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Viral Evolution & Disease

Scott Kellogg kellogg at raven.csrv.uidaho.edu
Thu Jan 4 14:50:06 EST 1996

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

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