"In April 2009 a novel flu strain evolved that combined genes from human, pig, and bird flu, initially dubbed "swine flu" and also known as influenza A/H1N1, emerged in Mexico, the United States, and several other nations."


1) 'initially dubbed... A/H1N1,'--This seems too far away from the word it modifies (flu strain), but am I right to say it is best to have the relative clause 'that combined genes' placed before it?

2) Shouldn't there be a conjunction before this second verb phrase: 'emerged in Mexico...' or is this done for style, do you think?

3) Would you say this is a good or bad sentence? How would you write it?


Yes, you need a relative pronoun that, linking "emerged...." with "flu strain".

Solution: You could change "that combined" to "combining". or express the ideas in two sentences. Not all the information needs to be included in a single sentence. It's easier to express, as well as to understand, if there aren't so many relative clauses.

Give it a try.Emotion: wink
To be parallel, wouldn't you want 'initially dubbed...' to be a relative clause also, not an appositive (that was initially dubbed)?