HKU scientists look to take the lead on bird flu

A worker at a stall selling chickens cleans cages. Photo: Felix Wong

Despite the rush by scientists to decipher the nature of the latest outbreak of bird flu, the virus and its relatives have been under the radar of a local research team for more than a decade.

Monday, 6 May, 2013, 5:00am

H7N9 may mutate 8 times faster than regular flu

A doctor looks at lung CT images and chest films of a man infected with H7N9. The new bird flu could be mutating up to eight times faster than an average flu virus. Photo: Xinhua

The new bird flu could be mutating up to eight times faster than an average flu virus around a protein that binds it to humans, a team of research scientists in Shenzhen says.

10 Apr 2013 - 12:24pm

Deadly kidney disease in cats linked to dog virus

A virus similar to one that commonly kills dogs may also be shortening the legendary nine lives of cats.

Hong Hong researchers say they have found the virus in stray cats suffering from a fatal kidney inflammation and plan further tests to see if the virus causes the symptoms.

20 Mar 2012 - 12:00am

Scientists must speak to the common man

We live in a world created and defined by science and technology. Yet the people who make a profession out of these fields often act like high priests of old, communicating in esoteric language that only the initiated can understand. Most of the time, it is fine. Specialists go their merry way and the public theirs.

6 Feb 2012 - 12:00am


Virus by James Rose Random Ax Media (e-book)

27 Nov 2011 - 12:00am

The infection of fear

Since the Black Death ravaged most of Europe in the mid-14th century, people have been on alert for its return. Every outbreak of infectious disease gives rise to the inevitable question: Is this the one? In today's ultra-cosmopolitan world, a global outbreak would devastate every aspect of society.

4 Sep 2011 - 12:00am

Cracking the code of our immunity

You are holding on to the central pole of a subway car, or talking on your phone, or opening a door. Your hand brushes metal, plastic, wood. And there, where you got a paper cut yesterday, germs bypass the barrier of your skin and enter your body.

19 Jun 2011 - 12:00am

Another week's wait for Nipah virus test results

Connections of top-flight gallopers Sacred Kingdom and California Memory may have to wait another week for definitive Nipah virus test results before they know when their horses will be able to leave Singapore.

29 May 2011 - 12:00am

Thursday Think Tank

1 Marine police accused of enjoying seafood feast while on duty ... oh, you should see how the vice squad sends off one of its retiring officers

2 Shanghai to get its own Disney park ... it will be just like Hong Kong's except Mickey will be wearing a fake LV suspender and smoking

12 Nov 2009 - 12:00am

School advised to close over infections

The Centre for Health Protection advised HKSPC Sze Wu Shu Min Nursery School in Tseung Kwan O to suspend classes for two weeks from today for disinfection after enterovirus-71 infections were confirmed in a boy and a girl, both aged two. Fourteen other children had also developed symptoms of hand-foot-mouth disease, which can be caused by the virus, since March 2.

11 Mar 2009 - 12:00am

Medi watch

Implant to ease the mind

5 May 2008 - 12:00am

WHO shows political correctness in renaming flu virus strains

How is this for power? The names of various strains of the deadly bird flu virus have been changed to give them a more politically correct nomenclature, following protests by Beijing. When they first emerged, a group of H5N1 bird flu viruses came to be known as 'Fujian-like' and their cousins were called 'Qinghai-like', named after the provinces where they were first identified.

26 Apr 2008 - 12:00am

It's safe to visit, club tells the world

Virus poses 'no threat' to overseas horses targeting international meeting at Sha Tin

The Jockey Club has sought to assure leading stables around the world their horses face 'no health risk' from an equine virus sweeping the Sha Tin stables, if they accept invitations for the Audemars Piguet international programme on April 29.

10 Apr 2007 - 12:00am

Punters lose out despite backing winner

The Jockey Club's vaunted place at the head of world betting jurisdictions was looking questionable last night after punters who backed dead-heat winner Choice And Chance at Happy Valley were short-changed by an arcane betting rule designed to protect the club.

8 Mar 2007 - 12:00am

Bid to end confusion over bird flu strains

International body to standardise the classification of viruses after scientists gave one variant four different names

An international working group will be set up to standardise the naming of avian influenza viruses in response to confusion caused by the naming of an H5N1 variant in a controversial paper co-authored by Hong Kong scientist Guan Yi.

9 Dec 2006 - 12:00am