ATHENS, Ga. (AP) - 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.
NEW YORK (AP) - Barbara Walters says she expects to be home from the hospital soon after taking a spill at a Saturday night party at the British ambassador's home in Washington. The veteran ABC newswoman thanked people who expressed concern in a statement read Monday on "The View." She says she's running a low-grade fever and doctors don't want to release her until her temperature is normal. She says things are going in the right direction and she expects to be home soon. Her colleagues at "The View" wished her well on the air, although comic Joy Behar couldn't resist a joke. Behar urged Walters to get well and to "lay off the Grey Goose" vodka.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Steve Harvey is hosting next month's NAACP Image Awards. The organization said Tuesday that presenters will include "Django Unchained" nominees Samuel L. Jackson and Jamie Foxx. Queen Latifah and Tony Goldwyn also will be among the presenters. Dennis Haysbert will be the announcer for the live broadcast. Comedian-TV talk show host Harvey said he's honored to host the ceremony and promised "great things in store for the night." The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Image Awards honor diversity in the arts. Contenders for the top movie prize are "Flight," ''Django Unchained," ''Beasts of the Southern Wild," ''Red Tails" and "Tyler Perry's Good Deeds." The 44th annual ceremony is scheduled to air Feb. 1 on NBC.
NEW YORK (AP) - Sting's daughter Mickey Sumner has signed up to make her off-Broadway debut in Craig Lucas's new comedy "The Lying Lesson." The Atlantic Theater Company said Tuesday that Sumner, whose credits also include the new Noah Baumbach film "Frances Ha," will star opposite Carol Kane in the comic thriller. Kane plays a woman who may or may not be legendary screen star Bette Davis and Sumner will portray a woman who tries to discover her true identity. Previews begin Feb. 20 with an opening set for March 13. Tony Award-nominated director Pam MacKinnon will replace Anna D. Shapiro as the play's director. Sumner, whose mother is Trudie Styler, made her New York stage debut in a Culture Project workshop of "The Seagull" and is featured in the Showtime series "The Borgias."
PARK CITY, Utah (AP) - The filmmaker behind an Osama bin Laden documentary at the Sundance Film Festival says the debate over the accuracy of Hollywood's take on the story detracts from the deeper moral questions involved. Greg Barker, director of "Manhunt: The Search for Bin Laden," says criticism over Kathryn Bigelow's Academy Award-nominated "Zero Dark Thirty" is a political issue that's over-simplifying the matter. "Zero Dark Thirty" has drawn fire from Washington lawmakers who say the film inaccurately depicts torture as integral in producing leads that led to bin Laden's death in a Navy SEALs raid. Barker says he thinks "coercive interrogation" techniques probably did contribute to the bin Laden manhunt. But he says his film attempts to shed light on the moral ambiguity of decisions being made in the war on terror.
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