Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Knowing Your Enemy

The influenza A H1N1 virus contains gene segments from human, bird, and pig flu viruses as well as ones similar to Eurasian swine flu, as our sister site GenomeWeb Daily News, and a few others, reported on Friday when an online early Science study came out. This mixture suggests that the virus has been circulating undetected for years, probably in pigs, and the CDC's Nancy Cox said that this new study shows that better monitoring of flu in animal populations is needed. (An upcoming in the July issue of Scientific American concurs that animal surveillance, not human, should be the "first line of defense.") Cox adds that knowing which gene segments the virus contains will make producing a vaccine easier. To that end, the HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that the department will allocate $1 billion of existing funds toward ingredients for an H1N1 flu vaccine. Three companies, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, and Sanofi-Pasteur, will receive most of the money to make antigens and adjuvants, $288.8 million, $181.1 million, and $190.6 million, respectively, according to Science Insider.

The Scan

Vaccine Update Recommended

A US Food and Drug Administration panel recommends booster vaccines be updated to target Omicron, CNBC reports.

US to Make More Vaccines for Monkeypox Available

The US is to make nearly 300,000 vaccine doses available in the coming weeks to stem the spread of human monkeypox virus, according to NPR.

Sentence Appealed

The Associated Press reports that Swedish prosecutors are appealing the sentence given to a surgeon once lauded for transplanting synthetic tracheas but then convicted of causing bodily harm.

Genome Biology Papers on COVID-19 Effector Genes, Virtual ChIP-seq, scDART

In Genome Biology this week: proposed COVID-19 effector genes, method to predict transcription factor binding patterns, and more.