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Researchers Discover How the Flu Tells Time

The flu knows how much time it has to multiply, infect other cells, and spread to another human being before the immune system kills it.

Scientists have discovered that that the flu virus can essentially tell time, thereby giving scientists the ability to reset the virus' clock and combat it in more effective ways. According to researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the flu knows how much time it has to multiply, infect other cells, and spread to another human being. If it leaves a cell too soon, the virus is too weak. If it leaves too late, the immune system has time to kill the virus.

The finding provides a novel design platform for the flu vaccine and could lead to new antiviral drugs that make this viral clock dysfunctional. The research, led by Benjamin tenOever, PhD, Fishberg Professor of Microbiology at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Mount Sinai, is published in the January 17th issue of Cell Reports.

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