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Genetic regulators hijacked by avian and swine flu viruses identified

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Researchers at the University of British Columbia have identified a number of tiny but powerful "genetic regulators" that are hijacked by avian and swine flu viruses during human infection.

The discovery, published this week in the Journal of Virology, could reveal new targets for broad-spectrum antivirals to combat current – and perhaps future – strains of influenza A viruses.

The study is the first to compare the role played by human microRNAs – small molecules that control the expression of multiple genes – in the life cycle of two viruses of continued concern to public health officials around the world.

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