What is new is the way that the researchers weakened the virus. They used genetic engineering to produce a virus that "contains thousands of genetic alterations" and the result of these alterations is such that the virus does not replicate well. So, the theory goes, you have the complete virus - which will generate a stronger immune response - but in a form that shouldn't be able to cause the flu or spread.
OK, who thought the idea of taking a virus that has a long history of mutation and genetically altering it in "thousands" of places was a good idea? Don't these researchers read or watch movies? Don't they know what happens (at least in Hollywood) when well-meaning researchers genetically alter a virus? Its a good think that they weren't blissfully ignorant or tempt fate at the same time, as that would really clinch the deal.
Oh wait -
"It's unlike anything nature ever evolved," says Steffen Mueller, a virologist at Stony Brook University in New York, whose team tested the vaccine in mice.Well, the only way it could be worse is if they made some sweeping pronouncement that it was safe ...
"It's an interesting approach to flu vaccination and is certainly likely to be safe," says Sarah Gilbert of the University of Oxford.Uh-oh, time to run for the hills?