Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Catching The Common Cold Virus Genome

Date:
March 17, 2009
Source:
Brigham Young University
Summary:
A new study on the virus behind nearly half of all cold infections explains how and where evolution occurs in the rhinovirus genome and what this means for possible vaccines.

The sneeze. A BYU research team published a study on the genome of the rhinovirus, which causes about half of common colds.
Credit: Image courtesy of Brigham Young University

A new study by Brigham Young University researchers on the virus behind nearly half of all cold infections explains how and where evolution occurs in the rhinovirus genome and what this means for possible vaccines.

"There are a lot of different approaches to treating the cold, none of which seem to be effective," said Keith Crandall, professor of biology and co-author of the study. "This is partly because we haven't spent a lot of time studying the virus and its history to see how it's responding to the human immune system and drugs."

The BYU team studied genomic sequences available online and used computer algorithms to estimate how the rhinovirus is related to other viruses.

According to Nicole Lewis-Rogers, a postdoctoral fellow in the Biology Department and lead author on the study, the rhinovirus is similar to the polio virus, whose vaccine was announced in 1955. But while the polio virus has just three subspecies, the rhinovirus has more than 100 subspecies, which continually evolve.

"These viruses could be under the same constraints and yet change differently," Lewis-Rogers said. "That's why it is so hard to create a vaccine."

Through a computer program developed at BYU, Lewis-Rogers' team was able to identify the parts of the virus genome that enable resistance to drugs and the human immune system.

The immune system does a good job of recognizing viral contaminants and getting rid of them, as do new drugs, but the rhinovirus has responded to these defenses by changing its genome so that it is not so easily recognized.

"The virus is evolving solutions against the immune system and drugs," Crandall said. "The more we can learn about how the virus evolves solutions, the better we can rid the body of these infections."

Understanding where change occurs in the virus genome will help virologists who work to design drugs that target the rhinovirus.

"If you've got 10,000 bits of information, this narrows it down to a handful," Lewis-Rogers said. "Here is where you can start looking."

Lewis-Rogers and Crandall hope scientists will use these insights to build better drugs to combat the virus in the most effective way.

The study is reported in the April issue of the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution. BYU undergraduate Matthew Bendall is also a co-author on the study, which was funded by the USDA. Bendall will next pursue a master's in bioinformatics at BYU.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Brigham Young University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nicole Lewis-Rogers, Matthew L. Bendall, and Keith A. Crandall. Phylogenetic Relationships and Molecular Adaptation Dynamics of Human Rhinoviruses. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 2009; DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msp009

Cite This Page:

Brigham Young University. "Catching The Common Cold Virus Genome." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090316142438.htm>.
Brigham Young University. (2009, March 17). Catching The Common Cold Virus Genome. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090316142438.htm
Brigham Young University. "Catching The Common Cold Virus Genome." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090316142438.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
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