (#44932889)

But, I do have some concerns about this being done covertly.

Me too. Every time I get my hopes up, it turns out they haven't done it.

You betcha! (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a year ago | (#44927589)

Not too expensive so that everyone in the first world can afford it, and bulk-cheap enough that every first world government will help every third world country pay for it for their citizens.

Q4 is a myth (4, Insightful)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about a year ago | (#44928201)

Flu isn't prevalent in Q4 or any specific time of the year at all, especially on a global scale. The reason why people get flu more often in bad weather conditions is because they all crowd inside and the contamination risk is much higher when the people density is up.

Also, it has nothing to do with your "resistance" and vitamin C doesn't help cure the flu. Flu is not a common cold but an entirely different strain of virus. Both are not the least impressed with people eating vitamin C or drinking orange juice. The only thing that vitamin C will help against is a vitamin C deficiency. Whether you will get ill from any of these viruses is mostly determined by how well adapted you already are against that particular virus or something close enough related. You will get infected, you possibly will spread the virus, you just won't get any major symptoms if your body is able to deal with it in an efficient way.

Re:Q4 is a myth (2)

denzacar (181829) | about a year ago | (#44928671)

Flu isn't prevalent in Q4 or any specific time of the year at all, especially on a global scale. The reason why people get flu more often in bad weather conditions is because they all crowd inside and the contamination risk is much higher when the people density is up.

"Why" is of no importance as far as profits go, as long as it happens with predictable and noticeable enough intensity during a "when" which is Q4.

Re:Q4 is a myth (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928995)

Flu isn't prevalent in Q4...The reason why people get flu more often in bad weather conditions is...

Hmmm, seems to me that just adding the reasonable assumption that bad weather conditions are more prevalent in Q4 kind of leaves you contradicting yourself...

Re:Q4 is a myth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44932257)

Hmmm, seems to me that you have a rather parochial view of things.

Re:Q4 is a myth (1)

sleepypsycho (1335401) | about a year ago | (#44932131)

The reason why people get flu more often in bad weather conditions is because they all crowd inside and the contamination risk is much higher when the people density is up.

There is some evidence that is does actually relate to the bad whether. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121204162125.htm [sciencedaily.com]

Re:Why bury? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#44928409)

Plus, theoretically you may only get one sale off of this, but your competitors get zero.

Re:Why bury? (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year ago | (#44928507)

Unlikely. Most vaccines need reinforcement shoots periodically, and flu vaccines need this in very short periods comparatively to other kinds of vaccines.

Re:Why bury? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928851)

Where do you want your flu shot, Mr Garrison? "Back and to the left."

Re:Why bury? (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | about a year ago | (#44929993)

If I was a multibillion dollar industry I'd very much appreciate the fact of having a product that gets sold to every human being on the planet, every year right about the time for holidays, scoring me a big boost in the Q4.

One would think so.
The reality is that seasonal flu vaccines are not very profitable.
At one point, in 2004, the USA was down to just 2 manufacturers.

The only thing keeping the vaccine market afloat is large orders from Federal and State governments.
Without those Government orders, the vaccine market in the USA would collapse.

In addition to everything I just mentioned, there's almost no spare capacity in the vaccine industry.
So if someone shuts down a plant, those dosages are not going to be replaced by a competitor.

So what you're saying is... (1)

denzacar (181829) | about a year ago | (#44936123)

That even with the current vaccine which clearly does not cure the flu, they are able to maintain a government subsidized monopoly with "almost no spare capacity", even though it is supposedly "not very profitable".

On top of that the new, effective, vaccine which would be protected by patents, would replace the old one (while keeping the government subsidies) AND it should clearly be more expensive to produce - both because there's "almost no spare capacity" AND because it is new technology.
And that's just regarding those measly 300 million or so US Americans.

The market, protected by patents, is THE WORLD.
Seven billion humans and climbing.
Every year. Just in time for the holidays.

