Hands-on at this exhibit

  • Combine molecular building blocks to create your own strain of flu virus.
  • Have a go at testing whether our life-like chicken has flu – carry out your own diagnostic test.
  • Take our flu quiz and questionnaire.


Scientists are finding new ways to stop flu in its tracks, to protect us and our farm animals.

Find out the new ways scientists are finding to stop flu in its tracks in this surprising video from Flu fighters.

Both humans and animals can get influenza (‘flu’). The symptoms can range from uncomfortable to deadly, with seasonal flu epidemics killing hundreds of thousands of people around the world each year. Flu viruses mutate rapidly so scientists are always playing catch-up to control the global spread of disease, but our exhibit shows how we’re using cutting-edge research to fight flu on many fronts.

To combat flu in all its forms we need to understand everything about it, from the molecular-level up. Our research is building fundamental knowledge about the virus, as well as developing tools for its diagnosis and treatment, to control the disease in humans and farm animals. For the farm, we’re creating animal diagnostics that will give rapid results on site, developing vaccines to give long-lasting multi-strain protection, and breeding chickens that are naturally resistant to bird flu. For the clinic, we’re using genetics to understand why some people become seriously ill from flu while others are unaffected.

Lead image: An electron microscope image of flu. Cutting-edge research could find new ways to combat the global spread of rapidly mutating viruses. Credit: The Roslin Institute.