Instead of the time-consuming method of injecting viruses into chicken eggs, researchers are exploring novel ways of making better and faster vaccines against pandemics such as 2009's H1N1 swine influenza outbreak. Using mammalian cells instead of eggs is one option, as is a technique that results in a recombinant protein vaccine. But the real goal is a universal vaccine for influenza that, instead of targeting the ends of surface proteins of the virus that mutate quickly, attacks the stems of the proteins, which are less prone to mutation.

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