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ATHENS, Ga. -- University of Georgia researchers have received a federal grant of more than $1.1 million for their work on fighting the flu.

The grant from the National Institutes of Health is to be distributed over the next four years. The researchers' works are refining a nanotechnology-based method that uses laser beams to more accurately predict emerging influenza strains, especially the most deadly ones.

The flu kills thousands of people worldwide each year. Many people get flu vaccines, but those aren't always effective because it's difficult to predict the flu strain for a given year.

Chemistry professor Richard Dluhy is working with veterinary infectious disease professors Stephen Tompkins and Ralph Tripp to refine a method used to identify virus strains so researchers can quickly detect components in viruses that affect influenza virulence.

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