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Q&A: Why swine flu is 'H1N1'

Why swine flu is H1N1

What began as "swine flu" is now officially called H1N1. Now it's fairly clear why it's not called "swine flu" but why H1N1?

The term swine flu was replaced in most government language by H1N1 last April.

All flu viruses have an "h" and "n" in the name, followed by a number. H1N1 describes the two proteins on the surface of the virus — hemagglutinin and neuraminidase. The numbers convey the variation in the form of each protein, according to the Wall Street Journal. That's important because your immune system targets those proteins when attacking the virus.

Two shows to start new seasons

When will Law & Order Criminal Intent and In Plain Sight return to TV?

Law & Order Criminal Intent kicks off Season 9 at 10 p.m. March 30 on the USA Network. It alternates two teams of major-case detectives — Robert Goren (played by Vincent D'Onofrio) and Alex Eames (Kathryn Erbe), and Zach Nichols (Jeff Goldblum) and Megan Wheeler (Julianne Nicholson).

In Plain Sight is a story about quirky and stressed Mary Shannon (played by Mary McCormack), a U.S. marshal working for the Federal Witness Protection Program in Albuquerque, N.M. Season 3 begins March 31 at 10 p.m., also on the USA Network.

Newman a prolific songwriter

Was the song It's a Jungle Out There written especially for Monk and does Randy Newman have any other songs released? Also, is Monk available on DVD?

Randy Newman's Monk theme, used beginning in Monk's second season, was made especially for the show. Part of a renowned musical family, Newman has had a distinguished career as a songwriter, singer and composer for films and TV.

He has won two Emmys (for his Monk theme and for music for the TV series Cop Rock) and five Grammys (including for songs in the movies Cars, Monsters Inc. and Toy Story 2). He won an Oscar for If I Didn't Have You from Monsters Inc. and has had 16 other nominations for his work in movies like Ragtime, The Natural, Avalon, Pleasantville, A Bug's Life and Parenthood.

You can get a taste of his solo work on The Best of Randy Newman, a CD including Short People, I Love L.A., Political Science, You Can Leave Your Hat On and other Newman classics.

Monk, which starred Tony Shalhoub as an obsessive-compulsive detective, has seven seasons on DVD and the eighth and final season is due in March.

'Lie to Me' will be back

Was the series Lie to Me on Fox canceled?

The series is taking a winter break. Fox often shuffles its schedule in January to make room for American Idol and 24. Lie to Me will return sometime in "late spring" for nine more episodes.

Q&A: Why swine flu is 'H1N1' 02/14/10 [Last modified: Sunday, February 14, 2010 8:11pm]
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