In 2005 Dr. Anthony Fauci and then CDC head Julie Gerberding approved the reconstruction of the 1918 Spanish Flu virus using reverse genetics from the unearthed genome sequence dug up in Alaska permafrost.
The influenza pandemic of 1918 killed up to 50 million people worldwide. An estimated 675,000 died in the United States where life expectancy was lowered by more than 10 years.
Dr. Terence Tumpey of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and his team filled gaps in the 1918 strain with H1N1 genes and grew their recreated virus in canine kidney cells and hens’ eggs and then infected mice.
The strain manufactured in the lab generated 39,000 times more virus particles in mice lungs than a modern flu strain. All mice died within 6 days of infection.
“This would be extremely dangerous should it escape, and there is a long history of things escaping.”
Barbara Hatch Rosenberg Molecular Biologist
The genome sequence was put on the GenBank database, so if someone wanted to recreate more of the Spanish Flu the technology is available.
Global warming computer prediction models are only as good as their input, and it appears they need more adjusting. A new study has found the ocean’s biological pump captures twice as much carbon as previously thought.
Measurements of carbon captured in the ocean should be taken where the ocean’s sunlit zone disappears, the study says. Previous models used 450 feet as a set reference depth, but the new study took into account the true variable depth between 100 and 550 feet.
How it works: Plankton die or are consumed in a daily cycle that moves carbon from the from the surface to the deep ocean. A “marine snowfall” occurs trapping most of the ocean’s carbon in deep waters where it is stored for hundreds to thousands of years.
Well done video infographic on a future eye-healing medical technology.
Scientists are hoping a tiny nano-scaled, 3d-printed, nonstick-coated, spiral-shaped delivery bot (200 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair) can replace slow, irritating and painful procedures to deliver medicine to the back of the eye and the retina.
It will be years before the nanobots are ready for human testing. First is animal testing and finding how to dissolve the bots once their task is complete.
The nonprofit group The Ocean Cleanup is set to begin cleanup operations in the Pacific. In 2013, 18-year-old Boyan Slat proposed using the ocean’s currents to expedite a cleanup of the 1.8 trillion tons of plastic trash. More information at The Ocean Cleanup.