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BLASTing Flu Viruses

Postby KunalPurohitLTIN » Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:47 pm

Hello. We are from CHS, and we just had some questions regarding our BLASTing Flu Viruses project. (Project link: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... p003.shtml)

First off, how do scientists decide what past vaccine to use on a certain virus?
Secondly, is there suppose to be a great difference in the effectiveness of a same virus and vaccine vs a vaccine and different virus?
Lastly, would you suggest a graph for any data collected?



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Re: BLASTing Flu Viruses

Postby KatieC » Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:41 am

To answer your questions, I would recommend you doing some research online as to how vaccines actually work. You should be able to do a simple search on google and come back with a ton of information. Once you understand how they work it will help you to determine how vaccines get paired up with particular viral strains.

What data are you collecting? Sometimes graphs are a nice way of explaining your results, but not always.

Hope this helps get you started!

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Re: BLASTing Flu Viruses

Postby HeatherL » Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:49 am

Hi Kunal,

Katie has given you some great information to get started. When you search for information, focus on antigens, which are the parts of viruses (and other pathogenic organisms) that stimulate the immune system. That should help you find the answers to your questions.

If you have more questions, please post again (in this same thread).


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Re: BLASTing Flu Viruses

Postby LostKey1996 » Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:03 am

Hello! I have a question about the A(H1N1) virus strains A/California/07/2009 and A/Brisbane/59/2007 used in flu season 2009-2010. When I BLASTed the two, I discovered that there were 115 mismatches in the protein sequences, whereas in most of the other strains I compared the maximum number of mismatches is 9. I decided to check on the web to see whether there was a reason a virus strain that seemed so incompatible with A/California/07/2009 was used and it turns out that A/California/07/2009 is from the swine flu epidemic of 2009-10. Reports from the WHO state that they used A/California/07/2009-like virus strains for vaccines.
I BLASTed other A(H1N1) virus strains with A/California/07/2009 and found that all of them had more than a 100 mismatches.
Why wasn't the common strain used for the vaccine in the case?

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