Enough to make a CEO of a pharmaceutical company believe in Santa Claus.

Re:How quickly can you bury this? (1)

Mahldcat (1129757) | about a year ago | (#44927501)

....or alternatively what do you want to bet that this will be priced to a point where it will be impossible for the normal person to take advantage of.

Re:How quickly can you bury this? (3, Insightful)

Frojack123 (2606639) | about a year ago | (#44927563)

....or alternatively what do you want to bet that this will be priced to a point where it will be impossible for the normal person to take advantage of.

Exactly like polio vaccine.

Oh, wait...

Re:How quickly can you bury this? (1)

loufoque (1400831) | about a year ago | (#44928227)

Why is price relevant?
Isn't your government paying for the medication?

Oh right, you live in the US...

Re:How quickly can you bury this? (1)

Frojack123 (2606639) | about a year ago | (#44928301)

Why is price relevant?
Isn't your government paying for the medication?

Oh right, you live in the US...

Oh right, you flunked economics 101.

Re:How quickly can you bury this? (1)

loufoque (1400831) | about a year ago | (#44928785)

Clearly you haven't been in a country with a modern health system, like France or the scandinavian countries.

Re:How quickly can you bury this? (1)

Frojack123 (2606639) | about a year ago | (#44929075)

Clearly you don't understand that Governments don't pay for anything,
citizens do [wikipedia.org] .
France up to 75% personal income tax.
Sweden 57%. Norway 47%

How can otherwise intelligent people be so ignorant of basic economics?

Re:How quickly can you bury this? (1)

loufoque (1400831) | about a year ago | (#44929277)

The cost of the medication doesn't really affect the tax rate. What's costly is the infrastructure, the personnel and the inefficient administration.

Re:How quickly can you bury this? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44929323)

How can otherwise intelligent people be so ignorant of basic economics?

The sad truth is that the vast majority who post on Slashdot still live
with their parents and they have never actually needed to pay attention
to things like a budget or taxes. This and stupidity will explain over 95%
of the cases of ignorance with respect to economics.

Re:How quickly can you bury this? (1)

Ironchew (1069966) | about a year ago | (#44929527)

Sounds to me like their (admittedly higher) taxes have a far higher return in quality of living than ours here in the U.S. We have our tax revenue directed by politicians who are determined to make government look inept, and that's what we get.

I would gladly pay far more in taxes if we had a functional safety net comparable to other first-world nations.

Re:How quickly can you bury this? (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about a year ago | (#44930919)

I would gladly pay far more in taxes if we had a functional safety net comparable to other first-world nations.

That's not what you get when you pay more taxes - you just get poorer and the tax collectors and thousands of their friends get richer. [weeklystandard.com]

Re:How quickly can you bury this? (3, Informative)

RespekMyAthorati (798091) | about a year ago | (#44931403)

Germany, Denmark and Finland have functional safety nets with relatively high taxes, while at the same time maintaining economies that make that of the U.S. look like a sad joke.
On the other hand, they don't have expensive spy technology used to spy on their own people, or multi-billion dollar fighter planes that don't work.
Hell, they can't even afford to run two middle eastern wars without getting trillions of dollars in debt to China!

Americans are so much better off.

Re:How quickly can you bury this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44929211)

Not all countries with social health care systems actually pay for every possible service no matter how beneficial the results might be.

Canada has a social health care system, of a sort but flu vaccines are still paid for by individuals. It's been calculated that if the health system simply vaccinated everyone the cost of the vaccinations would be paid back many times over by the people not missing days off work being sick with the flu because they wouldn't or couldn't pay for the vaccine themselves. Cain't make the beancounters see it that way though since it's an intangible.

Oddly, though, as someone who's been through chemotherapy, I do get my flu jab for free.

Re:How quickly can you bury this? (1)

Frojack123 (2606639) | about a year ago | (#44929709)

And don't forget that Canada has rationed medical treatments.
There is still a HUGE flow of Canadians down to the States (And even to Mexico) for treatments on their on dime for which they would have to wait years in Canada.

Canada's health care system only works because its close to the US. That will soon stop in Obamacare.

Re:How quickly can you bury this? (1)

Your.Master (1088569) | about a year ago | (#44939199)

That's a rumour that's unsubstantiated by the facts. The famous "Phantoms in the Snow" study indicates that the large majority of Canadians getting US healthcare are getting it because they were in the US for business or vacation. Many of the rest are doing it for reasons of privacy. And there is a flow in the opposite direction for the same reasons (vacations, business, privacy, and your quicker/closer access claim which actually goes both ways). Also it's fairly well-known that people from the US cross the border to Canada for cheaper medical drugs.

It's probably happened in history that individual Canadians have made that bargain, but it's really, really not common.

Re:How quickly can you bury this? (1)

Frojack123 (2606639) | about a year ago | (#44940365)

Ask any big hospital in Seattle, Minneapolis, Chicago.
Phantoms in the Snow was a political ass covering. Maybe you missed this disclaimer:

The authors acknowledge financial support from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (formerly the Medical Research Council of Canada) for this research.

The southward pilgrimage is rampant and shows little sign getting any smaller. In spite of the Obama administration trying to hide these facts, they become more clear every year.

http://digitaljournal.com/article/328561 [digitaljournal.com]
http://www.medicaltourismmag.com/article/canadians-seeking-healthcare-abroad-why-and-how-many-.html [medicaltourismmag.com]
http://dailycaller.com/2012/07/11/report-thousands-fled-canada-for-health-care-in-2011/ [dailycaller.com]
http://dailycaller.com/2013/07/08/report-thousands-fled-canadian-health-system-in-2012/ [dailycaller.com]

Its proven such an embarrassment to the Canadian Government that in 2012 they undertook a massive campaign to reduce wait times. They actually made some progress. Then they realized how many major procedures they would have to add, they suddenly got very quiet.

Re:How quickly can you bury this? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44927573)

They can't do that for more than 15 or 20 years, though - and that's assuming that no one else figures out a way around the patent. Eventually, this will be great for everyone.

Re:How quickly can you bury this? (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#44927705)

Not nearly as quickly as the advertisements bragging about curing the flu.

Our flu vaccine has saved millions of lives already, and will save billions by the decade's end! Now, we've brought that same medical ingenuity to Noshits, for immediate diarrhea relief!

Cynical or just plain stupid? (4, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | about a year ago | (#44927991)

Right, try to kill a multibillion dollar annual industry and see how quickly this research just vanishes. /cynic

Did the polio vaccine kill big pharma? The vaccines for measles, shingles, cervical cancer? The answer, of course, is no. Timeline of vaccines [wikipedia.org]

The pharmaceutical industry --- like the life insurance industry ---- benefits from a population that is active, healthy, prosperous, and long-lived

Re:Cynical or just plain stupid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44931311)

The pharmaceutical industry --- like the life insurance industry ---- benefits from a population that is active, healthy, prosperous, and long-lived

Much like the flu.

Re:How quickly can you bury this? (1)

nomasteryoda (801608) | about a year ago | (#44929185)

And this will cause the creation or mutation of the "T virus" into the population somewhere beneath Raccoon City.

Universal mind control as well (-1, Troll)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#44927411)

Universal mind control as well.

Re:Universal mind control as well (0)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a year ago | (#44927561)

Mmmm, mmmm, I love me some of that General's Fried Chicken!

Re:Universal mind control as well (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44927993)

I just wish the rain would stop so this old bat from the garden club would stop talking about hydrangeas and we can get back on the bus...

I still won't get the shot (0)

cjmnews (672731) | about a year ago | (#44927591)

That's all I need a "universal" flu shot to make me universally sick for 2 months afterwards.

