A controversial researcher who in the past had replicated the deadly Spanish flu of 1918 has done it again, this time cooking up in his lab an especially resilient strain of the H1N1 virus.

Dr Yoshihiro Kawaoka, professor of virology at University of Wisconsin at Madison, has reportedly tweaked the 2009 strain of pandemic influenza responsible for some 500,000 deaths worldwide to make it resistant to the human immune system’s antibodies.

Kawaoka’s many critics have said that his latest provocative experiment has essentially rendered the world’s population defenseless against the virus.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the H1N1 virus that sparked the 2009-2010 pandemic has turned into a regular human flu virus that continues to circulate seasonally worldwide.

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