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‘Universal’ flu vaccine moves ahead

danarhea

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WASHINGTON - A "headless" version of the influenza virus protected mice from several different strains of flu and may offer a step toward a so-called universal flu vaccine, researchers reported on Tuesday.

They identified a piece of the virus that appears to be the same even among mutated strains, and found a way to make it into a vaccine.
You know, while we are all bashing each other over politics, a piece of news occasionally appears that we can all agree on and celebrate together. Looks like a vaccine for ALL flues, mutated or not, is just around the corner. Since flu kills, on the average, 36,000 Americans per year, this piece of news is huge. So far, the vaccine works perfectly on mice, and scientists believe that it will work equally well on humans.

So, while we continue to bash each other over just about everything else, let's take a time out, and have a beer together over something that, while not political, is nevertheless interesting and very good, not to mention something that transcends political lines. See, we DO have some common ground, after all. :)

Article is here
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Taylor

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Somehow Obama will find a way to screw this up.

*Kidding!*
 

Deuce

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Somehow Obama will find a way to screw this up.

*Kidding!*
The flu caused 9/11 so clearly it is Bush's fault!:mrgreen:

This is pretty awesome. I hope it works out.

edit: Also I feel this is appropriate to the thread.
http://pandemic3.com/
 
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danarhea

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Hey guys. How about commenting on the vaccine itself, instead of trolling, or joking against either Bush or Obama. I am sure that neither of them are viruses, so it can't be either one's fault, can it? I am sure that we can discuss this without making it political, can't we? Or can we?
 
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jujuman13

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I am inclined to see the after or side effects after Obama has used it, it may improve him, although that is hard if not impossible to believe.
 

Pitwolfy

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Don't take it !!! Doesn't anyone watch V ????

:rofl

:cool:
 

Deuce

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I am inclined to see the after or side effects after Obama has used it, it may improve him, although that is hard if not impossible to believe.
I knew one of those anti-vaccination loonies would show up.
 

zimmer

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Very nice.
The jokes too.

It's going to blow a huge hole in some pharma's bottom line.

.
 

Orion

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The idea behind it is interesting, but I don't think flu vaccinations are necessary for the majority of the population. I find our society takes an outside-in approach to our bodies in that we focus on the route of pathogens and dissecting viral RNA in order to work towards cures.

An inside-out approach is better when it comes to the flu. If you maintain a healthy lifestyle then your natural defenses will be at their peak and you will have a minuscule chance of contracting the flu.

Also, even if this vaccine presents a base RNA which can let your body adapt to X number of strains, it will never be universal because the flu will always mutate. Research and development almost always develops conflicts with clinical experience (which is why clinical practitioners and researchers often butt heads within the medical world). On paper it probably looks like a universal vaccine but research conditions are so standardized that it can't account for every variable.

In short, I think it's a novel idea, but not a lasting one.
 

Deuce

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The idea behind it is interesting, but I don't think flu vaccinations are necessary for the majority of the population. I find our society takes an outside-in approach to our bodies in that we focus on the route of pathogens and dissecting viral RNA in order to work towards cures.

An inside-out approach is better when it comes to the flu. If you maintain a healthy lifestyle then your natural defenses will be at their peak and you will have a minuscule chance of contracting the flu.

Also, even if this vaccine presents a base RNA which can let your body adapt to X number of strains, it will never be universal because the flu will always mutate. Research and development almost always develops conflicts with clinical experience (which is why clinical practitioners and researchers often butt heads within the medical world). On paper it probably looks like a universal vaccine but research conditions are so standardized that it can't account for every variable.

In short, I think it's a novel idea, but not a lasting one.
A disease cannot mutate if it has no viable hosts. Your opinion is objectively wrong. As in, literally kills people wrong. Yes, a healthy lifestyle helps your body fight off a flu, but a vaccine prevents it entirely. More importantly, the vaccine can prevent you from spreading the disease to others. No matter how in-shape you are, you are always capable of spreading the disease to a child or an old person, the very people who are at risk of death from the flu. Or people taking immunosuppressants due to organ transplant or people with compromised immune systems.

The short answer: Smallpox would like a word with you, sir.
 

zimmer

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A disease cannot mutate if it has no viable hosts. Your opinion is objectively wrong. As in, literally kills people wrong. Yes, a healthy lifestyle helps your body fight off a flu, but a vaccine prevents it entirely. More importantly, the vaccine can prevent you from spreading the disease to others. No matter how in-shape you are, you are always capable of spreading the disease to a child or an old person, the very people who are at risk of death from the flu. Or people taking immunosuppressants due to organ transplant or people with compromised immune systems.

The short answer: Smallpox would like a word with you, sir.
A tip to those out there until this miracle comes to market:

I read a book about the common cold some 20 years ago, and what I got out of it was... no sticking your fingers in your eyes to clean them of debris. Fingers are great carriers, and the eyes have... water... so it's easy to transmit pathogens... and get sick.

