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New research seeks beneficial qualities of viruses
Date:3/4/2014

"This work is pretty important because there is not a very good understanding of how adaptive immunity affects the evolution of pathogens," Whitaker said. "We are hoping to apply some of the things we learn by looking at this simple adaptive immunity system and its diversity in order to understand the evolutionary impacts of diversified adaptive immunity in general."

Through a SEED project funded by the IGB, Whitaker is also using a similar approach to examine how bacterial adaptive immunity and virus infection affects population dynamics of human pathogens. "Every organism on Earth gets infected by viruses. Understanding these dynamics will have a great impact on our understanding of the microbial world."

This grant also supports various outreach and education efforts, including Project MICROBE that will develop age appropriate curriculum materials for K-12 classrooms based on current research in microbiology.


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Contact: Nicholas Vasi
nvasi@illinois.edu
Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Source:Eurekalert  

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