Cultivating Flu Vaccine

Photograph by James King-Holmes/Photo Researchers, Inc.

Armed with the tools for cultivating a flu vaccine, a scientist at the National Institute for Medical Research's World Influenza Center in London starts by drilling minute holes into fertilized chicken eggs. She will then inject the eggs with flu viruses that have most recently been circulating among the area population. After reaching a sufficient concentration, the samples will be tested to determine which strains of flu viruses are present. The strains that are most prevalent in the population will be used to develop flu vaccine for the following season.

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