As the flu virus is constantly evolving, it has so far been impossible to create a vaccine to protect against all types of flu.
However, the H1N1 swine flu pandemic investigations has led to the discovery of the key elements of the virus that is common in all types.
Researchers at Imperial College looked into what makes some people vulnerable to the infection whilst others are not.
Those who escaped full blown flu had a higher number of a certain type of T cell. These T cells were able to recognise the new strain of flu despite the structure being very different. The T cells recognise the core part of the flu virus. This part hardly ever changes with different strains.
This new knowledge is brilliant as it means there is potential to move forwards into creating a universal vaccine for influenza. Exciting stuff!