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Kary Mullis has the cure for the flu

05/04/2009
Andrew S. Wiecek

Kary Mullis became famous for discovering PCR, but could his legacy include curing the flu?

Kary Mullis, winner of the Nobel Prize in chemistry for developing the PCR technique, isn't worried about the H1N1 influenza virus (better known as swine flu) because he says that he has the cure.

Mullis told an audience of students and faculty at San Jose State University (SJSU) during a lecture last week that he was confident with his current development of a flu treatment, according to the Spartan Daily. He said that if he was infected with the virus, he would use the medication, which has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

According to Kary's web site, his current research at Altermune, LLC has produced enhanced antibodies that destroy the influenza virion by feeding it to human macrophages. These performance-enhanced antibodies were created with a swallowed drug.

His comments come at a time when the World Health Organization has reported 1085 cases of influenza H1N1 infection in 21 countries. The U.S. has reported 286 confirmed human cases and one death.

Update, 5/7/2009: The World Health Organization has announced that there are now 2099 cases of influenza H1N1 infection worldwide, which includes 642 U.S. cases and 2 U.S. deaths.