Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Eggs Anyone?

A couple weeks ago we talked about vaccinations in class. Most of us are familiar with the influenza vaccination (flu shot) and I came across an interesting video about how the viruses for the vaccines are cultured. It turns out that chicken eggs are good hosts for the influenza virus. The scientists inject the egg with the virus and after a period of time the virus is used to working on chicken cells (as opposed to human cells). That way the vaccine looks similar enough to the flu virus to give us immunity without causing sickness.

I can imagine walking into one of the labs filled with dozens and dozens of eggs:
"What's cooking?"
"Oh, just influenza."

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