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Will genomics help prevent the next pandemic?
Date:10/26/2009

This week, the Public Library of Science, an open-access publisher, presents the "Genomics of Emerging Infectious Disease," a collection of essays, perspectives, and reviews that explores how genomicswith all its associated tools and techniquescan provide insights into our understanding of emerging infectious disease.

As pandemic H1N1 2009 influenza (commonly referred to as swine flu) continues to spread around the globe, people want to know if this flu poses more of a threat than other seasonal flu strains, how fast it's spreading (and where), and what can be done to contain it. The increasing speed at which complete genome sequences and other genome-scale data can be generated provides tremendous opportunities to address these questions by identifying the molecular changes in disease agents such as influenza viruses that will enable us to track their spread and evolution and to generate the vaccines and drugs necessary to combat them. The "Genomics of Emerging Infectious Disease" collection discusses the challenges involved and how scientists and public health professionals might take advantage of these opportunities and advances to prevent the next pandemic. (See the link at the bottom of the release for a press preview PDF containing all the a rticles in the collection;.when the embargo ends the collection will be available at http://ploscollections.org/emerginginfectiousdisease/)

Emerging infectious diseases are caused by a wide range of organisms, but they are perhaps best typified by zoonotic viral diseases, which cross from animal to human hosts and can have a devastating impact on human health. These zoonotic diseases include monkeypox, Hendra virus, Nipah virus, and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), in addition to influenza A and the lentiviruses (HIV) that cause AIDS. As Albert Osterhaus and colleagues from the Erasmus Medical Center, Rott
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Contact: Liz Allen
lallen@plos.org
415-624-1218
Public Library of Science
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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