Glow-in-the-Dark Chickens Fight Flu

In a typical year 500 million people will get the flu and more than 500,000 will die from the virus. During pandemics, the loss of life can be even more devastating. For example, the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 killed from 40 to 50 million people causing global political, social and economic problems. So it's no wonder that scientists worldwide work on the annual vaccines to protect us, and we see reminders to get our flu shots on television and every pharmacy and drugstore we pass. Unfortunately, influenza vaccines are only effective on 70 to 80% of the people who get them, and because we never know for sure which flu is going to be that winter's problem, we don't always make up the correct vaccine. This led scientists to think of new ways to prevent the spread of influenza viruses, and that's where the glow-in-the-dark chickens come in. That the chick in this picture has glowing feet and a beak isn't really what makes it so important to us. That's just a marker that researchers at the Roslin Institute and the University of Cambridge use to make sure they can tell one bird from the next in their research. What makes this chick important is that it has a small genetic modification that prevents it from spreading the flu to any other bird or person. To under

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