Sunday, May 10, 2009

Flu Time Bomb

Thanks again to 'Simmons' for suggesting this documentary. Flu Time Bomb is a one-hour documentary that explores the connections between the 1918 flu pandemic and the threat of a deadly new strain of influenza, H5N1. The program interweaves the story of Russian virologists tracking the spread of H5N1 in migratory birds with the groundbreaking efforts of Jeffery Taubenberger and Johan Hultin to unearth and rebuild the genome for the 1918 flu virus.

Today, as a deadly new strain of influenza spreads across the world, scientists are looking to the past in order to prepare for the future. The clues needed to prevent a global pandemic, they believe, are locked in the long-dormant genes of one of the greatest plagues in history-the 1918 Spanish flu.

To understand the 1918 catastrophe and its implications for today's battle, we travel around the world. In Siberia and Mongolia former Soviet bioweapons scientists hunt the virus in the field; in the United States a 1918 pandemic flu survivor remembers the terror in his small New England town; in labs around the globe researchers push the limits of science to develop new ways of making vaccines. Flu Time Bomb is the first documentary to interweave the story of the devastating 1918 flu pandemic with the modern investigation into the virus that caused it, and explore the deep implications that this research has on today's battle against H5N1 - perhaps the most dangerous strain of influenza mankind has ever seen.

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