Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Medicine Biotech Science

Oxford University Tests Universal Flu Vaccine 218

dbune writes "A universal flu vaccine has been tested by scientists at Oxford University. '... the vaccine targets proteins inside the flu virus that are common across all strains, instead of those that sit on the virus's external coat, which are liable to mutate. If used widely a universal flu vaccine could prevent pandemics, such as the swine flu outbreaks of recent years, and end the need for a seasonal flu jab.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Oxford University Tests Universal Flu Vaccine

Comments Filter:
  • by proxima ( 165692 ) on Monday February 07, 2011 @11:26PM (#35133830)

    The worldwide death toll from the flu and its complications is in the hundreds of thousands [paho.org]. This is potentially more than just preventing an occasional annoying illness. It's more on the order of preventing all fatalities from traffic accidents.

  • by much noisier ( 1650985 ) on Monday February 07, 2011 @11:59PM (#35134018)
    I don't seek to undermine your important point, but I'd prefer to prevent all fatalities from traffic accidents. The people who die in car crashes probably have a better average quality of life and higher average remaining life expectancy than the typical person who dies of flu.
  • by Imrik ( 148191 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @01:13AM (#35134430) Homepage

    Oddly enough, reducing mortality rates goes a long ways towards lowering population growth. People who expect their children to survive will have fewer of them and invest more resources into the ones they have.

  • by CohibaVancouver ( 864662 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @01:27AM (#35134480)

    Why would a healthy person need a flu vaccine anyway? Flu's [sic] are normal and should exist, and, if you're healthy you'll manage through a flu just fine.

    I'm married, I have two kids under the age of 3, why on earth would I want to risk catching the flu? I'm not going to die, but I am going to be miserable, my wife's going to stress having to look after me *and* the kids and I'm going to pass it to everyone at home.

    Stop playing with nature.

    Vaccines aren't 'playing with nature' - They're using one of nature's own greatest inventions (the immune system) to protect you.

    Do you think chemotherapy for cancer patients is "playing with nature" and my friends who've had cancer should have just been left to die? Do you think antibiotics (which target bacteria) are "playing with nature" and we should amputate infected limbs instead? What a crazy nonsensical thing to say.

  • by westlake ( 615356 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @01:34AM (#35134510)

    We all know that the drug manufacturers wont produce this vaccine. Currently they have a constant revenue stream with a new vaccine needed seasonly. Greed is better than a cure. It's a false hope.

    Why does this nonsense always get a mod-up?

    Look around you.

    See anyone dying of Smallpox? Measles? Polio? Diphtheria? Tetanus? Has your daughter received the HPV - Cervical Cancer vaccine?

    There is big money to made in treating cancer.

    Why do you suppose that this vaccine wasn't suppressed?

    The answer is that the cure brings with it a new level of understanding. It exposes opportunites that had never before been seiously considered.

    When most men and women were in failing health along about age 45 or so, it didn't make much sense to put real money into studying arthritis, cancer, glaucoma, senile dementias, and so on.

  • by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @01:35AM (#35134514)

    I was going to post that. Another thing which is really great for decreasing population growth is ensuring that parents don't have to be supported by their children in old age. That reduces the pressure to produce many children and as a result parents tend to have fewer children or none at all of their own choosing.

  • by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @01:38AM (#35134526)

    The common cold isn't caused by one virus, there's many different ones which are responsible. So in other words you could probably create an immunization to cover most of it, but you'd be stuck developing a vaccine like this for each of them ones.

  • the vaccine targets proteins inside the flu virus that are common across all strains

    Huzza! Resistant Virus strains of the world, UNITE! The time has come for those of us in minority to rise up against our new protein targeting foe! Our cousins, brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers have been killed by these anti-protein wielding vaccinologists!

    Behold the folly of their folly! They ignore us outliers, complacent that we have not the capability to fill the niches left by our lost brethren.

    TL;DR: Meh, mutants; The ones you don't target will become the next Flu epidemic -- Do we really want to breed viruses which are that much harder to kill?

  • Re:Hmm.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nospam007 ( 722110 ) * on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @04:24AM (#35135224)

    "The seasonal flu is not a danger in countries with basic hygiene and sufficient access to medical facilities."

    Since some years over 49000 people died of the flu in the US (_with_ umpteen millions vaccinated), does that mean it's not a country with basic hygiene and sufficient access to medical facilities?

Air is water with holes in it.