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Viral Mutation

Andy Pekosz pekosz at shy.neuro.upenn.edu
Thu Jan 25 07:10:13 EST 1996

In article <4e6pml$cja at reader2.ix.netcom.com>,
osterbar at ix.netcom.com(Andrew Osterburg ) wrote:

> When viruses mutate is there any evidence of 'directed mutation' along
> the lines of John Cairns' E. Coli mutants.  
> Are there any good sources for information in this area?
> Thanks
> Andrew Osterburg

Viral mutations occur via a random process.  If these mutations become
"fixed" in the virus is a result of the selective pressures in the
environment the virus is in.  For instance, a virus grown for long periods
of time on kidney cells will acquire different mutations than the same
virus grown on brain cells.  The mutation rate of the virus is constant
but the mutations that become prevalent in the virus population make the
virus better adapted to grow in it's environment.  

John Holland is a good source for work on RNA virus mutation.  I can't
think of any off the top of my head for DNA viruses.

Andrew Pekosz
Depts. of Neurology and Microbiology
University of Pennsylvania Medical Center
255 Clinical Research Bldg.
Philadelphia, PA 19104

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