Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Phylogenetic Analysis Estimates Emergence of Rabies Virus

The rabies virus affecting dogs emerged between about 1300 and 1400 AD, a new phylogenetic analysis in Nature Communications has found. An Institut Pasteur-led team developed a new phylogenetic pipeline approach to analyze both full and partial viral genome sequences. As part of their approach, the researchers used more than 14,700 rabies virus sequences collected in 121 countries to develop a concatenated alignment of the five viral gene fragments and a phylogenetic tree. From this, they traced the emergence of the rabies virus back to about 660 years ago and found that historical events, especially colonization, aided in its spread, as, for instance, the French Empire was linked to the spread od canine rabies virus in West Africa, the Spanish Empire with the virus' spread in Central and South America, and the British Empire globally. "This concatenation method and dispersal history reconstruction will not only allow for a more precise understanding of global trends for rabies but also can be applied to other pathogens with a large deposit of partial sequences for phylogeographic investigation and dating purposes," the team writes.

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.