Quack Code

The genome of wild duck has been mapped. The bird is the principal natural host of bird flu viruses but is a “silent carrier” and seldom develops flu symptoms. The genome analysis provides insights into how duck’s immune system responds to bird flu infections. It reveals genetic factors that protect wild ducks from harmful effects of bird flu. An understanding of these factors can help develop treatments for bird flu in humans, which has become a major health concern in the past decade. 


Down to Earth, July 2013