RUSSELL KIGHTLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RUSSELL KIGHTLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Formation of new flu strain. Computer artwork showing two influenza (flu) viruses (pink and green) infecting a pig cell (pink sphere). The viruses use the host cell's machinery to reproduce copies of themselves. During this process the two genomes may be mixed and repackaged to form a new strain (purple). If the new strain is able to infect humans this introduces a new strain into the population that there is no immunity to, giving it the potential to cause a pandemic.
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