Haven't had the flu in over 3 or 4 years.

.
 

Ockham

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A tip to those out there until this miracle comes to market:

I read a book about the common cold some 20 years ago, and what I got out of it was... no sticking your fingers in your eyes to clean them of debris. Fingers are great carriers, and the eyes have... water... so it's easy to transmit pathogens... and get sick.

Haven't had the flu in over 3 or 4 years.

.
Quite right. Frequent washing hands, and the ability to avoid touching your face, eyes, nose with your hands seriously puts a dent in colds and flu. Flu can however travel in the air and infect simply by breathing in droplets from someone else sneezing or coughing too. Which is why covering the mouth is required to keep the droplets from atomizing into the air.
 

Orion

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A disease cannot mutate if it has no viable hosts. Your opinion is objectively wrong. As in, literally kills people wrong.
It kills people who are in the high risk groups, yeah. Hence me saying the majority of the population, but not all of the population. I believe in a person's right to choose their own medicine, but I am just saying that if you are a healthy individual who is outside of the high risk ages, then getting the flu isn't going to kill you. It would just be an inconvenience and that's all.

Yes, a healthy lifestyle helps your body fight off a flu, but a vaccine prevents it entirely. More importantly, the vaccine can prevent you from spreading the disease to others. No matter how in-shape you are, you are always capable of spreading the disease to a child or an old person, the very people who are at risk of death from the flu. Or people taking immunosuppressants due to organ transplant or people with compromised immune systems.
This is not correct in several ways. First, flu epidemiology requires the host to be infected for it to be spread, even if they are pre-symptomatic. Healthy individuals with strong immune systems won't become infected, even if they come into contact with the virus. If you are showing no symptoms and are spreading the virus, it means you are infected and will soon show symptoms yourself. Humans can't carry the flu. You are either infected or not.

Second, the flu will spread faster in unhealthy populations, regardless of vaccination status. If you compare the epidemiology of healthier societies that aren't vaccinated to unhealthy societies that are vaccinated, flu transmission and incidence will still be lower in the healthier society.

Even if you are vaccinated, you can still become infected and transmit the virus to vulnerable people; all it would mean is that your infection period would be less since your body already has the acquired immunity. It doesn't mean you aren't contagious. For this reason, it is pointless to scapegoat people for choosing to not get the vaccination. Also, it's important to note that although vaccination increases survival rates in infants and the elderly, those who have been inoculated can still die from the flu.

Medical technology places all of its efforts on combating the virus, such as through vaccines, and little effort on prevention through healthy lifestyle. The American population has a high index for type II diabetes and obesity, both of which lower immune response significantly. The virus would spread faster there than in comparatively healthier countries.

The short answer: Smallpox would like a word with you, sir.
I singled out the flu, and no other virus. I am not saying that vaccines are patently useless across the board. Smallpox vaccines were definitely a good idea, considering the mortality rate. I see no such justification for the flu, even H1N1.
 

MyOwnDrum

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I won't be getting vaccinated. No way.
 

BmanMcfly

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Very nice.
The jokes too.

It's going to blow a huge hole in some pharma's bottom line.

.
Umm... it's not your local pharmacist that's going to profit from this....
 

Deuce

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It kills people who are in the high risk groups, yeah. Hence me saying the majority of the population, but not all of the population. I believe in a person's right to choose their own medicine, but I am just saying that if you are a healthy individual who is outside of the high risk ages, then getting the flu isn't going to kill you. It would just be an inconvenience and that's all.
Herd immunity. The higher the vaccination rate, the less ability the virus has to continue the chain of infection. Break the chain, break the virus. Period.

This is not correct in several ways. First, flu epidemiology requires the host to be infected for it to be spread, even if they are pre-symptomatic. Healthy individuals with strong immune systems won't become infected, even if they come into contact with the virus. If you are showing no symptoms and are spreading the virus, it means you are infected and will soon show symptoms yourself. Humans can't carry the flu. You are either infected or not.
I think you misunderstand what I meant. The vaccine can prevent you from transmitting the virus because your body will kill off the virus very quickly instead of slowly. And yes, actually, a healthy immune system can still be infected.

Second, the flu will spread faster in unhealthy populations, regardless of vaccination status. If you compare the epidemiology of healthier societies that aren't vaccinated to unhealthy societies that are vaccinated, flu transmission and incidence will still be lower in the healthier society.
Err, yeah, but you're comparing apples to oranges. Other factors being equal, a higher rate of vaccination will reduce the spread of any virus.

