1918 flu survivors' blood may hold key to better vax

Scientists were able to identify the antibodies that still circulate in the blood of survivors of the deadly 1918 flu outbreak and found that they still proved to be a potent antidote to the disease. There's no threat of a new outbreak of that particular flu virus, but the research provides solid proof that the human immune system has an incredibly powerful memory once it learns to fight off a disease.

Not only did the antibodies survive, they mutated and became even more powerful. And using the same techniques could make new vaccines for a current lineup of bird flus much more effective.

"The Lord has blessed us with antibodies our whole lifetime," said study co-author Dr. Eric Altschuler at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey. "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."

--read the AP story

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