Both governments and the scientific community are mobilised to face the threat of a possible pandemic provoked by avian influenza. Whereas there is no need to alarm the population, we must design tools in order to fight influenza in case it develops. According to historical data and to the high genetic variability of influenza virus, the development of this pandemic is only a matter of time and that the appropriate circumstances are given.
The H5N1 virus, which affects the European fowl, has already evidenced that it could successfully break the human barrier. This is the reason why H5N1 is the best candidate to establish the bases of the development of pandemic vaccines. Five large national hospitals will participate in the first study with a H5N1 influenza pandemic vaccine held in Spain. Our specialists are working in an international study, with the participation of 7 countries, in order to assess the possible side effects and immunogenicity of this vaccine, developed by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), in individuals over 18 years.
A total of 5,052 individuals will participate in this study, 1,500 of which will be recruited in Spain. The five Spanish centres are Hospital 12 de Octubre, Hospital Clínico San Carlos and Hospital de La Princesa in Madrid, and the centres Hospital Vall d’Hebrón and Hospital Clínic in Barcelona. People participating in the study will be randomly separated into two groups: 75% will receive two doses of influenza vaccine, and 25% will receive a dose of conventional influenza vaccine and a dose of placebo. The second dose will be administrated after 21 days after the first medical examination, and during the study, two more examinations will have place (days 43 and 180) and a telephone check (day 51). In 10% of volunteers, blood tests will be made in order to analyse the immune response triggered by the vaccine.
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The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
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