U.S.-based Japanese scientist makes potent version of H1N1 flu

Picture expired. Health workers prepare an injection during H1N1 flu innoculations in Rockville, Maryland, on October 21, 2009 AFP

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

  • 1

    Farmboy

    Lifetime employment - engineer incurable viruses so that we can learn about them ... well, the remaining people can learn about them.

  • 1

    John Galt

    And then one day, one such supervirus will find its way out of the lab "accidentally". That movie has been made and remade several times. Coming soon to a neighborhood (cinema-style) near you.

  • -1

    papigiulio

    do we need it? no. first we need a cure for many other diseases, this research helps noone

  • 2

    Sioux Chef

    do we need it? no. first we need a cure for many other diseases, this research helps noone

    We shouldn't study deadly viruses because other diseases exist? Pure, unadulterated nonsense.

    ". . . deadly pandemic like the Spanish flu of 1918-1919 that killed 50 million people."

    50 million is the low estimate for the number of deaths caused by the 1918 flu; estimates range from three to five percent of the world's population--mostly young and healthy--were killed. Today that would be 210-350 million people. And this is exactly why this research is undertaken.

  • 1

    Kagemusha

    Do we need it? Maybe. This kind of research enables us to map out potential mutations that a currently "safe" virus could follow in order to become a super-virus that bypasses the current immunities that we have against the virus. This allows researches to establish what treatments to avoid when dealing with said virus to avoid the mutations.

    Yes, there is the potential for a supervirus "accidentally" being released. And this is a distinct danger. But, to say such research is of less importance than seeking cures for other diseases is a little short-sighted I think.

    I personally think there is a distinct danger of the knowledge leaking out (rather than the virus) and less scrupulous individuals (or corporations) using it for their nefarious gains.

    All in all rather we research it and discover what not to do with the vaccines than we don't research it and it happens all on its own. As a bonus we can develop counters for the virus too, in the event of "bio-terrorism".

  • -2

    warispeace

    The Pentagon will be very interested in this research.

  • -2

    Stuart hayward

    Not sure who is more excited, CIA, KGB, every form of Secret Services around the globe? Or all the pharmaceutical companies that are already thinking about the enormous profits, of creating a vaccine to cure this?

  • 2

    taj

    “It is unfortunate that online news outlets choose to manipulate the message in this way to attract readers, with sensational headlines, especially in regard to science and public health matters,” he said.

    Exactly. And we are suckers for headlines like this.

    The research helps us better understand the mechanisms of the virus. It is valuable. Yes dangerous but also valuable.

  • 0

    rickyvee

    isn't this like opening pandora's box?

  • 0

    ka_chan

    If the H1N1 virus that kill 3-6% of the world population in 1918-1919 with a mortality rate of 10-20%, only 0.425% in Japan, became invisible to the human immune system, the mortality rate should be a theoretical 100% or 0%. Since it is thought that the mechanism which killed so may young people from 20-40 was the immune response, no immune response may be a good thing. Besides, why worry about a "possible", "accidental" release of a virus when you have one the most scariest outbreaks going on now with ebola. Ebola has a 68% mortality rate and an incubation period of you to 20 days.

  • -1

    darknuts

    Perhaps a zombie virus is just around the corner.

  • -1

    ribstick

    Thanks, man! I'll add you to my list of world's greatest humanitarians, right next to Hitler and Pol Pot.

  • -2

    GalapagosnoGairaishu

    This nerd obviously did not watch Stephen King's "The Stand," in which an influenza virus that leaks from an experimental laboratory goes on to kill most of the people in the US.

  • 1

    Daniel Neagari

    Some people that commented in here.. their logic is same as the logic of those hard core Christians have....

    Science and investigation is EVIL!!!..... Ignorance and GWAD is GOOD..

  • 2

    Tessa

    The research helps us better understand the mechanisms of the virus. It is valuable.

    His fellow scientists seem not to agree with you.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2678732/Are-mad-let-maverick-scientist-create-virus-wipe-400-million-people.html

  • -1

    ReformedBasher

    This nerd obviously did not watch Stephen King's "The Stand," in which an influenza virus that leaks from an experimental laboratory goes on to kill most of the people in the US.

    Did the virus somehow confine it's spread to national borders? Or don't non-US people count?

    You worry me more than the virus (at least the virus is under heavy security)

  • 0

    Farmboy

    Well, you know, Popular Mechanics used to be good for "how to" articles, and people followed the directions, and learned how to do things they had never done before. Now, people with chemical and biological talent will be waiting patiently to learn how to wipe out the human race. Most wouldn't want to do that, but it's really cool to know how, isn't it ... kind of a destructive hack of biological processes ... yeah, cool... Sure, there's a danger that someone will destroy the planet, but hey, it's all in the name of furthering knowledge, so, it can't be, like, an incredibly stupid idea, can it?

