World Bulletin / News Desk
Three vaccines used to prevent respiratory disease in chickens have swapped genes, producing two lethal new strains that have killed tens of thousands of fowl across two states in Australia, scientists reported on Friday.
The creation of the deadly new variant was only possible because the vaccines contained live viruses, even though they were weakened forms, said Joanne Devlin, lead author of the paper published in the journal Science.
Devlin and her team discovered how closely related the two new strains were with viruses in the vaccines after analysing their genes.
"What we found was the field viruses ... were actually a mixture of the genomes from different vaccine viruses," said Devlin, a lecturer at the University of Melbourne's School of Veterinary Science. "They actually combined, mixed together."
The viruses emerged in 2008, a year after Australia started using a European vaccine along with two very similar Australian vaccines to fight acute respiratory disease in poultry. The illness causes coughing, sneezing and breathing difficulties in birds, normally killing 5 percent of them.
The two new strains, however, were far more harmful, and since they were created have killed up to 17 percent of chicken flocks across Victoria and New South Wales, the two main chicken rearing states in Australia.
"What could have happened was one chicken was vaccinated with one vaccine and later was exposed to the other vaccine somehow, from nearby chickens," Devlin said.
Agricultural authorities in Australia have been informed of the results of the study, and are considering how to prevent similar cross-overs happening again.
"Use of only one vaccine in a population of birds will prevent different viruses from combining," Devlin said.
"Authorities are reviewing labels on vaccine to change the way vaccines are used and prevent different vaccines being used in one population."
Asteroids have broken apart many times over the eons, but never before have scientists been able to witness it.
Should these ships become a reality, a total of 44% of expenses could be cut from operating cargo ships, according to industry consultant Moore Stephens LLP.
Earthuquake lights sometimes appear in the sky before an earthquake takes place and are often mistaken for UFOs.
Remains of the new species were unearthed in Portugal by an amateur fossil hunter in 2003 in the rock cliffs of Lourinhã
The females of an Asian swallowtail butterfly species known as the Common Mormon often mimic the appearance of another species of butterfly that is toxic for predators to eat
Scientists from Turkey designed 'the smart infrared cameras' to deal with dense fog related flight delays which cause thousands of flights to be postponed or cancelled each year.
Artificial muscles can bear 117 times more than natural muscles.
Scientific works by students aged between 11 and 15 in invention and design categories will take part in the olympiad.
GCHQ collected images from the webcam chats of more than 1.8 million users globally in a six-month period in 2008 alone
NASA'a Kelper telescope has discovered 715 new planets outside of our solar system.
The vault, which was designed to withstand all disasters, was opened in 2008 in order to store an adequate amount of seeds which would enable the human species to revive lost crops in the event of global disaster.
A cybersecurity firm said that it uncovered stolen credentials from some 360 million accounts that are available for sale on cyber black markets
NASA says about 100 tons of material from space enter Earth's atmosphere every day. The moon, with no protective atmosphere, is fair game for celestial pot-shots
"When or if the NSA blurs the line between its defensive and intelligence-gathering roles and exploits a position of trust, that's a problem," head of security pioneer RSA said
Co-founder of WhatsApp announces that telephone calls can be made via WhatsApp.
In the past, artificial muscles have been crafted out of materials including metal wires and carbon nanotubes, but they have proven to be costly to make and tricky to control.