HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Finding a virus is not all bad news

Questions around the movement and population size changes of Kiwis, Tuatara and other New Zealand wildlife over the past hundred years have been continually studied by conservationists and scientists. It now seems the answers might all be found in the viruses that infect them.

Dr Alexei Drummond, from The University of Auckland's Faculty of Science, has been part of a global research team analysing the genetic sequences of viruses in animals.

This pioneering technique has so far proved to be more effective than the traditional technique of using genetic material directly from the animal.

"Analysing a virus in a group of animals enables us to determine such things as their population size, the population changes, rate of evolution and rate of movement in the past hundred years," says Alexei, who is a lecturer in Computer Science and Bioinformatics.

Studying cougars in the Rocky Mountains in North America the research team took blood samples from 352 cougars along with a GPS reading from where the sample was collected.

The blood samples were then tested for the FIV virus, which is passed from cougar to cougar through physical contact or at birth.

"Viruses evolve rapidly so once you have a common virus such as FIV infecting a large percentage of cougars you are able to analyse its genetic sequence to learn about the cat population.

"Every virus strain has its own unique mutations and as the virus is passed from cougar to cougar these mutations in the virus accumulate, leaving a valuable trail of information about the host animal's relationships to each other. Because of the way the virus is transmitted, closely related cougars will have closely related viruses. It is for that reason we can use the viruses to track the cats and learn about their recent history."

Once the viruses have been sequenced the data, GPS readings and sample dates were entered into a computer programme, designed by Alexei.
'"/>

Contact: Bill Williams
wrs.williams@auckland.ac.nz
University of Auckland
6-Mar-2006


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Finding protection from tumor growth in unexpected places
2. Finding the white wine difference
3. Finding an answer to Darwins Dilemma
4. Finding a cure for cancer: The holy grail of science
5. Finding the right mix: A biomaterial blend library
6. Finding paves way for better treatment of autoimmune disease
7. Finding about cellular microtubule rigidity could lead to development of new nano-materials
8. Findings by Einstein scientists reveal possible strategy against obesity, diabetes and infertility
9. Finding of a new molecular marker of resistance to chemotherapy in breast cancer
10. Finding a cellular Neverland: How stem cells stay childlike
11. Finding life on Mars and outer space begins by examining Earths inner space

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/5/2020)... ... March 05, 2020 , ... ... technology . The AlphaSTEM Testâ„¢ is the first, and still only, available ... Other technologies that attempt to provide information about the number and quality of ...
(Date:3/4/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... March 04, 2020 , ... ... DNA-based products and services, announced it has been nominated as a finalist in ... (ViE) Awards. This nomination comes as VGXI expedites manufacturing of a DNA vaccine ...
(Date:3/3/2020)... ... 2020 , ... Board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Michael Noffze offers experienced ... and experience, Dr. Noffze can successfully extract problem and impacted wisdom teeth in teens ... beneficial to the oral and overall health of most patients as these extra teeth ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/21/2020)... TORONTO (PRWEB) , ... February 21, 2020 , ... ... innovation to improve their manufacturing operations in order to adapt to new approaches ... keep up with the increasing demand for personalized medicine and therapies. But with ...
(Date:2/11/2020)... ... February 11, 2020 , ... INSPAN ... a long-term follow-up clinical study of outpatient L4-L5 lumbar interspinous fixation for ... extension block design, the Inspan device fixates the spine to allow for ...
(Date:2/3/2020)... ... 03, 2020 , ... Ovation Travel Group has ... Industry Travel and Biotech/Healthcare Industry Travel Indexes. , All of the Indexes contain ... Average airfare price paid Domestically, Internationally and Overall ...
(Date:1/27/2020)... ... January 27, 2020 , ... ... neuroscience and cloud and mobile computing, today announced the availability of neuroscience of ... organization to use the latest neuroscience of leadership and change research to become ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: