Tag Archives: flu

Unlucky for some? Thirteenth gene found in flu virus

Today I am at home, theoretically packing my van in order to start moving house at 10am. What this actually means, of course, is that I’m enjoying the chance to still be in my bedroom at 8:30am with a cup of tea and the science news, including this super interesting story.

A collaboration of scientists from Edinburgh, Cambridge, Cork, Utah and Seattle  funded by the BBSRC have discovered firstly that the flu virus has one more gene than they were expecting, and secondly that the allelic differences in this gene control how the host (i.e. you and me) respond to contracting the virus. Now you may be thinking ‘The influenza A virus genome is only 14000 bases long! [because you’re a massive geek like me and know things like that…] How can it possibly a) code for 13 genes in the first place and b) have a spare one hiding that nobody has noticed?!”  Continue reading