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The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control said today that it plans to sequence the genomes of hundreds of influenza viruses in an effort to understand the pandemic 2009 H1N1 virus' entry and evolution in the province — including how it may be affected by the Vancouver Olympics.

A group of German researchers used an RNA interference screen to find human host factors required for the replication of several influenza A viruses, including non-pandemic and pandemic H1N1 viruses and an H5N1 bird flu virus.

An analyst with William Blair & Co. upgraded Cepheid shares to "outperform" from "market perform."

Cepheid became the latest firm to receive an EUA for its H1N1 flu assay, but said it is the first to receive the designation for CLIA moderate complexity labs.

One study identified a variant of the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus that Gen-Probe's ProFlu+ test failed to flag as positive for influenza A, while a second study found an "unexpected" amount of mutability in the matrix gene of the virus that stymied PCR-based subtype testing via melting temperature analysis.

The researchers, led by Jonas Blomberg of the Department of Medical Sciences at Uppsala University, developed a new probe to target the highly variable influenza A target sequence. The probe, called MegaBeacon, is described as a "hybrid" between a molecular beacon and a TaqMan probe.

While the system will provide a level of multiplexing that is "more than conventional PCR, but not as high as microarrays in general," the expected cost "is on par with, and in some respects lower than, what hospitals and clinics are paying for real-time PCR."

The PCR-based test for detecting and differentiating influenza types has received the green light for marketing in Europe.

Biosearch said it is the first to license the CDC influenza signatures, and that it will manufacture and sell oligonucleotides bearing the H1N1 and influenza A sub-typing signatures.

The company will use $2.2 million to develop a PCR-based multiple flu test.


A study of families explores how children transmit SARS-CoV-2, according to the Associated Press.

US Agricultural Research Service scientists have sequenced the genome of the Asian giant hornet.

According to the Economist, pooled testing for COVID-19 could help alleviate strains on testing labs.

In Science this week: MIT researchers outline approach dubbed translatable components regression to predict treatment response among IBD patients.