We have all become more aware of the dangers of influenza this year, but why is it so dangerous? Julia Gog explains that the unusual structure of the influenza genome can lead to dangerous evolutionary jumps, and how mathematics is helping to understand how the virus replicates.
Making sure that vaccination works
Some preliminary results on the swine flu pandemic
How do we know how many people have got it?
Plus starts a new project on health and medicine
How does it spread?
The travels of bank notes give important clues to epidemiologists
Researchers have used mathematical modelling to understand the evolution of the influenza virus.
To study a system, mathematicians begin by identifying its most crucial elements, and try to describe them in simple mathematical terms. As Phil Wilson tells us, this simplification is the essence of mathematical modelling.
Can mathematics help defend against another attack?