Even if you are vaccinated, you can still become infected and transmit the virus to vulnerable people; all it would mean is that your infection period would be less since your body already has the acquired immunity. It doesn't mean you aren't contagious. For this reason, it is pointless to scapegoat people for choosing to not get the vaccination. Also, it's important to note that although vaccination increases survival rates in infants and the elderly, those who have been inoculated can still die from the flu.
Reduced effect is reduced effect. Like I said above, a vaccinated population will kill off the virus very quickly and break the chain of infection.

Medical technology places all of its efforts on combating the virus, such as through vaccines, and little effort on prevention through healthy lifestyle. The American population has a high index for type II diabetes and obesity, both of which lower immune response significantly. The virus would spread faster there than in comparatively healthier countries.
Well, yes, I was not at all saying people should stop exercising.

I singled out the flu, and no other virus. I am not saying that vaccines are patently useless across the board. Smallpox vaccines were definitely a good idea, considering the mortality rate. I see no such justification for the flu, even H1N1.
Flu kills a lot of people.

Your whole post seems to be an inadvertent strawman.
 

quatrotritikali

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Is a universal flu vaccine really a good idea?

Influenza spreads around the world in seasonal epidemics, resulting in the deaths of between 250,000 and 500,000 people every year;* up to millions in some pandemic years.

Wouldn't mankind be taking away a method of population control used by Mother Nature to try to maintain some balance in the world? I'm sure that more people die each year from other things besides a killer flu. However, a universal flu vaccine could conceivably allow between 250,000 and 500,000 people to remain on this planet. These people would continue to use up resources on the planet, and some will continue to procreate. The population increases steadily. I wonder how many people would have been born last year around the world if flu had not killed the potential parents first?
 

Deuce

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Is a universal flu vaccine really a good idea?

Influenza spreads around the world in seasonal epidemics, resulting in the deaths of between 250,000 and 500,000 people every year;* up to millions in some pandemic years.

Wouldn't mankind be taking away a method of population control used by Mother Nature to try to maintain some balance in the world? I'm sure that more people die each year from other things besides a killer flu. However, a universal flu vaccine could conceivably allow between 250,000 and 500,000 people to remain on this planet. These people would continue to use up resources on the planet, and some will continue to procreate. The population increases steadily. I wonder how many people would have been born last year around the world if flu had not killed the potential parents first?
"Mother Nature" is not a sentient being striving towards any particular goal and those people you're talking about happen to be... well, people. People who die.
 

Kandahar

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Is a universal flu vaccine really a good idea?

Influenza spreads around the world in seasonal epidemics, resulting in the deaths of between 250,000 and 500,000 people every year;* up to millions in some pandemic years.

Wouldn't mankind be taking away a method of population control used by Mother Nature to try to maintain some balance in the world? I'm sure that more people die each year from other things besides a killer flu. However, a universal flu vaccine could conceivably allow between 250,000 and 500,000 people to remain on this planet. These people would continue to use up resources on the planet, and some will continue to procreate. The population increases steadily. I wonder how many people would have been born last year around the world if flu had not killed the potential parents first?
I can't tell if you're trolling or not, so let's go with the assumption that you actually believe this: What other curable diseases do you think we should allow people to die from? Do you think eliminating smallpox, reducing tuberculosis, and treating HIV were bad ideas? If so, nothing is stopping you from going out and voluntarily contracting a deadly disease to reduce the population. :roll:
 
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Crunch

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Is a universal flu vaccine really a good idea?

Influenza spreads around the world in seasonal epidemics, resulting in the deaths of between 250,000 and 500,000 people every year;* up to millions in some pandemic years.

Wouldn't mankind be taking away a method of population control used by Mother Nature to try to maintain some balance in the world? I'm sure that more people die each year from other things besides a killer flu. However, a universal flu vaccine could conceivably allow between 250,000 and 500,000 people to remain on this planet. These people would continue to use up resources on the planet, and some will continue to procreate. The population increases steadily. I wonder how many people would have been born last year around the world if flu had not killed the potential parents first?
If you are that concerned with over population, and feel the population of this Earth should be reduced, please step to the head of the line. :roll:
 

Hoplite

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The idea behind it is interesting, but I don't think flu vaccinations are necessary for the majority of the population. I find our society takes an outside-in approach to our bodies in that we focus on the route of pathogens and dissecting viral RNA in order to work towards cures.

An inside-out approach is better when it comes to the flu. If you maintain a healthy lifestyle then your natural defenses will be at their peak and you will have a minuscule chance of contracting the flu.
That isnt actually true. You will decrease your risk factor by having a healthy lifestyle but a vaccine will drop it far below that.

Also, even if this vaccine presents a base RNA which can let your body adapt to X number of strains, it will never be universal because the flu will always mutate. Research and development almost always develops conflicts with clinical experience (which is why clinical practitioners and researchers often butt heads within the medical world). On paper it probably looks like a universal vaccine but research conditions are so standardized that it can't account for every variable.
I dont think anyone is claiming its the panacea for influenza, it's just more effective against more strains of the flu
 
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