The threat of H1N1 swine flu appears to be abating, but the virus could come roaring back later in the year, and experts are now debating whether to produce a pandemic influenza vaccine. One key problem is that almost all of the world’s flu vaccine is produced using chicken eggs, and production capacity is severely limited. Many manufacturers are working on alternatives to the antiquated technology for vaccine production, but those will play a small role at best should the world be struck by a flu pandemic this year, World Health Organization vaccine expert Marie-Paule Kieny said at a news conference today. They could make a difference down the road, however.Almost all seasonal flu vaccine is made using a clunky, 50-year-old process, in which companies adapt the virus to multiply in hens’ eggs, grow the virus, then break the eggs open and purify the key antigens needed to make vaccine, the hemagglutinin and neuraminidase molecules that stick out from the virus’s surface. In all, the process takes more than 5 months. This is also how the vast majority of a pandemic vaccine would be made.Most vaccine companies are working on similar vaccines that are grown in mammalian cells rather than eggs. This has several advantages: Manufacturers are less dependent on the supply of chicken eggs—which is difficult to increase quickly and can become vulnerable during bird flu outbreaks—and it could shave 10 weeks off of the 22 weeks now needed to make a vaccine using eggs. It would also yield a vaccine that’s safe for people with egg allergies.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)But although more practical and cleaner, cell-based vaccines don’t promise a major boost in production capacity. Moreover, success with the technique has been slow to come, despite more than $1.5 billion in U.S. Department of Health and Human Services contracts to several companies to fund clinical trials of cell-based vaccines and scale up manufacturing. Novartis is the only company that has begun building a cell-based vaccine plant in the United States, (in North Carolina), with the help of a $487 million HHS contract awarded in January. It should be operational by 2012. No cell-based vaccines have yet been licensed in the United States, in part because getting regulatory approval is complicated.In Europe, at least three companies have licensed a cell-based vaccine, but none has actually started producing it so far. Solvay built a plant in a small town outside of Amsterdam several years ago, but technical problems have delayed the start of production. “In terms of quantity, globally, [cell-based vaccines] will represent only a small amount of the total,” Kieney said today.Some alternatives could be faster to scale up. Furthest along is Protein Sciences Corp. of Meriden, Connecticut, which makes a flu vaccine by infecting caterpillar cells with a baculovirus carrying the gene for hemagluttinin. The company has completed late-stage clinical trials for its seasonal flu vaccine and expects to receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval this year; it plans to be making a swine flu vaccine in 5 weeks at its pilot production plant, says CEO Daniel Adams. This vaccine could potentially be produced in the world’s many facilities for making pharmaceutical proteins, which could allow the production of enough vaccine for between 3 billion and 6 billion people in 3 months, says David Fedson, a retired drug company executive living in France.Other recombinant vaccines that could truly lead to an explosion in production capacity are further off. VaxInnate, a company in Cranbury, New Jersey, is developing a flu vaccine made in E. coli, which requires far less volume for manufacturing than animal cells. It links a portion of the hemagluttinin protein to a bacterium’s flagellin protein to boost the response from immune cells. CEO Alan Shaw says the company could make enough doses for the state of New Jersey in a reactor the size of the gas tank on a backyard barbecue.”It’s a much simpler production system,” says influenza vaccine expert John Treanor of the University of Rochester in New York state. Treanor notes, however, that first this novel approach to stimulating immunity will require extensive clinical trials to establish that it’s safe and works.
