Ending the Perfect Storm: Protein Key to Beating Flu Pandemics (video) Walter and Eliza Hall Institute Share Print E-Mail Loading video... Caption A protein called SOCS4 has been shown to act as a handbrake on the immune system's runaway reaction to flu infection, providing a possible means of minimising the impact of flu pandemics. Scientists from Melbourne's Walter and Eliza Hall Institute have found that without SOCS4 the immune response to influenza infection is slowed and there is a vast increase in the number of damaging inflammatory molecules in the lungs. This flood of inflammatory molecules, known as a "cytokine storm," is thought to contribute to flu-related deaths in humans. Credit Walter and Eliza Hall Institute Usage Restrictions Credit: Walter and Eliza Hall Institute Share Print E-Mail Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.