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Researchers have developed a vaccine that they say offers protection against the virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

The vaccine, developed by scientists at the US National Institutes of Health, uses a small piece of the virus's DNA to stimulate a protective response from the body's immune system.

Experiments in mice, the results of which are published in this week's Nature, show that the vaccine reduced the levels of virus in the animals' lungs. The researchers now hope to carry out further experiments to evaluate the vaccine's safety and test it in humans.

Link to full BBC Online news story

Link to research paper by Zhi-yong Yang et al in Nature

Reference: Nature 428, 561 (2004)

The National Institutes of Health has applied for patent protection (DHHS Reference Numbers E-228-2003, E-334-2003 and E-165-2004) on this and other SARS vaccines and is seeking commercial licensees to further develop these vaccines for commercial distribution for the ultimate benefit of the public health. Please contact Michael Shmilovich (email: [email protected]; tel: (301) 402-0220) for further information.

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