Navigation Links
Harnessing the Web and supercomputers to track pathogens as they evolve
Date:4/12/2010

Pathogens can now be easily tracked in time and space as they evolve, an advance that could revolutionize both public health and inform national security in the fight against infectious diseases. Developed by researchers that include scientists at the American Museum of Natural History, Supramap (supramap.osu.edu) is a new, powerful, web-based application that maps genetic mutations like those among the different strains of avian influenza onto the globe. The new application is published in the early online edition of Cladistics.

"Supramap does more that put points on a mapit is tracking a pathogen's evolution," says Daniel A. Janies, first author of the paper and an associate professor at Ohio State University. "We package the tools in an easy-to-use web-based application so that you don't need a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology and computer science to understand the trajectory and transmission of a disease."

"This tool also has a lot of predictive power," says lead author Ward Wheeler, curator in the Division of Invertebrate Zoology at the American Museum of Natural History. "If the movement of a pathogen is related to bird flyways, and those routes are shifting because of something like climate change, we can predict where the disease might logically emerge next."

In recent years, the collection of genomic sequences of the coronavirus that causes Severe Acute Respiratory syndrome (SARS) and various strains of the influenza A virus have become an vital part of fighting outbreaks of these infectious diseases. The initial jump of a pathogen into humans has become increasingly important to understand because of growing human-animal contact and global travel. Researchers now know, for example, that SARS has a deep evolutionary origin in bats. Another recent use of genetics, geography, and the phylogenetic trees that map the evolutionary relationships among different strains of pathogens is to predict hotspots of disease reemergence.

Operating on parallel programming on high-performance computing systems at Ohio State University and the Ohio Supercomputer Center, Supramap advances the use of genetic information in studying infectious outbreaks a step further. This application integrates genetic sequences of pathogens with geographic information so that researchers can track the spread of a disease among different hosts and follow the emergence of key mutations across time and space. With Supramap, users can submit raw genetic sequences and obtain a phylogenetic tree of strains of pathogens. The resulting tree is then projected onto the globe by Supramap and can be viewed with Google Earth. Each branch in the evolutionary tree is geo-located and time-stamped. Pop-up windows and color of branches show how pathogen strains mutate over space and time and infect new hosts.

Janies, Wheeler, and colleagues tested Supramap's capability by entering genetic and geographic data on recent isolates of avian influenza (H5N1). The diversity of viral strains from birds and mammals in China, Russia, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe are represented as they spread westward over four years. The evolutionary tree, based on 239 sequences of a specific gene, polymerase basic 2, shows that host shifts are highly correlated with a specific mutation (in E627K) that allows avian viruses to adapt to mammalian hosts.

"There are many efforts by governments and non-governmental organizations to encourage sharing of raw genomic information, especially for pathogens," says Janies. "But the raw genetic information still needs interpretation, and we are sharing our know-how and even our computers so that this can happen. We aim for our tools to inform decisions about potential global hotspots for the emergence of diseases from animals and areas of drug resistance."

"Biogeography and phylogeny, or the study of evolutionary and geographic relationships among organisms, are the core areas of research in the Museum," says Wheeler. "Our expertise is now being applied to a new, practical set of research questions, the spread of disease and human health. And this can expand to get a handle on other problems like the movement of invasive species."


'/>"/>

Contact: Kristin Elise Phillips
kphillips@amnh.org
212-496-3419
American Museum of Natural History
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. TalentWise Integrates Employment Screening with Leading Applicant Tracking Solution for Healthcare Industry TalentWise becomes HealthcareSource Certified Integration Partner For Position Manager Product
2. COO Becomes 75% More Effective in Tracking Delegated Tasks
3. DRASH Keeps Marathon Runners On Track
4. Tickerspy.com Announces New Stock Index Tracking Chinese Healthcare Stocks
5. Massive Food Flavoring Recall Underscores Need for New Tracking Technology to Contain Outbreaks of Foodborne Illness
6. The Pediatric Dengue Vaccine Initiative Introduces www.DengueWatch.org - a News hub for Tracking Dengue Fever Epidemics Worldwide
7. ASAP Systems Pioneers the Use of Built-In Video Help on their Passport Inventory, Stock, Warehouse Management System and Asset Tracking Software
8. Pew Report: Georgia Off Track in Providing Children with Dental Health Care They Need
9. Pew Report: Colorado on Track in Providing Children with Dental Health Care They Need
10. Pew Report: California Off Track in Providing Children with Dental Health Care They Need
11. Pollen.com Launches Features to Customize Allergy Information - Top Allergy Web Site Provides ZIP-specific Allergy Information and Diary to Track Symptoms
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Harnessing the Web and supercomputers to track pathogens as they evolve
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, whether it’s a matter of indulgence ... high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. However, those who set the bar ... from PsychTests.com reveals that behind the tendency to set low expectations is ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 ... dangers associated with chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery ... are suffering with Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that ... chosen by their peers for this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent ... special honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief Products, join The ‘Business for a ... an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it yearly to increase at the same rate ... assure the wage floor does not erode again, and make future increases more predictable. , ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The Haute Beauty Network, ... M. Weintraub as a prominent plastic surgeon and the network’s newest partner. ... the most handsome men, look naturally attractive. Plastic surgery should be invisible.” He ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Consumers have taken ... regulators/payers have placed more emphasis on patient outcomes. ... support programs in the pharmaceutical industry have evolved ... Consequently, pharmaceutical companies are focusing on becoming more ... providing products and services that improve health. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... FRANCISCO, Calif. , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... ), a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for ... unmet needs, today announced the closing of its ... of common stock, at the public offering price ... in the offering were offered by GBT. GBT ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016 ... the addition of the " Global Markets for ... This report focuses on ... updated review, including its applications in various applications. The ... which includes three main industries: pharmaceutical and biotechnology, food ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: