THE CONVERSATION | The Taming of Polio and the Challenge of the Flu

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Published: 6May2019

The now nearly global eradication of polio through vaccination is a testimonial to the enlightenment of humans dedicated to the alleviation of human disease. In the early 20th century, hundreds of thousands of people are estimated to have been paralysed by polio annually.

Molecular biologist Nahum Sonenberg at McGill University made the revolutionary discovery that the polio virus functioned by hijacking infected cells. The polio virus then made the cells produce the viral protein and prevented infected cells from making their own proteins.

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