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

Tropical Storm Watch Issued for South Florida Ahead of Possible Weekend Impact from Isaias

first_imgSUMMARY OF 500 PM EDT…2100 UTC…INFORMATION———————————————-LOCATION…19.5N 70.6WABOUT 155 MI…250 KM WNW OF PUNTA CANA DOMINICAN REPUBLICABOUT 250 MI…400 KM SE OF THE SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMASMAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…60 MPH…95 KM/HPRESENT MOVEMENT…NW OR 310 DEGREES AT 20 MPH…31 KM/HMINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…999 MB…29.50 INCHES Courtesy: National Hurricane Center SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…* East coast of Florida from Ocean Reef to Sebastian InletThe Tropical Storm Warnings for the central and northwest Bahamasmay be upgraded to Hurricane Warnings this evening or tonight.Interests elsewhere along the southeast coast of the UnitedStates should monitor the progress of this system. Additionalwatches or warnings may be required for a portion of the Floridapeninsula tonight or Friday.A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions areexpected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions arepossible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.For storm information specific to your area in the UnitedStates, including possible inland watches and warnings, pleasemonitor products issued by your local National Weather Serviceforecast office. For storm information specific to your areaoutside of the United States, please monitor products issued byyour national meteorological service. The National Hurricane Center has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for the east coast of Florida, including Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast, due to the threat of Tropical Storm Isaias, which is expected to strengthen into a hurricane on Friday.According to the 5 p.m. advisory from the NHC, Isaias is packing maximum sustained winds of 60 mph and is moving northwest at 20 mph.Isaias is bringing heavy rainfall and tropical storm force winds to parts of the Dominican Republic, and is forecast to become a hurricane on Friday or Friday night, the NHC added.The latest forecast cone has shifted slightly to the east, placing parts of Palm Beach County out of the cone.However, a Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the east coast of Florida from Ocean Reef to Sebastian Inlet.On its current track, the worst weather from Isaias would remain over the Bahamas on Saturday and Sunday. South Florida and the Treasure Coast would see rain squalls beginning Saturday morning through Sunday, and several inches of rain possible.On the forecast track, the center of Isaias will move near the Southeastern Bahamas by late Thursday night.Isaias is forecast to be near the Central Bahamas Friday night and move near or over the Northwest Bahamas and near South Florida on Saturday.Strengthening is forecast during the next day or so, and Isaias is forecast to become a hurricane on Friday or Friday night.BULLETINTropical Storm Isaias Advisory Number 10NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL092020500 PM EDT Thu Jul 30 2020…ISAIAS CONTINUES TO BRING HEAVY RAINFALL AND TROPICAL-STORM-FORCEWINDS TO PORTIONS OF THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC……FORECAST TO BECOME A HURRICANE FRIDAY OR FRIDAY NIGHT… WATCHES AND WARNINGS——————–CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:The government of the Bahamas has issued a Tropical Storm Warningfor the northwest Bahamas.A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the east coast ofFlorida from Ocean Reef northward to Sebastian Inlet. DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK———————-At 500 PM EDT (2100 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Isaias waslocated near latitude 19.5 North, longitude 70.6 West. Isaias is moving toward the northwest near 20 mph (31 km/h) and a northwestward motion with some decrease in forward speed is expected over the next couple of days. On the forecast track, the center of Isaias will move near the Southeastern Bahamas by late tonight. Isaias is forecast to be near the Central Bahamas Friday night and move near or over the Northwest Bahamas and near South Florida on Saturday.Maximum sustained winds are near 60 mph (95 km/h) with higher gusts.Strengthening is forecast during the next day or so, and Isaias is forecast to become a hurricane on Friday or Friday night. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 240 miles (390 km)from the center.The estimated minimum central pressure based on surface observations in the Dominican Republic is 999 mb (29.50 inches).last_img read more

GBA’s/Lennox Blackmoore championships: GDF boxers open title defence with four wins

first_imgBOXERS from the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Boxing Gym opened their defence of their Lennox Blackmoore National Intermediate Champion Gym title on a positive note, winning four of the six fights that were carded for the opening night on Friday at the National Gymnasium.New kids on the block, Sananah Boxing Gym (SBG) of Lethem won one of their two bouts and Forgotten Youth Foundation (FYF) won the other.The very small crowd was however treated to some entertaining performances from the very first bout which ended at one minute seven seconds of round one via stoppage in favour of GDF’s Hakim Bostwick over Rose Hall Town jammers’ Joshua Darlington in their Elite Class semi-final Junior Flyweight contest.Another Elite Class bout went the full three-round distance and in the end, GDF’s Clinton Clarke pounded out a unanimous points’ verdict against Harpy Eagles’ Inshan Khan.In the junior welterweight category of the Elite Class category, SBG’s James Anderson pounded Colin Hinds into submission, forcing referee Richard Braithwaite to call a halt to the proceedings at two minutes 24 seconds of the second round, much to the delight of the small crowd.In the welterweight division of the Elite Class, GDF’s Emanuel Sancho secured a first round win against SGB’s Ravine Fraser by forcing the referee to halt his contest at two minutes six seconds of the first round.GDF’s Leon Semple then secured a walk-over victory from Rose Hall Jammers’ Clifford Welcome in their semi-final bout and FYF’s Keevin Allicock got a walk over win from Ajay Jageshar in their semi-final bantamweight bout of the Youth category.The tournament continued last evening at the same venue with seven bouts and will conclude this evening with finals in each of the weight divisions and categories.last_img read more