CARLSBAD, Calif., Jan. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE) today announced the establishment of the Global Influenza Network, a partnership including scientists at a number of the world's leading government public health organizations, veterinary agencies and research institutes in a collaborative effort to increase the speed and efficiency of influenza monitoring and vaccine development. Members of the network are sharing tools, experience and data using the Ion Personal Genome Machine (PGM™) semiconductor sequencing platform.
"Life Technologies exhibited leadership in infectious disease tracking when our scientists worked alongside federal officials to identify the cause of H1N1 outbreak in 2008," said Gregory T. Lucier, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Life Technologies. "We are very proud to now bring together a group of such distinguished organizations to tackle the continued threat of influenza worldwide."
Participating scientists include: Steve Glavas, head of the NGS Platform, and Mia Brytting, Ph.D., head of the microbial typing unit at the Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control (SMI); Gabriele Vaccari, Ph.D., researcher at the Istituto Superiore di Sanita in Rome; Mary Lea Killian, microbiologist at the U.S. National Veterinary Service Laboratories in Ames, Iowa; and David Wentworth at the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Md.
Partnership Develops Faster, More Reliable Flu Subtyping MethodsAnnual seasonal influenza epidemics cause approximately 3 to 5 million cases of severe illness and 250,000 to 500,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Pandemics caused by novel influenza strains can result in staggering death tolls; the "Spanish flu" of 1918 is believed to have killed 40 million people, or 3 percent of the global population, according to the WHO.