Scientists ready to crack bird flu code

Jan 10, 2006

British scientists say they will determine the genetic sequence of the bird flu virus in Turkey within the next few days.

Researchers at the National Institute of Medical Research can use the code to determine whether the virus is resistant to Tamiflu, the drug being stockpiled to deal with a potential pandemic, the London Telegraph reported.

A team at the World Influenza Center in London has received six samples of the virus from Turkey. Of those, two have been confirmed to be H5NI, said Colin Blakemore, chief executive of the Medical Research Council.

The team has also succeeded in growing the first sample virus in eggs and will determine the entire genetic code.

"They will have the complete sequence in two or three days and that will be very important," said Blakemore. A decade ago, it would have been impossible to produce the sequence so quickly.

"It is incredible. This will tell us where the virus came from. It will tell us whether there have been mutations," he said.

Blakemore said the gene sequence will also shed light on whether it could mutate to cause a pandemic.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Explainer: How to solve a jewel heist (and why it takes so long)

Related Stories

Students participate in huge research study on tiny viruses

May 04, 2015

A new study appearing this week in the scientific journal eLIFE about the rapid evolution of small viruses that infect bacteria includes 59 University of Colorado Boulder co-authors, all of whom conducted research for th ...

Whole-genome sequencing of endangered mountain gorillas

Apr 09, 2015

The first project to sequence whole genomes from mountain gorillas has given scientists and conservationists new insight into the impact of population decline on these critically endangered apes. While mountain ...

First report of a new crop virus in North America

Apr 09, 2015

The switchgrass exhibited mosaic symptoms—splotchy, discolored leaves—characteristic of a viral infection, yet tested negative for known infections. Deep sequencing, a new technology, revealed the plants ...

Recommended for you

Top UK scientists warn against EU exit

May 22, 2015

A group of leading British scientists including Nobel-winning geneticist Paul Nurse warned leaving the European Union could threaten research funding, in a letter published in The Times newspaper on Friday.

How we discovered the three revolutions of American pop

May 22, 2015

Dr Matthias Mauch discusses his recent scientific analysis of the "fossil record" of the Billboard charts prompted widespread attention, particularly the findings about the three musical "revolutions" that shaped the musical la ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.