Mr & Mrs Smith HotelsRead on for the winners of the Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel AwardsIt’s time for hoteliers at the world’s most seductive boutique boltholes to take a collective breath in… the winners of the Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Awards have been decided. And this year, Halcyon House in Cabarita Beach, Australia, comes out on top. After finishing runner-up last year, this bastion of beachfront cool has scooped Best Smith Hotel 2016, as voted for by the public (over 25,000 discerning luxury-lovers).Our panel of globetrotting tastemaker judges – including fashion designers Charlotte Olympia Dellal and Henry Holland, Sydney design duo Louise Olsen and Stephen Ormandy and Melbourne-based jewellery designer Lucy Folk – have also crowned 11 boutique beauties in a range of other categories, from World’s Sexiest Bedroom to Best Date-Night Bar and Pool with a View. With winning properties in Chile, Japan and Canada, the list is a wanderlust-awakening hint at location hotspots for 2017.‘We’ve always wanted Mr & Mrs Smith to be about the details, so this year we’ve ensured each category gives a nod to a unique part of the boutique hotel experience. We’ve introduced new categories like Hottest Hotel Soundtrack (because music can make or break an atmosphere), and Coolest Creative Hub (now that so many hotels are becoming culture hubs). We want to reward and recognise the best of the best.‘For the first time, we’ve commissioned a photographer – Polly Brown – to document the 12 winning stays, too. She’s a unique talent; able to tell a story in just one shot, with a quirk and with irreverence. We’re delighted to have had the opportunity to work with her and set her the enviable task of heading on a round-the-world trip.’James Lohan, Founder and Executive Chairman, Mr & Mrs SmithINTRODUCING POLLY BROWN…Polly Brown, who has worked with the likes of Givenchy, Roksanda and Victoria Beckham, is shooting an exclusive suite of images of the 12 winning properties.Having trained at Central Saint Martins, London, and with her personal approach, each of the 12 images will stand alone as a unique artwork, highlighting the winning element of each hotel. Watch this space for the big reveal – these images are set to raise a smile and maybe an eyebrow or two……AND THE WINNERS ARE…Best Smith HotelHalcyon House, Cabarita Beach, Australia‘As the only category voted for by the public, Best Smith Hotel is a serious accolade. Halcyon House burst on to the scene as a new opening last year, and has since become one of the most impressive boltholes on our books. With its good looks and down to earth charm, it’s a well deserved winner.’– James Lohan, founder, Mr & Mrs SmithBest-Dressed HotelPalazzo Margherita, Basilicata, Italy‘A beautifully-designed, updated Palazzo which still retains its character and soul.’ – Charlotte Olympia Dellal, designerWorld’s Sexiest BedroomKeemala, Phuket, Thailand‘Nestled up in the rainforest canopy with a private pool, al fresco bath and four poster bed… heaven.’ – Olivia von Halle, designerBest Date-Night BarLondon Edition, London, UK‘Each Edition property hits the nail on the head when it comes to killer food and drink combos, and since we’re suckers for classic cocktails and bygone-era bar culture, this one’s a top contender in our book.’ – Cyndi Ramirez-Fulton, founder of Taste The Style and Celine Bossart, creator of The StaycationersBest Gourmet GetawayThe Old Clare, Sydney, Australia‘My readers rave about this hotel… AND I’m biased… my pal Jason has a restaurant here!’– Ben Pundole, A Hotel LifeMost Spoiling SpaAmanemu, Mie, Japan ‘Amanemu has incorporated the Japanese bathing tradition of onsen, making it a very authentic and overly Zen spa experience; the watsu pool is definitely a highlight.’ – Vivienne Tang, founder Destination DeluxeHottest Hotel SoundtrackFazenda Nova, Algarve, Portugal‘A laid-back soundtrack that is as chic, timeless and classy as the hotel itself.’ – Lauren Laverne, DJ and broadcasterPool with a ViewGrand Hotel Tremezzo, Lake Como, Italy‘This property gets our vote, mainly because Lake Como is such a glorious place to visit. The afternoon light over the lake is beyond beautiful.’ – Tamsin and Patrick Johnson, interior designer/tailor teamAbove & BeyondAwasi, Patagonia, Chile‘Secluded cabins amidst Patagonian triple peaks, eco-awareness, and they’ve bothered to make their villas and bathrooms wheelchair accessible; location, privacy and inclusivity wins hands down.’ – Anita Kapoor, TV presenterBest Family HotelTreehotel, Sweden‘I’m giving this first choice simply because it’s the kind of place that your children will never forget.’ – Yasmin Sewell, fashion director Style.comCoolest Creative HubFogo Island Inn, Newfoundland, Canada‘The inspiring Todd Saunders design perched on the cliff edge is so spectacular… this has to be a front-runner.’ – Henry Holland, designerLocal Hotel Hero11 Howard, New York, US‘This hotel engages with and gives back to its community in multiple ways, but my favourite element is the Jeff Koons-mentored mural created by local students, because supporting the arts is what I’m most passionate about. And this particular effort is very much in tune with the aesthetic-minded nature of this stylish, boutique hotel.’ – Rosa Park, editor Cereal Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel to book, visitSource = Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Awards