1918 flu survivors' blood may hold key to better vax

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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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