Although I routinely am vaccinated for flu virus every fall I sometimes
still fall prey to the virus, which made me start thinking about
influenza evolution. It would be useful to know ahead of time what the
virus might evolve into with respect to virulence. Not being a
virologist the naive idea I propose would be to obtain all of the
nucleotide sequences from all previous flu strains along with their
antigencities, virulence, capsid protein structures, and allow a computer
to randomly insert mutations in the nucleotide sequence, and then based
on previous strain behaviors predict what possible new viruses might
arise. I thought that flu would be a good virus due to the large number
of strains and large existent knowledge base. Has this already been done
or is it a bad idea? Thanks.
Scott T. Kellogg, Dept. of Microbiol., Mol. Biol. & Biochem.
Univ. of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83844-3052 Internet: kellogg at uidaho.edu
Phone: 208-885-6966 Fax: 208-885-6518