Scientists complete the genetic sequence of the deadly 1918 flu virus. With the sequence, the researchers were able to recreate the virus, and they discovered that — unlike the viruses that caused the flu pandemics of 1957 and 1968 — the 1918 virus was a bird flu virus that infected humans. What might this development tell us about current influenza threats such as the bird flu in Asia?
William Schaffner, M.D., professor and chair, Department of Preventive Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Jeffrey Taubenberger, chair, Department of Molecular Pathology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology
Christopher Basler, assistant professor, microbiology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine