Researchers infected embryonic chicken cells with two strains of bird flu -- H5N2 and H5N1 -- and found that the chicken cells that were injected with RIG-I, a gene found in ducks, survived, while the chicken cells that lacked the gene died. "This study underscores the importance of this particular gene in fighting viral infections," an expert said. "If we could shut down influenza [in chickens], it would be of great commercial interest," added the study's lead author.

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