Researchers map 209 flu virus genomes

first_imgOct 6, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Influenza researchers marked a milestone yesterday by publishing a report on the complete genetic mapping of 209 samples of human flu viruses, vastly increasing the supply of genetic data on flu. The report, published in Nature, is one of the first fruits of the Influenza Genome Sequencing Project, which aims to trace the genetic blueprints of thousands of flu viruses. The project, announced in November 2004, is a joint effort of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the Wadsworth Center of the New York State Department of Health in Albany, and The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) in Rockville, Md. The flu genome sequencing project is now being expanded to include avian flu, in an effort to learn how often avian strains cross into humans, the article says. The H5N1 avian strain now circulating in Asia has already infected more than 115 humans. Experts fear it could soon gain the ability to spread readily from person to person, thereby launching a pandemic. “These new data give us the most comprehensive picture to date of how influenza viruses evolve and are transmitted throughout human populations,” NIAID Director Anthony Fauci, MD, said in a news release. He said the new information could lead to better vaccines, drugs, and diagnostic tools for flu. “As a result of this project, the number of complete human H3N2 influenza virus genomes in GenBank [a public online database] has already grown from just seven genomes to over 200,” the article says. The samples analyzed include 207 H3N2 viruses and two H1N2 isolates, which were gathered in New York state over five flu seasons, from 1998-99 through 2003-04. “The sequenced strains were not preselected because of their virulence or unusual characteristics, giving researchers an unbiased view of flu virus evolution as it moved through a varied human population,” the NIAID statement said. See also: They detected a number of mutations (changes in particular amino acids) that occurred during the study period, and also found three cases in which strains traded whole gene segments (reassortments). In July some members of the team reported in detail on the most significant of these events, in which two groups, or clades, of H3N2 viruses acquired the hemagglutinin gene from a third H3N2 group. That gave rise to the Fujian strain of flu, which predominated in the 2003-04 flu season. The vaccine that year was not well matched to the Fujian strain and had reduced effectiveness. The viruses were surprisingly varied. “Even within a geographically constrained set of isolates, we have found surprising genetic diversity, indicating that the reservoir of influenza A strains in the human population—and the concomitant potential for segment exchange between strains—may be greater than was previously suspected,” the researchers write. By carefully cataloging mutations and reassortments, “we can begin to get the first real picture of the rate of mutational events underlying influenza A virus evolution,” the researchers write. The research was done by a large team, with Elodie Ghedin of TIGR listed as the first author. They published their report the same day other teams reported on the re-creation of the deadly 1918 pandemic flu virus and a finding that the 1918 virus closely resembled avian flu viruses. Ghedin E, Sengamalay NA, Shumway M, et al. Large-scale sequencing of human influenza reveals the dynamic nature of viral genome evolution. Nature 2005 Oct 5 (advance online publication) [Full text] Ghedin and colleagues say that until now, scientists had fully mapped and published the genomes of only a few strains of human flu viruses. Most of the published data pertain to short fragments of the genes for the virus’s two key surface proteins, hemagglutinin and neuraminidase. Jul 26, 2005, CIDRAP News story “Flu viruses can evolve in unsuspected ways, study says”last_img read more

Morocco 2015 Qualifier: 15,000 match tickets to go on Sale

first_imgThe National Sports Authority (NSA) on Wednesday morning released 15, 000 match tickets for sale at the Tamale Sports Stadium for the AFCON qualifier between the Black Stars and Syli National of Guinea.Smart Abbey, head of Safety and Security, said in an interview that the tickets forms part of the initial release of match tickets for sale ahead of the match.According to Abbey, the NSA will release additional tickets later in the day based on a critical assessment of the situation, adding that they will not fill the 21,000 capacity stadium.He noted, as per the rules of the NSA, that they will not release all 21,000 tickets since that could lead to stampede.Abbey, however stated that, the NSA is aware of the security threat and dangers involved in filling the stadium to capacity and has called for adequate reinforcement from the security services.He was confident security arrangements for the match will be executed to avoid any form of stampede. The Black Stars are for the for the first time playing at the Tamale Sports Stadium, and the massive reception given the team gives a clear indication of  the expected turnout at the stadium.last_img read more

Teenager Billy Gilmour sizes up Chelsea chance

first_imgThe sight of Gilmour holding his own was no surprise to Lampard, who has been aware of the fresh-faced Scot since he swapped Glasgow Rangers for the Chelsea youth academy in 2017.“I’ve got absolute trust in Billy. I remember when he first came in against Sheffield United, we drew the game and people questioned this kid who looks like a 15-year-old. I remember someone individually saying that to me,” said Lampard.“But I’ve no problem with him because if he’s small in stature he’s huge in personality, and also huge in talent.“The reason he moved from the academy to the first team building recently, to train with us all the time, is because of the quality of player he is.”And former England midfielder Lampard recognises the potential in the down-to-earth Scotland Under-21 international, who modelled his game on Cesc Fabregas after watching footage of the Spanish playmaker at Chelsea.“For a midfield player I have lots of questions. Do you want to receive the ball in all positions, in all moments? Yes, he does,” Lampard said.“Do you want to make angles, can you pick the right pass? Yes, he generally does. Will you put your foot in? Yes, he does.“He does all the right things, and he’s humble. He performed like a top-class player going up against top-class players.”Ross Barkley, who shone alongside Gilmour against Liverpool, knows the perils of being a teen star after bursting onto the scene with Everton before struggling for much of his time at Chelsea.Asked if Gilmour can maintain his rapid rise, Barkley said: “It is about being ready in training, putting the extra yards in and being ready for your chance.“Billy was ready for his chance against Liverpool and he took it.” Billy Gilmour joined Chelsea from Rangers in 2017London, United Kingdom | AFP |  Billy Gilmour has set his sights on becoming a mainstay of the Chelsea midfield after the diminutive teenager proved he can stand up to the Premier League’s bully boys.Gilmour delivered a coming-of-age performance as his smooth passing and tenacious tackling inspired Chelsea’s FA Cup fifth-round win over Liverpool on Tuesday.The 18-year-old was making only his third start for Chelsea, but he showed no signs of stage-fright against the runaway Premier League leaders.Gilmour crunched into a tackle on Curtis Jones and cheekily nutmegged Fabinho to the delight of the Stamford Bridge crowd, who should see the youngster again when Everton visit west London on Sunday.Mateo Kovacic is sidelined with an Achilles injury, while N’Golo Kante is still out with adductor trouble and Jorginho misses the match through suspension.Those midfield issues for Blues boss Frank Lampard are likely to pave the way for Gilmour’s full Premier League debut.Even if all three were available, Lampard might well have stuck with Gilmour after his virtuoso effort against Liverpool.Gilmour, who stands just 5 feet 6 inches (168 cm) tall, had no doubts about his ability to mix it with the Premier League’s best after surviving a bruising encounter with Manchester United defender Harry Maguire.Recalling how the burly Maguire tried to intimidate him during a League Cup tie earlier this season, Gilmour said: “Basically he was saying I’m a wee guy. He was pushing me off, gripping me by the throat, and that’s something I have to deal with.“I won’t let that happen again, that’s for sure. That was a lesson.“He is going to try and bully young ones and that’s where I need to learn in the game — how to be stronger.“I’ve been working on that. That was a learning curve, when he gripped me up in the box. I remember that really well.”– ‘Huge talent’ – Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more