I'll take my chances, 10 years of avoiding the flu shot, 10 years without catching more than a cold.

Re:I still won't get the shot (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44927651)

Yeah, that was me too. But then on year 11 I got the flu & couldn't get out of bed for a damn week. I prefer my sick days to be a little less sick so now I get the shot. I'll let you know in about 6 more years if the shot works out better for me, but so far no adverse reactions and no flu.

Re:I still won't get the shot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928023)

Used to get the flu about every 2-4 years or so; last two times I was an adult (22 and 28) and was sick for a month (I mean, in bed and out of work, weight loss, high fever, for a month). Gotten the flu shot every year for the past twenty and haven't had the flu since.

Re:I still won't get the shot (2)

jamesh (87723) | about a year ago | (#44928475)

I get it often (every few years at least - with 4 kids in the household exposure is inevitable) but never that bad. I've heard people say they are so sick they "can't get out of bed", and i've never figured out whether that's a figure of speech or literal, but i've never been that sick.

Right now i'm probably the sickest i've been in a long time, probably flu, or a really bad cold. So bring on the vaccine :)

Re:I still won't get the shot (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about a year ago | (#44928733)

It is a figure of speech. Or at least hyperbole. If a person really is so sick that they physically cannot get out of bed, an ambulance should be called immediatly and they should be taken to the emergency room. They need real medical attention.

Re:I still won't get the shot (1)

stoploss (2842505) | about a year ago | (#44932709)

Meh, I have been afflicted by the flu significantly enough that I "couldn't get out of bed" for a week. The amount of time I spent not in a supine position could be considered rounding error (bathroom, walking slowly from couch to bed or vice versa, etc).

The term is a reasonable first-pass approximation, especially when speaking with others. Yes, you may be correct that most people this sick can, indeed, arise from bed; however, they cannot in any practical sense do so.

Hell, I had to take breaks while walking down the 10 meter hallway. Practically speaking, I couldn't really get out of bed.

Re:I still won't get the shot (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | about a year ago | (#44932917)

Hell, I had to take breaks while walking down the 10 meter hallway. Practically speaking, I couldn't really get out of bed.

Well, clearly, there's your problem. Your ceilings are too high!

Re:I still won't get the shot (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about a year ago | (#44940479)

And your description indicates that for you, it is a figure of speech. There is no problem with that, but that is what it is.

Re:I still won't get the shot (1)

stoploss (2842505) | about a year ago | (#44942945)

And your description indicates that for you, it is a figure of speech. There is no problem with that, but that is what it is.

Well, I suppose we could get into a pedantic argument. Personally, I think you are being excessively literal. I would rebut by pointing out that by your definition someone would have to be in a dead, in a coma, or paralyzed to be unable to get out of bed by rolling/sliding out of the bed. They might be unable to rise from the floor after sliding out, but they could still theoretically get out of bed (ergo, not too sick to get out).

I think most people would have a literal definition of "too sick to get out of bed" that includes some functional ability once the bed egress has been accomplished.

No doubt we will be better off agreeing to disagree.

Re:I still won't get the shot (1)

Artifakt (700173) | about a year ago | (#44929465)

I fall in two higher risk categories (over 50 and diabetic), and so have gotten the shots seven years in a row now. I've had no problems, and in fact I got one 2 days ago and had no local reaction, not even redness, and can't even find the spot where I was stuck. Unfortunately, for me flu symptoms are usually not all that much different than the ones they tell me are normal for colds, so I can't swear that I actually avoided any particular strains of flu, but I have had a pretty good run of not getting sick at all most winters.

why universal? (4, Insightful)

green is the enemy (3021751) | about a year ago | (#44927603)

“The immune system produces these CD8 T cells in response to the usual seasonal flu,” Lalvani said. “Unlike antibodies, they target the core of the virus, which doesn’t change, even in new pandemic strains.”

