Researchers recreate 1918 flu pandemic virus –Why? And, why is no one *asking* why?29 Dec 2008 Researchers have found out what made the 1918 flu pandemic so deadly — a group of three genes that lets the virus invade the lungs and cause pneumonia. They mixed samples of the 1918 influenza strain with modern seasonal flu viruses to find the three genes and said their study might help in the development of new flu drugs. The discovery, published in Tuesday’s issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could also point to mutations that might turn ordinary flu into a dangerous pandemic strain. Most flu experts agree that a pandemic of influenza will almost certainly strike again. No one knows when [the US unleashes it] or what strain it will be but one big suspect now is the H5N1 avian influenza virus.
US and Japanese researchers crack flu pandemic’s deadly code 30 Dec 2008 The genetic code that made the 1918 killer flu so deadly has finally been cracked, claim US and Japanese researchers, who say their discovery may lead to new drugs able to keep foment future outbreaks in check. By experimenting with genetic material recovered from preserved lung tissues of three victims of the so-called Spanish influenza, a team led by virologist Yoshihiro Kawaoka claims the virus landed a lethal one-two punch. First, it disrupted normal immune reactions, as previously known. But then it infected its victims’ lungs with deadly consequences. Ordinary flu bugs infect just the nose and throat.
Rumsfeld’s growing stake in Tamiflu –Defense Secretary, ex-chairman of flu treatment rights holder, sees portfolio value growing. 31 Oct 2005 The prospect of a bird flu outbreak may be panicking people around the globe, but it’s proving to be very good news for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other politically connected investors in Gilead Sciences, the California biotech company that owns the rights to Tamiflu, the influenza remedy that’s now the most-sought after drug in the world. Rumsfeld served as Gilead (Research)’s chairman from 1997 until he joined the Bush administration in 2001, and he still holds a Gilead stake valued at between $5 million and $25 million, according to federal financial disclosures filed by Rumsfeld.
Killer flu recreated in the lab 07 Oct 2004 Scientists have shown that tiny changes to modern flu viruses could render them as deadly as the 1918 strain which killed millions. A US team added two genes from a sample of the 1918 virus to a modern strain known to have no effect on mice.