Friday, May 8, 2015

In the News: DNA Detectives

Fig.1. Transmission electron micrograph of two avian influenza A (H5N1) virions. H5N1 can cause the highly pathogenic avian influenza, which can jump the bridge between birds and humans (Credit: Cynthia Goldsmith/Jackie Katz, CDC)

New DNA technology and its applications can take disease research and response to the next level. For this week’s #FollowFriday post, read about tracing listeria outbreaks, testing for parasites, a portable DNA sequencer, and more:

  • Whole-genome sequencing ties listeria to foodborne illness outbreaks around the United States. Such efforts are slow, but increased awareness of technological applications and a genomic pathogen database speed that process up: “Sequencing Finds Listeria In Unlikely Places,” Science (05 May 2015)

  • Researchers at the Swedish Museum of Natural History were involved in an international effort to sequence the full mammoth genome: “Mammoth Genome Sequence Completed,” BBC News (23 April 2015)

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