Newsletter 14 Januari 2010

New Issue
An efficient formal synthesis of oseltamivir phosphate (Tamiflu) has been achieved in 12 steps with use of the inexpensive and highly abundant d-ribose as the starting material. This concise alternative route does not utilize protecting groups and features the introduction of 3-pentylidene ketal as the latent 3-pentyl ether, the use of a highly efficient RCM reaction to form the Tamiflu skeleton, and selective functional group manipulations. [...]
Source: American Chemical Society

Genetic analyses of avian influenza in wild birds can help pinpoint likely carrier species and geographic hot spots where Eurasian viruses would be most likely to enter North America, according to new research.
Source: ScienceDaily: Bird Flu Research News
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Influenza A Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 Virus Infection in Domestic Cat

Influenza A pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus continues to rapidly spread worldwide. In 2009, pandemic
(H1N1) 2009 infection in a domestic cat from Iowa was diagnosed by a novel PCR assay that
distinguishes between Eurasian and North American pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus matrix genes. Human-
to-cat transmission is presumed. [...]
Source: CDC
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WHO prepares to don a hair shirt

The finger pointing and the told-you-so-ers are out in force these days and WHO seems to be one of their targets. In the face of wealthy European countries cutting their swine flu vaccine orders because of limited demand, critics are claiming that WHO exaggerated the threat in league with or under the influence of Big Pharma vaccine makers out to make a killing. This is really two issues. One, did WHO appropriately appraise the risk; and two, were they unduly influenced by greedy drug makers. I think the answer to these questions are "Yes" and "No." [...]

Source: Science Blogs

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Risk Communication

Weekly government briefings about swine flu have been abandoned, a signal that the crisis is considered to be easing.
Figures show the number of new cases in England has fallen dramatically over the past month - from 9,000 over a week in December to under 5,000 last week.
The Department of Health said the briefings would be scrapped until there were any fresh developments.
It said it would now use fortnightly bulletins to keep journalists up-to-date with statistical trends.[...]
Source: BBC
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IONATOR EXP KILLS SWINE FLU IN SECONDS, CHEMICAL-FREE - converts water into a powerful cleaner/sanitizer.
Source: Daylife
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"Comparisons of deaths from pandemic and seasonal influenza do not accurately measure the impact of the pandemic for another reason. Compared with seasonal influenza, the H1N1 virus affects a much younger age group". [...]

Source: Irish Times

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News Flash

2 swine flu virus mutations found
The Centre for Health Protection has detected two more human swine flu virus strains with mutations similar to the one Norway reported last year...
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Europe Cancels H1N1 Shots as Flu Fails to Heat Up
Wall Street Journal
Just months after rushing to order enough swine-flu vaccine to protect their citizens, European governments are ...
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Poland stands alone in refusing swine flu vaccines
Washington Post
AP WARSAW, Poland -- The decision seemed fraught with risk: a government refusing to import swine flu vaccines amid worldwide warnings of a ...
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Vietnam Airlines 2009 profit falls 42 percent
The carrier also cited "epidemic outbreaks" for its profit fall, an apparent reference to the global A (H1N1) swine flu pandemic. But VNA noted it had still ...
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