Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Los Alamos Introduces New Influenza Database

Date:
July 22, 1998
Source:
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Summary:
Medical researchers around the world can now tap into the world's most comprehensive collection of genetic information about the influenza virus. The new database will help scientists understand how the flu bug mutates and will aid in the development of vaccines.

LOS ALAMOS, N.M., July 13, 1998 - Medical researchers around the world can now tap into the world's most comprehensive collection of genetic information about the influenza virus. The new database will help scientists understand how the flu bug mutates and will aid in the development of vaccines.

Los Alamos National Laboratory's Influenza Sequence Database will be introduced to prospective users at the American Society for Virology meeting this week in Vancouver, British Columbia.

"Unless there is a central collection point for all the published and unpublished influenza sequences, there is no way to make all the necessary data available to the research community," said database manager Catherine Macken. "With an international repository, we can conduct cohesive analysis rather than patchwork research around the world."

A sequence is the blueprint of the genetic code of the virus. The database contains viral sequence data, results from immunological studies and information on viral protein structures. Sequences are collected continually in many countries, but much of this valuable information is not published. Researchers now can contribute to and use the Los Alamos flu sequence database, allowing them to compare older viral species and strains with those currently in circulation.

Los Alamos, a U.S. Department of Energy laboratory, is working with the University of California and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to expand the database. Currently the Los Alamos database holds all the influenza sequences published in GenBank, a database managed by the National Institutes of Health that contains sequences published in scientific journals. After verification and annotation, unpublished sequences collected around the world will be added.

"This database is a model for the type of tool that would also be useful in tracking the spread of more deadly diseases, whether they are naturally occurring or the result of intentional biological releases," said Alan Perelson, leader of Los Alamos' Theoretical Biology and Biophysics Group. "Los Alamos is actively involved in developing new, cutting-edge capabilities to reduce threats to our national security. The influenza database, though not directly part of this effort, shows the sort of expertise Los Alamos can bring to problems of national and global importance."

More than just a library of gene fragments, the new database is annotated to include essential background information about the sequences. For example, researchers need to know how a virus was grown before it was sequenced, because growth methods introduce mutations which may affect analysis, said Macken.

The database will allow in-depth study of the ever-changing structure of the flu virus. To analyze telltale patterns in the sequences, Macken and her colleagues are developing software tools to visually and statistically assess the variation in sequences.

"We are now confident we have a quality database and it will be a springboard for the development of new scientific and analytical tools," said Macken.

Armed with information about what forms of the flu are appearing or moving around the world, researchers will have a better chance of identifying new strains and advising health officials on where to commit limited resources.

"Researchers can study a newly reported virus in the context of those seen already," said Macken. "If it appears to be very different, that knowledge will help the World Health Organization choose the annual vaccine."

Los Alamos is building on expertise and accompanying analytical tools from its NIH-funded HIV Sequence Database and HIV Molecular Immunology Database.

Access to Los Alamos' Influenza Sequence Database is available on the World Wide Web at: http://www-flu.lanl.gov.

Los Alamos National Laboratory is operated by the University of California for DOE.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Los Alamos National Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Los Alamos National Laboratory. "Los Alamos Introduces New Influenza Database." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 July 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/07/980722080507.htm>.
Los Alamos National Laboratory. (1998, July 22). Los Alamos Introduces New Influenza Database. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/07/980722080507.htm
Los Alamos National Laboratory. "Los Alamos Introduces New Influenza Database." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/07/980722080507.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins