New vaccine production could improve flu shot accuracy

For decades, vaccine manufacturers have used chicken eggs to grow the flu virus strains included in the seasonal vaccine. But because these human strains frequently mutate to adapt to their new environment, the resulting vaccine is often an imperfect match to the virus that it is supposed to protect against. Researchers have now devised a way to keep the human influenza virus from mutating during egg-based production, generating a perfect match to the target vaccine.

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Researchers perform first basic-physics simulation of the impact of recycled atoms on plasma turbulence

Turbulence, the violently unruly disturbance of plasma, can prevent plasma from growing hot enough to fuel fusion reactions. Long a puzzling concern of researchers has been the impact on turbulence of atoms recycled from the walls of tokamaks that confine the plasma. These atoms are neutral, meaning that they have no charge and are thus unaffected by the tokamak's magnetic field or plasma turbulence, unlike the electrons and ions—or atomic nuclei—in the plasma. Yet, experiments have suggested that the neutral atoms may be significantly enhancing the edge plasma turbulence, hence the theoretical interest in their effects.

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