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News 288 views update:Feb 11, 2008

Australian and Chinese scientists join forces

Australian scientists are combining forces with scientists in China to with the aim of finding ways of preventing the spread of avian influenza.

Over the next three years, the Australian and Chinese government will provide fund totalling US$2.7 mln for the new research centre that will be based at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra.
The head of scientific programmes at the ANU, Dr Ed Bertram, says researchers will be investigating why some people have more naturally resistance to bird flu than others. "This project really is a new area of investigation," he said.
"We're really trying to look at alterations in the genome of individuals that can enhance resistance to avian flu, which may give us leads to developing specific therapies that we could incorporate into vaccine designed to fight bird flu," he adds.

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