This simple argument does not entirely convince me that they found a universal vaccine. Proving that it is universal should require extensive experiments on many different strains. Can any experts pitch in why they really did find the key to a universal flu vaccine?

Re:why universal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44929217)

Time will tell if it is really useful at all. The envelope proteins (outside of the virus) mutate quickly and the capsid (inside) of the virus is highly conserved (doesn't mutate that rapidly). Since the envelope proteins mutate quickly, there is too much variation between different viral strains that antibodies for one often don't protect from others. In contrast, CD8 T cells can recognize parts of the virus that don't change as often which enables them to protect against multiple strains.

This is not surprising to people who know immunology (so why don't we have a universal vaccine yet?). From what I know from people that work on vaccines: making good vaccines that give a lasting, strong CD8 T cell response is very difficult.

Re:why universal? (1)

Japie_H (997237) | about a year ago | (#44932681)

From there abstract (I'm not at work so I don't have access to the full text at the moment) they don't claim to have found a universal vaccine.

What is important to know is that many virusses (including influenza) have a core containing the genomic material and a protective envelop. The immune system can make antibodies to both the protective envelop and the proteins of the core. The different strains of influenza (H1N1, H5N1 etc.) are classified based on 2 proteins on the envelop of the virus (wiki link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Influenzavirus_A [wikipedia.org] )

The authors followed a group of people during the H1N1 pandemic in 2009. They found that when healthy naive individuals got infected with pH1N1 (i.e. people without antibodies against H1N1, which is taken to mean that they have never been infected before with H1N1) indivuduals with antibodies against the core proteins of another influenza strain did not get as sick as individuals who did not have such cross reactivity of their antibodies.

This may guide vaccine development to target core proteins, but it is by no means a blueprint for a universal vaccine (and the idea to target core proteins in vaccins is not new either)

Now we need to find a blueprint for common sense (-1, Offtopic)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year ago | (#44927617)

And vaccinate Congress with it.

Re:Now we need to find a blueprint for common sens (1)

Bacon Bits (926911) | about a year ago | (#44927655)

Isn't that lead?

Re:Now we need to find a blueprint for common sens (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year ago | (#44927771)

Nah. All that would do is get you a bunch of equally daft replacements.

Re:Now we need to find a blueprint for common sens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928309)

not if we killed all the lobbyists, too, and had the new crop of congresscritters make lobbying illegal the way it is in many other industrialized democracies...

Re:Now we need to find a blueprint for common sens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44927803)

I'm still waiting for any American to support their "we only want to own 29839 guns each to defend the constitution, I swear!" claims with actions.

Re: Now we need to find a blueprint for common sen (3, Insightful)

omkhar (167195) | about a year ago | (#44927937)

I believe the US congress has already been proven to be immune to common sense ;)

I can see some logistical problems with this (4, Funny)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#44927621)

Putting aside that I can't see how they ever came to the conclusion that the universe needed a flu vaccination, what's even harder to figure out is what size of dosage will they need to service something that's (last I heard) approximately 56 billion light years wide, and where the hell are they going to inject the needle?

Re:I can see some logistical problems with this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44927849)

and where the hell are they going to inject the needle?

Uranus, of course.

Re:I can see some logistical problems with this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44978913)

Easy, right into the Black Hole.

Universal flu vaccintation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44927693)

In a 100 years some Merkin can add this to the list of things they claim they invented.

Usa!, Usa!, number #1

Zombies (2)

gregthebunny (1502041) | about a year ago | (#44927729)

This is how zombie movies always start. Some new "universal" vaccine that induces growth of one type of cell. No thanks. I like being un-undead.

Re:Zombies (4, Funny)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year ago | (#44927819)

Quite a simple dilemma. Test your vacccine on vampires. If it doesn't work, just wait until sunrise.

Re:Zombies (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#44928345)

lol... someone put a silver bullet through my mod points damn it!

