According to Sasisekharan, this knowledge could help scientists produce vaccines that do not include versions of the flu that can mutate
and so lead to "fitter" viruses.
Both type A and B can cause epidemics, but influenza type A has greater potential to develop new and deadly subtypes and is responsible for the current "bird flu" that threatens to mutate
to a form capable of a human pandemic.
A 40-year-old woman in Vietnam is suffering from the most deadly form of the virus which doctors fear could mutate
into a more contagious version.
Once GFAP mutates
, an abnormal protein is created, which, in turn, allows for a significant build-up of fibers around the myelin sheath, the insulation that protects the nerve fibers in the brain.
a lot, but it can't mutate
to where it stops functioning...
Scientists fear millions will die if it mutates
into a form which passes between humans.
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.
Scientists do not think it will return to infect humans unless there is an unlucky escape from a lab or the virus mutates
into an entirely new form.