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New molecular clock from LLNL and CDC indicates smallpox evolved earlier than believed
Date:9/26/2007

ffect of change, pro or con, in any particular gene or subset. So the researchers created a simplified approach for looking across the nearly 200,000 DNA base pairs of the virus genome. They concentrated the mutations for comparing sequences by excerpting stretches in which a single change at one point was flanked by seven unchanged bases at each side.

We assumed there was a molecular clock ticking, Gardner said. The question was what was the rate?

The Laboratorys intensive computing capabilities complemented the CDC contribution of calibrating the information with historical accounts, Li said.

It was a valuable opportunity to be able to compare the genomes, added Lab scientist Beth Vitalis, who helped analyze the data. She added that additional, related studies of virulence factors are in process.


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Contact: Nancy Garcia
garcia228@llnl.gov
925-422-1099
DOE/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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