A recent finding by University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine researchers could affect how the flu virus is depicted in models.
Researchers found that a representation of how the influenza genome is built has not been redesigned since the 1970s and could be incorrect. According to the finding, which the journal Nucleic Acids Research disclosed online, shows that the way the flu is currently presented in science books has gaps in the makeup of the virus, according to a press release.
When two strains of a flu virus come together inside a cell, the gaps that this finding uncovered allow the viruses to exchange the genetic material and build new versions of the flu. Knowing what the gaps are and how they react to each other could allow scientists to be more effective in foreseeing and stopping widespread flu outbreaks and preventing the virus from infecting more of the population.
The gaps are due to the fact that technology in building a representation of and studying how the flu works was not as advanced as it is today.