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Virus and bioinformatics articles with some microbiology and immunology thrown in for good measure
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CDC Media Statement on Newly Discovered Smallpox Samples

On July 1, 2014, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) notified the appropriate regulatory agency, the Division of Select Agents and Toxins (DSAT) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that employees discovered vials labeled ”variola,” commonly known as smallpox, in an unused portion of a storage room in a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) laboratory located on the NIH Bethesda campus.

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Prediction of Steps in the Evolution of Variola Virus Host Range

Prediction of Steps in the Evolution of Variola Virus Host Range | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it

Variola virus, the agent of smallpox, has a severely restricted host range (humans) but a devastatingly high mortality rate. Although smallpox has been eradicated by a World Health Organization vaccination program, knowledge of the evolutionary processes by which human super-pathogens such as variola virus arise is important. By analyzing the evolution of variola and other closely related poxviruses at the level of single nucleotide polymorphisms we detected a hotspot of genome variation within the smallpox ortholog of the vaccinia virus O1L gene, which is known to be necessary for efficient replication of vaccinia virus in human cells. These mutations in the variola virus ortholog and the subsequent loss of the functional gene from camelpox virus and taterapox virus, the two closest relatives of variola virus, strongly suggest that changes within this region of the genome may have played a key role in the switch to humans as a host for the ancestral virus and the subsequent host-range restriction that must have occurred to create the phenotype exhibited by smallpox.

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Infectious diseases: Smallpox watch

Infectious diseases: Smallpox watch | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
Frozen mummies and envelopes of scabs could contain remnants of one of history's most prolific killers.
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