A strain of the virus that causes bird influenza has been implicated in the death of a three year old boy in Hong Kong. The case, though isolated, has sent alarm bells ringing

A nasal vaccine for influenza, containing inactivated viruses, has proved effective in trials on 51 volunteer medical students in Israel. Although the medical students were exposed to

PLANT SCIENCES Never too late Flowers are more resilient than they appear. They shoot up against all odds. The credit goes to genetic matter called microRNA that inhibit protein formation crucial to flowering in young plants. External cues like sunlight make them flower. But in the absence of cues, too, flowers do blossom; the activity of

A strain of influenza virus resistant to the antiviral drug Tamiflu was found in a total of five flu patients in Yokohama city with three of them believed to comprise a case of group infection, health officials of the city said Thursday. Relenza, another antiviral drug, was effective for the patients, who were all infected with the type A Soviet Union flu. The Yokohama City Institute of Health advised caution in selecting a drug for that type of influenza. The five were residents aged 8 to 13 of the same ward in Yokohama who saw doctors on Jan 28. Three were students at the same elementary school, while the other two were diagnosed at the same health care institution.

>> Authorities confirmed an outbreak of the H5N1 bird flu strain in Suffolk county, the UK, on November 13. An exclusion zone was imposed at the site and about 6,000 poultry were ordered to be

Women are more at risk of contracting avian flu than men, states the Egyptian health ministry. The statement came after an appraisal of the gender ratio of avian flu infected people in the country.

• China refuted a recent US National Academy of Sciences report, which notes that a new strain of the H5N1 bird flu virus has emerged in southern China. • Argentine President Nestor