Pacific Science Center

Bringing science to life.

PacSci-Doku: “Fewer Needles”

By Dennis Schatz – Senior Advisor

Do you Sudoku? It’s one of the hottest number games around! Well, here’s a twist we think you’ll love. We call it PacSci-Doku. Can you guess why? Here’s how it works. Instead of filling in the blanks with numbers, we use letters. Hidden in one of the columns or rows is the answer to a science question. You’ll find information about the answer on the answer tab below.

The question in this edition is:

What annual experience may not be needed in the future?

To find the answer, complete this PacSci-Doku using the following nine letters:

O  U  S  s  _  T  F  H  L

PacSci-Doku: Fewer Needles

Puzzle Difficulty: Easy

The Answer
PacSci-Doku: Fewer Needles

The Answer

The question in this edition is:

What annual experience may not be needed in the future?

The answer: Flu Shots

Don’t like that needle going into your arm each year during flu season? If researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases have their way, you may only need one shot every 10 years, or maybe only once in your lifetime. Currently, researchers need to predict ahead of time what strain of flu will be a problem during the upcoming flu season. This guessing game can lead to vaccines that are less effective than desired. The challenge is that the vaccines act against a part of the virus that changes from year to year.

Some researchers are studying how to develop a vaccine that acts against the part of the flu virus that does not change each year. Other scientists are genetic sequencing flu strains that existed over the last century to develop a vaccine that acts against a large number of strains. If any of these new strategies are successful, you may only need a flu shot once a decade or maybe even once in a lifetime. Read more about this cutting edge flu research.

.

 

 

X