Metal shelves densely packed with preserved tissue specimens of various sizes, all suspended in glass containers.
Evolution of 1918 Flu Virus Traced from Century-Old Samples
The work reveals that the pandemic flu was likely the direct predecessor of the seasonal H1N1 flu that circulated for decades.
ABOVE: NAVENA WIDULIN, BERLIN
Evolution of 1918 Flu Virus Traced from Century-Old Samples
Evolution of 1918 Flu Virus Traced from Century-Old Samples

The work reveals that the pandemic flu was likely the direct predecessor of the seasonal H1N1 flu that circulated for decades.

The work reveals that the pandemic flu was likely the direct predecessor of the seasonal H1N1 flu that circulated for decades.

ABOVE: NAVENA WIDULIN, BERLIN

influenza

Man with white hair sits in front of a world map
Famed Pathologist Johan Hultin Dies at 97
Lisa Winter | Mar 2, 2022
Hultin’s work helped identify the virus behind the 1918 flu pandemic.
indoor chicken farm
Avian Flu Case Numbers Soar in Europe
Chloe Tenn | Jan 7, 2022
The Scientist spoke with the UK’s chief veterinary officer, Christine Middlemiss, about this winter’s high bird flu prevalence, the effects of the disease, and efforts to combat it.
Discover Genetic Influences on the Immune Response
The Genetics Behind Immune Response Variability
The Scientist Creative Services Team | Jan 31, 2022
Researchers seek genomic clues to understand differences in the immune response to infection.
Illustration of a targeted virus over a world map
The Hunt for a Pandemic’s Origins
Martha Nelson | Jan 4, 2022
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.
Illustration of a world map showing a truck going from the US to Mexico, a plane going from Europe to Mexico, and a pig surrounded by various viruses in Mexico
Infographic: How H1N1 Came to Spark a Pandemic in 2009
Martha Nelson | Jan 4, 2022
The pathogen known as swine flu evolved in pigs in Mexico following imports of the livestock from the US and Europe.
The Impact of Influenza
The Scientist Creative Services Team | Jul 13, 2021
Richard Webby and Edward Hutchinson discuss influenza viruses—the development of new strains, how they mediate virulence, and their threat to human society.
An illustration with a world map, pigs, and viruses
Timeline: Investigating the Origins of the 2009 Pandemic
Martha Nelson | Jan 4, 2022
Seven years of surveillance and research revealed the complex history of the H1N1 virus that leapt from pigs to humans and sparked the global swine flu outbreak.
Headshot of Sherif Zaki
CDC Pathology Investigator Dies Unexpectedly at 65
Jef Akst | Nov 23, 2021
Sherif Zaki worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more than 30 years, and was renowned for uncovering crucial intel on various outbreak-causing scourges, from Ebola and Zika to SARS and influenza.
Understanding Immune-Mediated Damage After Respiratory Infection
The Scientist Creative Services Team in collaboration with 10x Genomics | Feb 17, 2021
Paul Thomas from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will discuss how he used single cell and spatial transcriptomics to discover the underlying mechanism of an inflammatory immune response in the lungs.
A grid of images showing different cross sections of a human brain MRI.
Study Links Flu to Increased Parkinson’s Risk a Decade Later
Dan Robitzski | Nov 19, 2021
Epidemiological research suggests that a flu diagnosis might be one factor in the eventual onset of the neurodegenerative disease, but experts say it doesn’t prove a causal relationship.
a veterinarian in a white hazmat suit holding a small pig
The Long Journey to Resolve the Origins of a Previous Pandemic
Martha Nelson | Sep 2, 2021
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.
three children outside with winter gear wearing surgical masks
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.  
Photograph from 1918 influenza pandemic shows mask-wearing women holding stretchers at backs of ambulances in Saint Louis, Missouri.
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
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
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
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.
COVID-19, coronavirus, pandemic, SARS-CoV-2, animal study, disease transmission, aerosols, dust, fomite, fur, influenza, respiration
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
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
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.