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.

Related Articles


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"Unless there is a central collection point for all the published and unpublished influenza sequences, there is no way to make all the necessary data available to the research community," said database manager Catherine Macken.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 After verification and annotation, unpublished sequences collected around the world will be added.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 November 1, 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 November 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) The MelaFind device is a pain-free way to check suspicious moles for melanoma, without the need for a biopsy. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Battling Multiple Myeloma

Battling Multiple Myeloma

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) The answer isn’t always found in new drugs – repurposing an ‘old’ drug that could mean better multiple myeloma treatment, and hope. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) New information that is linking chronic inflammation in the prostate and prostate cancer, which may help doctors and patients prevent cancer in the future. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) Blood transfusions are proving crucial to young sickle cell patients by helping prevent strokes, even when there is no outward sign of brain injury. Video provided by Ivanhoe
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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