Scary study: Selenium deficiency causes flu virus to mutate into more dangerous forms

(Embargoed) CHAPEL HILL -- Influenza virus that has been passed through mice deficient in the trace nutrient selenium mutates and emerges from the mice more virulent than before, a new study shows. While the research was limited to rodents, it's likely that something similar happens in humans deficient in selenium and, possibly, in other nutrients, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill scientists say. That's because humans and mice are so similar biologically, and the mice were infected with a human influenza virus.

A report on the discovery appears in the June 8 issue of the FASEB Journal, a scientific journal published by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Authors include Dr. Melinda A. Beck, associate professor of pediatrics and nutrition at the UNC schools of medicine and public health, and Heather K. Nelson, a doctoral student in nutrition at UNC. Dr. Orville A. Levander, a research chemist with the Agricultural Research Service's Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, who specializes in selenium, also contributed to the study.

In April, the scientists reported discovering that inadequate intake of selenium boosts damage caused by influenza viruses.

"We believe our latest findings are both important and potentially disturbing because they suggest nutritional deficiencies can promote epidemics in a way not appreciated before," Beck said. "Here we looked at flu virus because it hospitalizes more than 100,000 people each year in the United States alone. But what we found conceivably could be true for any RNA virus -- cold virus, AIDS virus and Ebola virus."

She and Nelson worked with colleagues at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Nestle Research Center in Switzerland. They fed groups of mice either selenium-deficient or normal diets. Later, they exposed both groups to a mild strain of human influenza virus known as Influenza A Bangkok. Rodents consuming too

Contact: David Williamson
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Chernobyl study: Risk of thyroid cancer rises with radiation dose
2. UW study: Migrating birds offer insight into sleep
3. UF study: Barren Siberia, of all places, may be original home to animal life
4. Comprehensive study: We know little about environmental effects on kids
5. UW study: Babys face lights up emotional center of new moms brain
6. UF study: World shark attacks sink again, may signal long-term trend
7. Fox Chase Cancer Center study: Novel DNA-repair gene mutation can cause resistance to cancer drugs
8. New study: percentage of babies born with intestinal birth defect growing in U.S., N.C.
9. MIT study: Hydrogen car no environmental panacea
10. UF study: Calorie restriction reduces age-related brain cell death
11. USF study: Nicotine antagonist relieves depression in children with Tourettes

Post Your Comments:

(Date:4/24/2017)... WASHINGTON , April 24, 2017 ... counsel and partner with  Identity Strategy Partners, LLP ... "With or without President Trump,s March 6, ... Foreign Terrorist Entry , refugee vetting can be instilled ... refugee resettlement. (Right now, all refugee applications are ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... , April 18, 2017  Socionext Inc., a global expert in ... media edge server, the M820, which features the company,s hybrid codec ... provided by Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased during the upcoming ... NAB show at the Las Vegas Convention ... Click ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... , April 13, 2017 UBM,s Advanced Design ... will feature emerging and evolving technology through its ... Summits will run alongside the expo portion of the ... panels and demonstrations focused on trending topics within 3D ... design and manufacturing event will take place June 13-15, 2017 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... Lithuania, announced today that they have entered into a multiyear collaboration to identify ... CRISPR researchers with additional tools for gene editing across all applications. , Under ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... platform specifically designed for life science researchers to analyze and interpret datasets, ... Franklin, who made a major contribution to the discovery of the double-helix ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ComplianceOnline’s Medical Device Summit is ... and 8th June 2018 in San Francisco, CA. The Summit brings together current and ... distinguished CEOs, board directors and government officials from around the world to address key ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Disappearing forests and increased emissions are ... 5.5 million people each year. Especially those living in larger cities are affected by ... in one of the most pollution-affected countries globally - decided to take action. , ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: