Breakthrough reported in flu vaccine research

A Japanese chemical company saw its stock shoot up 20 percent this morning, the maximum allowed on the Japanese market, after researchers for NOF and Japan's National Institute of Infectious Diseases announced that they had found a way to create a new vaccine that could protect people from all types of bird flu viruses. One of the researchers said that the new approach targets the inside of the virus, preventing it from replicating. Current vaccines rely on alerting the immune system to attack the virus and become ineffective when the virus mutates.

"We are continuing the joint study in the hope that it will have universal effect on human influenza as well as a variety of other influenza viruses," said NOF. Any vaccine for human use is still far off, though. Researchers plan to start testing the vaccine in biotech mice in April.

- read the AFP report

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