Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Study on Flu Evolution May Change Textbooks, History Books

News Brief by Ming Lin

A new study published in the journal Nature challenged conventional knowledge about the evolution of the influenza virus by reanalyzing and restructuring its evolutionary lineages. The study focused especially on the relationships of the virus between different host species over time, evolving at different rates depending on the host species. The process involved reconstructing the evolutionary trees for different virus types by analyzing the gene sequences of the influenza A virus, given the immense global diversity of this type. The research team discovered that there was a burst of genetic diversity among the virus during a major event, providing a significant, coordinated shift in the virus' evolution. The new evolutionary tree revealed that the genetic diversification in the avian flu virus had a strong correlation with the horse flu outbreak, and this virus was found to be the closest relative to the avian flu virus. In addition, the research found that the genetic diversity in wild avian viruses can be traced back to more ancient outbreaks among domestic birds, which also challenged the traditional notion of wild birds as the main reservoir for the flu. 

University of Arizona. (2014, February 16). Study on flu evolution may change textbooks, history books. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 4, 2014 from
blog comments powered by Disqus

TuftScope: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Health, Ethics, and Policy

TuftScope is a student journal published biannually in conjunction with Tufts University since 2001. Funding is provided by the Tufts Community Union Senate. The opinions expressed on this weblog are solely those of the authors. The staff reserves the right to edit blog postings for clarity and to remove nonfunctional links.

  © Free Blogger Templates Autumn Leaves by 2008

Back to TOP