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Dalhousie Presents Lecture on Avian Flu Virus

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November 8, 2005

Source: Dalhousie University:

Dalhousie Presents Lecture on Avian Flu Virus

The Dalhousie Faculty of Computer Science & GINIus present, Interpretation of current events surrounding the avian flu virus, by Dr. Christian Blouin, Thursday Nov. 10th, 11:30-1pm at the Training Centre, GINIus (4th floor of Computer Science building), 5060 University Ave, Halifax.

Unsettling news about the flu virus is coming from increasingly closer locations. This seminar will interpret, for a general audience, current events from the perspective of an evolutionary scientist. The influenza virus is a particle; it is not alive yet it can replicate. Its genome is small and appears to evolve rapidly. As a result, it competes in an evolutionary race against our immune system, and sometimes threatens to take the lead. What does it takes for an avian strain to perform the so-called "jump" to human? Why are swine often blamed for these jumps? What is the difference between "H5N1" and "H3N2", and why should we care? The seminar will illustrate some of these explanations with simple bioinformatics experiments using virus genetic sequences and a web-browser.

About Dalhousie: Dalhousie is a comprehensive, research-intensive university with more than 15,500 students. In The Scientist magazine, it was recently named one of the best non-commercial places to work as a scientific researcher outside the United States.

Media inquiries, contact:
Christian Blouin, Phone: 494-6702, fax: 494-1517, email:



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