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How flu virus disables immune system

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Northwestern University scientists have discovered one of the ways the influenza virus disarms our natural defense system.

The virus decreases the production of key immune system-regulating proteins in human cells that help fight the invader. The virus does this by turning on the microRNAs -- little snippets of RNA -- that regulate these proteins.

The researchers, led by molecular biologist Curt M. Horvath, are among the first to show the influenza virus can change the expression of microRNA to control immune responses in human lung cells.
 
 

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