|which was favorites with a lot of people. Some very good questions were asked, and some important insights were gained. I thought it would be good to start this up again, but use separate diaries for science, preps, html etc. Since there are a few prep and html Q&A type diaries already, I will put this one up for science questions, like virology, vaccines, 1918, whatever...
I would suggest we treat this as another community thread, so anyone can ask questions, and anyone can respond!
I'm going to cheat a little and start by re-posting part of a comment from the Egypt thread. ;-)
Q: I understand that the H1N1 from 1918 must be different from the present H1N1 flu - despite the name share - but how would you explain why and how different in terms that would not require the presence of a glossary?
A: The difference between the 1918 H1N1 and the current H1N1 is that it has had almost 90 years of human to human transmission. The 1918 virus was a very avian-like virus, ie it was more adapted to birds and not very adapted to human beings. (It was more adapted to humans than whatever ancestor virus it came from, enough to cause the 1918 pandemic.) As it worked its way through the human hosts, it came under the attack of human immune systems. In response, the virus keeps changing its molecular structure so that it will continue to survive, and the H1N1 has done very well in that. The longer it spent in humans, the more different it became from the original. However, it is still a descendant of the original 1918 H1N1.
Now, H5N1, even though it is an N1, did not arise from the 1918 H1N1. Current science shows that it probably had a common ancestor with the 1918 virus, going even further back from 1918. But because it had not spent almost a century adapting to humans, but has, as far as we know, evolved in birds over all this time, it is a very different N1 virus, and is still more adapted to birds than humans.
The rest of the comment is here http://www.newfluwik...