posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 04:32 AM
Goal: To map all of flu's genes
Project hopes to find vulnerable spots to aid scientists in crafting better vaccines and drugs for the future
BY DELTHIA RICKS
November 24, 2004
Just as the Human Genome Project pinpointed all of the genes that make up a person, scientists now are embarking on a flu-virus equivalent to identify
the genetic makeup of one of the world's most infectious microbes.
Scientists at the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who will lead the effort, say the hope is to find better ways of fighting
the flu by plumbing the gene sequences that make up influenza viruses. The search is on for genes stored in eight single strands of RNA, compared with
up to 25,000 genes stored in the DNA of the billions of cells that make up an adult human. Technical assistance is expected from a range of
collaborators, including scientists at the New York State Department of Health.
The project comes as public health officials have faced influenza crises two years running: A nationwide outbreak last year and a vaccine shortage