A fascinating story of bringing the past to the present. 

Back in 1918 there was an influenza outbreak that killed thousands of people.  Also in 1918 scientists had only just discovered the existence of viruses in general, and the influenza virus in particular wasn’t identified until 1933.

Fast-forward to 2006.  Using the genes of victims of the 1918 outbreak, Canadian scientists have reconstructed the virus.  Not just a model of it, they’ve made a fully-functioning virus!  They even infected some monkeys with it (in the lab of course), which suffered the same fate as those thousands of people nearly 100 years ago.

The next trick is to extract genes from fossilized dinosaur bones.  Or has that been done already…?

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