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Scientists Find Crop Chemical Cures Bird Flu
A type of crop chemical has been proven highly effective in curing avian flu, which has baffled vets worldwide.

The chemical, developed by the Yunnan Provincial Ecology Agriculture Institute a decade ago using gene techniques to beef up the metabolism of plants, has been used by farmers to treat pig flu and chicken flu with a good effect since early 2002.

After finding the chemical used by farmers extensively in treating the so-called "bird flu", the institute commissioned Guangdong Foshan Science and Technology College to carry out experiments.

Some 100 chickens aged from 18 to 25 days were divided into eight groups and received varying doses via injection or drops in the eyes and nose, while they were exposed to the avian flu virus.

Experiment outcome showed no chicks, which had received a moderate dose of 0.2 grams in four milliliters, died.

Based on fermenting various local plants, the dose introduced the gene phenotype induction technique, which improves the plantsí photosynthesis and metabolism, according to Prof. Na Zhongyuan, director of the Yunnan Provincial Ecology Agriculture Institute.

It has been used in treating plant diseases, such as whitening leaves in paddies, stripe rusts, rotten roots in fruit trees and blights on cotton and potato.

Avian influenza, which has been studied ever since it cropped up 130 years ago, is still puzzling experts worldwide, and no effective prevention or remedy has so far been found.

This year, the disease went rampant in the Netherlands, where more than 900 farms with over 14 million poultry have to be quarantined and all the sick chickens to be slaughtered.

(Xinhua News Agency May 29, 2003)

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