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

World Cup final win was bigger than cricket: Eoin Morgan

first_imgLONDON: On the first anniversary of England’s maiden ODI World Cup triumph, skipper Eoin Morgan recalled a fleeting moment when he felt that his team was ‘dead and buried’ against New Zealand on that evening at the Lord’s.Twelve months ago on this day, England had claimed the 50 over World Cup title after beating New Zealand by virtue of a contentious boundary count-back rule as scores were tied even after the super over. It was arguably one of the the greatest finals in the Cup history. “There’s only one (moment of doubt) for me and it probably came to me the second time I watched it. Jimmy Neesham’s bowling to Ben (Stokes) , he bowls a slower ball, Ben (Stokes) hits it down to long-on and I remember the ball being in the air …,” Morgan was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo. “And it’s gone high and not quite as long as he’d liked and for a minute I just thought ‘That’s it, it’s over, Ben’s out, we still need 15 an over’ – that’s when I thought for a split second we were dead and buried.” In that marathon final, New Zealand had scored 241 for 8 after batting first. They then returned to bowl out England for exactly the same score, thus pushing the match into a super over. However, the Super Over also ended in a tie when New Zealand ended up scoring exactly 15 following Martin Guptill’s run out on the final ball. England (26) on the basis of a higher boundary count were declared winners against New Zealand (17). The 33-year-old Morgan, who has scored 7368 runs in 236 ODIs for England so far, said that World Cup final was ‘actually bigger than cricket’. “The final is actually, it’s bigger than cricket,” said Morgan, who managed to watch the final three times now during this coronavirus-forced lockdown. “It’s actually propelled up as one of the highlights of a sporting day ever in British history that will be around for a very long time so it was probably more satisfying that it will continue to be like that.” Morgan has now shifted his focus on topping this achievement by claiming the two T20 World Cups lined up in Australia and India. “There hasn’t been a team who have held T20 and 50-over World Cups so that would be a nice challenge,” he said. “But, realistically, probably out of the next two World Cups, winning one of them would be unbelievable. To win two would be a bigger achievement than winning the 50-over World Cup.” “Just because both of them are away from home and would favour Australia in Australia and India in India, so you would have to win both of them to top the 50-overs win.” New Zealand vice-captain Tom Latham, however, said it has been difficult to accept the defeat. “I don’t think so,” Latham told ‘Newshub’ when asked if he’ll ever get over the outcome. “You have so many conversations about. It will be a game that will be talked about for many years to come. “It was a great game to be involved in – all the twists and turns and amazing atmosphere – but the result was hard to take.” Kiwi pacer Matt Henry said it still hurts to end up on the losing side despite their best efforts. “It hurts a lot, not being able to cross the line and lift the trophy, but at the same time, you have to recognise how good a side England are and it was just their time to lift the trophy that day. “It just wasn’t meant to be our day, but as a Black Cap, it was certainly a time to be extremely proud of.”Agencies Also watch: Unable to Make Ends Meet, Uber Driver Turns Vegetable Vendorlast_img read more

Santa Anita Offers $500,000 Guaranteed Payout To A Single Ticket Winner Of 20 Cent Rainbow Pick Six Jackpot This Saturday & Sunday

first_imgSanta Anita Offers $500,000 Guaranteed Payout To A Single Ticket Winner Of 20 Cent Rainbow Pick Six Jackpot This Saturday & SundayTRACK WILL ALSO UNVEIL LOW 15 PERCENT TAKEOUT FIVE DOLLAR GOLDEN HOUR DAILY DOUBLEARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 28, 2020)–With an outstanding nine-race card on tap for Saturday, Santa Anita Park has announced it will guarantee a payout of $500,000 to any single ticket winner in the track’s popular 20 cent Rainbow Pick Six Jackpot this Saturday and Sunday.The card will be highlighted by the $100,000 Pasadena Stakes, which has been carded as Saturday’s seventh race.  For 3-year-olds at one mile on turf, the Pasadena attracted a field of nine, with trainer Michael McCarthy’s Smooth Like Strait installed as the 3-1 morning line favorite by linemaker Jon White.The Rainbow Six will begin with race four, which has an approximate post time of 1:57 p.m. PT.Saturday also marks the beginning of the five dollar Golden Hour Daily Double which requires players to select the winner of both the last race at Santa Anita and the finale at Golden Gate Fields.  The Golden Hour Double features a fan-friendly low 15 percent takeout and will begin with Santa Anita’s ninth race, which has an approximate post time of 4:30 p.m. PT.First post time for Santa Anita’s nine-race program is at 12:30 p.m., with admission gates opening at 10:30 a.m.  For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.last_img read more

Melbourne once again ranked worlds most liveable city

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Melburnians are sure to be feeling a little pleased with themselves today after the city topped the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Liveability Index for the sixth year in a row.The prestigious EIU index is a survey of 140 of the world’s best cities, with Melbourne emerging with perfect ratings for healthcare, education and infrastructure and a score of 97.5 out of 100. One point below Melbourne in second place was Austria’s Vienna, followed by Canada’s Vancouver and Toronto.Adelaide tied with Calgary, Canada in fifth place, while Perth ranked seventh, and Sydney ranked seventh last year, dropped out of the top 10.So how has Melbourne managed to maintain its title at the top?Known for its multiculturalism, the city also ranked highly with regards to culture and the arts, and maintains its national title as the sporting and events capital with the Australian Open, the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix and the Spring Racing Carnival amongst others. It’s easy to see why international visitation has grown by 9.2 per cent annually. Meanwhile more than 175,000 international students are currently studying across Victoria, which boasts one of the fastest growing economies in the nation, leading the way in full-time jobs growth.“This is a result all Victorians can be so proud of,” said Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.“We’ve once again outperformed some of the world’s best cities when it comes to healthcare, education, infrastructure, culture and environment, and sport,” he said, adding that “it’s just more proof there’s no city on earth quite like Melbourne.”In a bid to avoid getting complacent and to maintain the city’s ranking, the Andrews Labor Government is about to embark on various major infrastructure projects including the Metro Tunnel, the Level Crossing Removal Project and the Melbourne Park upgrade.last_img read more