Re:Zombies (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year ago | (#44928073)

Those shambling people with sunken eyes and slurred speech aren't zombies, they just have the universal flu.

Re:Zombies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928333)

Those shambling people with sunken eyes and slurred speech aren't zombies, they just have the universal flu.

Obligatory:
http://zombie.wikia.com/wiki/Infected [wikia.com]

Re:Zombies (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about a year ago | (#44928141)

Redead?

Re:Zombies (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | about a year ago | (#44932949)

Redead?

Don't go to those people, man. You don't get the same zombie back!

Cytokine Storms (5, Interesting)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#44927757)

It's not entirely clear from the abstract, so just for some background (of what I assume is behind the paywall) the main problem with severe flu is cytokine storms [jhsph.edu] . Basically, your immune system can get into a positive feedback loop trying to kill the virus and wind up killing most of the body's cells instead. In the Pandemic Flu of 1918, a great number of the dead were the healthiest ones with great immune systems.

So I'm assuming what's going on here is that they've isolated the parts of the immune system that actually kill the flu, and have a plan to prime them for action. That would be super-awesome. The annual flu deaths, just in the US is in the 3000-49000 [cdc.gov] per year range. If you have to use government terms, that's at least a 9/11 every year, and if you have to spend a trillion dollars on something, this would be a much better target.

Re:Cytokine Storms (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928855)

They see that some people who had higher basal (before infection) proportion of white blood cells that "react" with parts of the flu virus that are conserved across strains reported less severe flu symptoms. In contrast, people who reported fevers/coughs usually had a smaller proportion of these reacting cells.

Then they look at subsets of the cells and try to narrow it down and see one subset (cells that express the following pattern of proteins where + indicates does express and - indicates does not express: IFN-gamma +, IL2-, CD8+, CD45RA+, CCR7– ), with the best correlation.

They have no plan for priming them for action yet, this is just a correlation. Some people with small numbers of reacting cells didn't have severe symptoms and some with large numbers did have severe symptoms, so this clearly is not the only thing playing a role in whether symptoms are shown.

Also they looked at at least 18 different correlations so some are bound to come up randomly as looking promising and they dont appear to have corrected for that. Whatever, since they show all the individual data for us to look at (which is sadly somewhat unusual to see these days), so we can ignore the pvalues if we want. Looks like it could be something or not to me. Nothing that impressive in the correlations but it a study using humans like this is bound to be really noisey.

Re:Cytokine Storms (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44930601)

In addition to deaths from the flu, the economic impact is something like $87 billion.

Besides, getting the flu sucks. Anyone who says that it's no big deal is confusing the common cold with flu. Flu is bad. Real bad. Two weeks lying in bed bad thinking you just might die bad. You don't want to get that shit. Get vaccinated.

Or it will accelerate the evolutionary pressure... (1)

Assmasher (456699) | about a year ago | (#44927783)

...that will eventually produce CD8 T resistant flu.

Double edged sword.

Damn that Darwin!

Re:Or it will accelerate the evolutionary pressure (2)

rhodium_mir (2876919) | about a year ago | (#44928091)

Yes, its a shame we didn't learn our lesson after the huge pandemics of vaccine resistant polio. Clearly we should let people continue to die of the flu to prevent it from possibly evolving into something harmful. Or maybe if we just kill everyone who gets the flu we can breed flu resistant humans and finally eradicate this deadly disease.

Re:Or it will accelerate the evolutionary pressure (3, Informative)

jamesh (87723) | about a year ago | (#44928421)

Yes, its a shame we didn't learn our lesson after the huge pandemics of vaccine resistant polio. Clearly we should let people continue to die of the flu to prevent it from possibly evolving into something harmful. Or maybe if we just kill everyone who gets the flu we can breed flu resistant humans and finally eradicate this deadly disease.