  • 1

    cleo

    This nerd obviously did not watch Stephen King's "The Stand," in which an influenza virus that leaks from an experimental laboratory goes on to kill most of the people in the US.

    It's a long time since I read The Stand, but I'm pretty sure the plot line involves Captain Tripps killing over 90% of the world's population?

  • 0

    techall

    @cleo:

    In "The Stand" after the virus was accidentallyreleased in the U.S. army then released the virus on all the other continents so that the U.S. would not be the only country affected.

  • -1

    cleo

    tech all - I had forgotten that bit. ('Twas a very long time ago). Good thing good ol' Uncle Sam has got our back, no?

  • -4

    Sokujin

    What many people don't realize is that scientist and various militaries have been developing biological weapons since WW2. It's not as hard to do as many people might think. You test how lethal various versions of a virus is on animal/human test subjects and animal/human cells. You then keep the most lethal versions. It's lethality is proof of it's ability to bypass human/mammal immunological defenses. It's just EASIER for individual scientist to now with modern technology and methods, then it was years ago, as you needed more funding and/or teams of scientist.

    Arguably, HIV/AIDS was created in this way. The WHO (World Health Organization) requested the development of a super virus back in the 1970s to kill off a large percentage of the human population due to their "incorrect" calculations and fears of overpopulation. These calculations proved to be wrong, because women that have more economic wealth, will have LESS children (as many high level industrialized countries have found out). But the WHO and many governments didn't realize that back then, so gave money (FACT) to organizations to create super viruses anyway. It is believed that HIV/AIDS was given through vaccination programs on Africans and gay males in the U.S. Vaccinating people with HIV/AIDS is why it spread so quickly. If you do the math, 1 infected person spreading HIV/AIDS by sex would take HUNDREDS of years to spread (like other STDs such as herpes or gonorrhea), where vaccinating people mathematically equals the speed of the spread that we actually saw with HIV/AIDS. It was designed to target susceptible people of color.

    You best believe that various militaries and racist eugenic groups have alattempt ready/will to create more lethal super viruses to attack human populations. Some idiot or group is going to release them. It's not "IF", it's how many times has it already happened and how many times will it happen again.

  • -1

    chikv

    I fail to see the danger, this strain of influenza has no vaccine... but so are the strains that naturally appear every year, that is why we have to develop a new vaccine every season.

    Even more, this new "superstrain" is already isolated and characterized so development of a vaccine for it is trivial, the hard work of identifying the antigens and specific sequences that changed from the previous strains is already done so it is actually less dangerous than the next naturally occurring mutation in the wild.

    Probably someone misunderstood the part when they say "...we were able to identify the key regions would enable 2009 H1N1 viruses to escape immunity," thinking that the virus has now superpowers that would allow this scape to be permanent or something like that. Actually they only did in the lab what happens in the wild all the time.

  • -1

    wtfjapan

    yep and the US military will be very interested in this research im sure.

  • -2

    Farmboy

    Chikv,

    Vaccines use your immune system. This bug can't be attacked by your immune system. That's why it's news.

  • 0

    chikv

    Farmboy.

    No, the article does not say that.

    "Through selection of immune escape viruses in the laboratory under appropriate containment conditions, we were able to identify the key regions would enable 2009 H1N1 viruses to escape immunity,"

    This mechanism is the same that the virus uses naturally to escape immunity all the time. Incubate the virus with some antibodies so you can select those few that survived by being different (immune escape virus). If this virus infects somebody he will not be protected by the available vaccine, but since the virus is already know to the detail a new vaccine that CAN neutralize it can be produced easily and quickly.

    There is a huge differences between "being able to evade existing immunity" and "being made so it can avoid immunity permanently"

Login to leave a comment

OR
  • 海外営業事務

    海外営業事務
    株式会社セドナエンタープライズ、Tokyo
    Salary: ¥220,000 ~ ¥400,000 / Month Negotiable
  • African Speaking Sales manager

    African Speaking Sales manager
    JPC TRADE CO.,LTD. (株式会社JPC)、Tokyo
    Salary: ¥200,000 ~ ¥450,000 / Month Negotiable Basic Salary + Incentives
  • Recruitment / HR Generalist

    Recruitment / HR Generalist
    Temple University, Japan Campus - テンプル大学ジャパンキャンパス、Tokyo
    Salary: Commensurate with experience plus transportation from/to TUJ
  • Program Assistant

    Program Assistant
    Temple University, Japan Campus - テンプル大学ジャパンキャンパス、Tokyo
    Salary: Commensurate with experience plus transportation from/to TUJ
  • Portuguese Speaking Sales Manager

    Portuguese Speaking Sales Manager
    Autocom Japan (オートコムジャパン株式会社)、Kanagawa
    Salary: ¥270,000 ~ ¥800,000 / Month Commission Based

More in National

View all

View all