EurekAlert! – Application of novel alignment-free sequence descriptors in Zika virus characterization

Dr. Basak and his colleagues explained about their research on computer-assisted approaches towards surveillance and consequent design of drugs and vaccines to combat the growth and spread of the Zika virus.

The recent epidemic of Zika virus infections in South and Latin America has raised serious concerns on its ramifications for the population in the Americas and spread of the virus worldwide. The Zika virus disease is a relatively new phenomenon for which sufficient and comprehensive data and investigative reports have not been available to date. Although first recognized as a new virus in 1947 in Uganda’s Zika forest animals, its debilitating effect on human fetuses leading to babies being born with smaller braincases (microcephaly) was not known or well investigated until its epidemic form in Yap Island, Micronesia, in 2013 and now in the South American countries in 2015-16. The concern is so high that public health authorities in some countries such as Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, and Jamaica have asked their women to avoid pregnancies until the virus is better understood. The World Health Organization (WHO) has labeled the outbreak of such abnormalities as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.


CREDIT

Dr. Subhash Basak

Read more here: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-04/bsp-aon040816.php

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