The Long Journey to Resolve the Origins of a Previous Pandemic
The Long Journey to Resolve the Origins of a Previous Pandemic
Dozens of researchers, including myself, worked for years to uncover that swine flu had leapt to humans from a pig in Mexico in 2009. We learned a lot about influenza evolution, pig farming, and outbreak risk along the way.
The Long Journey to Resolve the Origins of a Previous Pandemic
The Long Journey to Resolve the Origins of a Previous Pandemic

Dozens of researchers, including myself, worked for years to uncover that swine flu had leapt to humans from a pig in Mexico in 2009. We learned a lot about influenza evolution, pig farming, and outbreak risk along the way.

Dozens of researchers, including myself, worked for years to uncover that swine flu had leapt to humans from a pig in Mexico in 2009. We learned a lot about influenza evolution, pig farming, and outbreak risk along the way.

influenza
The Pandemic Crushed the Flu—What Happens When It Returns?
The Pandemic Crushed the Flu—What Happens When It Returns?
Diana Kwon | Jul 7, 2021
Cases of influenza and other respiratory viruses sank dramatically during the pandemic, with potential implications for both people and pathogens.  
100-Year-Old Lungs Yield Genetic Samples of 1918 Flu Viruses
100-Year-Old Lungs Yield Genetic Samples of 1918 Flu Viruses
Christie Wilcox | May 18, 2021
Influenza RNA sequences from three sets of lungs preserved in formalin since 1918 provide new insights into the deadly pandemic.
A Challenge Trial for COVID-19 Would Not Be the First of Its Kind
A Challenge Trial for COVID-19 Would Not Be the First of Its Kind
Jef Akst | Oct 8, 2020
Although scientists debate the ethics of deliberately infecting volunteers with SARS-CoV-2, plenty of consenting participants have been exposed to all sorts of pathogens in prior trials.
Bird Flu Viruses Can Remain Infectious for Months in US Wetlands
Bird Flu Viruses Can Remain Infectious for Months in US Wetlands
Catherine Offord | Sep 10, 2020
Lab and field experiments indicate that aquatic environments could act as reservoirs for the pathogens, which typically do not represent a direct risk to humans.
Coronavirus Closeup, 1964
Coronavirus Closeup, 1964
Ashley Yeager | Sep 1, 2020
Electron microscopy revealed that a deadly disease of birds was not a form of flu, but a different type of virus entirely.
Influenza Aboard Dust Particles Infects Guinea Pigs
Influenza Aboard Dust Particles Infects Guinea Pigs
Amanda Heidt | Aug 19, 2020
A new study demonstrates that some viruses can be transmitted on airborne particles other than those produced by talking, coughing, or sneezing.
Recalling the 1918 Pandemic
Recalling the 1918 Pandemic
The Scientist Staff | Aug 17, 2020
As we struggle through the COVID-19 pandemic, we can still learn lessons from a scourge that plagued our ancestors more than a century ago.
Characteristics that Give Viruses Pandemic Potential
Characteristics that Give Viruses Pandemic Potential
Anthony King | Aug 17, 2020
A handful of factors tip the scales in making a virus more likely to trigger a disruptive global outbreak. Right now, scientists tend to rank influenza, coronaviruses, and Nipah virus as the biggest threats.
Table: Viruses that Threaten to Spark Another Pandemic
Table: Viruses that Threaten to Spark Another Pandemic
Anthony King | Aug 17, 2020
A coronavirus has been commanding the headlines for months, but strains of influenza and paramyxovirus are extremely dangerous pathogens that could spark outbreaks.
Looking Back, Looking Ahead
Looking Back, Looking Ahead
Bob Grant | Aug 10, 2020
Although modern society seems to be unwilling or unable to learn from the past, doing so just might hold the key to envisioning a brighter future.
Study Identifies Abnormal Surge of Flu-like Illnesses in March
Study Identifies Abnormal Surge of Flu-like Illnesses in March
Katarina Zimmer | Jun 30, 2020
Modelers try a new approach to gauge the true number of COVID-19 cases in the US by using surveillance data for flu-like illnesses.
Swine Flu Strain Has Pandemic Potential: Study
Swine Flu Strain Has Pandemic Potential: Study
Jef Akst | Jun 30, 2020
An influenza virus identified in pigs in China has a concerning mix of genes, but experts say there is no way to know if it will evolve to be transmissible between humans.
Confronting a Pandemic, 1957
Confronting a Pandemic, 1957
Catherine Offord | Jun 1, 2020
Microbiologist Maurice Hilleman foresaw the global spread of a novel influenza strain in 1957. His vaccine saved hundreds of thousands of lives.
Could Curbing Runaway Immune Responses Treat COVID-19?
Could Curbing Runaway Immune Responses Treat COVID-19?
Shawna Williams | Apr 21, 2020
Drugs targeting patients’ immune systems, rather than the virus itself, could be key to recovery from severe cases of the disease, some researchers suggest.
Discovered: Metabolic Mechanism of Cytokine Storms
Discovered: Metabolic Mechanism of Cytokine Storms
Ruth Williams | Apr 15, 2020
By studying influenza in mice and cells, researchers identify a glucose metabolism pathway critical to the dysregulated immune response that kills many infectious disease patients, including those with COVID-19.
Cells’ Response to SARS-CoV-2 Different from Flu, RSV
Cells’ Response to SARS-CoV-2 Different from Flu, RSV
Abby Olena | Mar 31, 2020
The host transcriptional signature elicited by the coronavirus appears to be less robust and lacks the induction of key antiviral genes.
Coronavirus’s Genetics Reveal Its Global Travels
Coronavirus’s Genetics Reveal Its Global Travels
Ashley Yeager | Feb 25, 2020
Random mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen’s genome help researchers track the spread and transmission of COVID-19, the disease it causes.