You can't really draw a parallel between polio and the flu. The flu has a bunch of non-human hosts that it can jump between. It will happily sit around in the bird/pig/whatever population until it mutates into something that can infect humans again. And birds go everywhere.

AFAIK, polio is for humans (or primates at least) only

Re:Or it will accelerate the evolutionary pressure (2)

rhodium_mir (2876919) | about a year ago | (#44929133)

You can't really draw a parallel between polio and the flu. The flu has a bunch of non-human hosts that it can jump between. It will happily sit around in the bird/pig/whatever population until it mutates into something that can infect humans again.

It will do that regardless of whether or not humans continue to be a viable host for existing flu viruses.

Fair point about polio.

Re:Or it will accelerate the evolutionary pressure (1)

Assmasher (456699) | about a year ago | (#44928541)

You'd probably compare cancer to to the measles in your simplicity...

Naming issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44927863)

I wouldn't call it universal flu because:
1) One'll have to call the new resistant flu that will appear after the vaccine is widespread something like non-universal flu;
2) Giorgio Tsoukalos and Erich von Däniken descendants in the far future will look at our reports and use them as evidence of alien waged chemical warfare.

Great news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44927891)

Does that mean that people will become immune to universal studios crap? I hope they do a disney flu and warner flu vaccine too!

Crappy summary (1)

Ultra64 (318705) | about a year ago | (#44927953)

"Scientists say they used the pandemic"

What pandemic?

Re:Crappy summary (1)

edibobb (113989) | about a year ago | (#44927987)

1914?

Build a better cure, get a stronger virus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928503)

For the moment, I'm assuming the article's content has some credibility.

History tells us that building a better mousetrap results in a better mouse. Same can be said for viruses...

Re:Build a better cure, get a stronger virus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44929293)

No, the adage is that you shouldn't bother trying to make a better mousetrap. The original design is pretty much optimal as far as killing mice goes.

Re:Build a better cure, get a stronger virus (2)

sexconker (1179573) | about a year ago | (#44929811)

No, the adage is that you shouldn't bother trying to make a better mousetrap. The original design is pretty much optimal as far as killing mice goes.

Except it's not. Plenty of mice and rats are smart enough to not trigger the traps. Not only do you not kill the mice, you end up feeding them a delicious snack.

In Soviet Russia (1)

Roachie (2180772) | about a year ago | (#44929301)

... the flu discovers YOU!!!

Universal? (1)

mysidia (191772) | about a year ago | (#44929775)

I think not.... if the vaccine immunizes against a large number of viruses ---- it will create a competitive gap; in viruses affecting humans, so eventually, a strain of some virus will probably emerge that fits that gap.

I am all for a vaccine that offers some protection/mitigation against all known types of flu. But I think implying that it's a universal cure-all against all future strains of flu, is more hope than reality.

How to make the news (3, Insightful)

manu0601 (2221348) | about a year ago | (#44930243)

Scientist discovers the explanation for a piece of a phenomenon.

Journalist makes up a news stating it will lead to a cure for cancer/autism/flu/aging/diabetes/whatever

If you read a bunch of scientific news titles, you could wonder why we are not immortals yet. It would be nice if scientific journalists could stop writing their headlines with the idea that readers are stupids

Nature publishes crap fairly often (1)

Adam Ricketson (2821631) | about a year ago | (#44934607)

FYI, Nature has been known to publish absolute crap... stuff that should have never gotten past peer review.

I know nothing about this particular topic, but I want to warn anyone who thinks that "published in Nature" means "reliable". Actually, none of the "latest research" should be considered reliable, but I think that Nature is one of the worst high-profile journals.

H5N1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44943475)

H5N1.....The most miserable but most deadly virus ever....100 million plus dead in 1918, a billion when it learns to pass between humans.....we will drown in our own blood. Hopefully, they can come up with a cure.

I am suing these a oles for calling me an anonymou (1)

doug gandar (3214403) | about a year ago | (#44943485)

Yup
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