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In the absence of antiretroviral drugs, the virus is free to mutate within the confines of a depleting immune system.
And he believes people will besiege GP surgeries looking for vaccines if the HN51 strain of bird flu mutates into a virus which can spread between humans.
A cell that mutates on an upper layer can form a bump that pushes altered cells down to the lowest layer, where they become "immortalized" as stem cells, says Portier, who adds that he believes "stem cells are at the root of cancer.
The major difference between those flulike bugs and actual influenza is that influenza strains mutate almost every year, evading the body's natural immune system defenses and triggering the need for vaccines specifically tailored every year to the expected strains, according to Dr.
They identified which amino acids are most likely to mutate.
According to him, the key to fighting spam and HIV is the same - find the part that absolutely can't mutate - what he calls the Achilles' heel - and attack there.
It is widely predicted that the disease will mutate and eventually be transmittable from human to human.
In their study report, the scientists point out that there are 16 subtypes of avian influenza, some of which can mutate into forms that can infect humans by swapping proteins on their surface with proteins from human influenza viruses.