Brit blueblood, dead 90 years, may help bird-flu research

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A Yorkshire aristocrat who died nearly 90 years ago could help the global fight against bird flu, experts say.

A court has authorised the exhumation of the body of Sir Mark Sykes, the owner of the historic Sledmere House near Driffield.

Scientists hope the Spanish flu virus from which he died in 1919 may still be present in his body because it has been preserved in a lead-lined coffin.

If so, DNA samples could help experts develop drugs to fight the virus.

The Spanish flu virus killed more than 50 million people when it took hold at the end of the First World War.

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