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GEN News Highlights : Feb 21, 2007

USDA Contracts SeqWright to Sequence Influenza Genomes

Data will improve strain tracking and vaccine development.

SeqWright entered into an agreement with the USDA’s Exotic and Emerging Avian Viral Diseases Research Unit to perform full length sequencing of 1,000 influenza genomes.

Flu genomes are composed of about 13,500 bases, present in eight single- stranded RNA genome segments. Resequencing of these flu genomes will enhance scientific confidence in the reliability of the sequence data.

This genetic information will be used to analyze viral evolution and strain relationships as well as to identify mutations that affect flu virulence, adaptation, and immune system evasion. The data will improve strain tracking and vaccine development.