RUSSELL KIGHTLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RUSSELL KIGHTLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Influenza vaccine manufacture in eggs, computer artwork. Fertilised chicken eggs can be used to produce vaccines against influenza viruses. The egg is inoculated with a mixture of the epidemic influenza virus strain (purple, top) and a standard strain (green) that can replicate in chicken eggs. Both strains replicate themselves, but as they do so their genetic material becomes mixed, producing hybrid viruses known as reassortants (purple, bottom). The reassortants are analysed, and those which have the epidemic strain surface proteins but other genes of the standard strain (shown in the yellow cone) will be selected. These are injected into different eggs to replicate before harvesting.
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