Friday, December 16, 2016

Hunting for viruses

On multiple occasions viruses that were never talked about suddenly gained national headlines because of their rapid increase in prevalence and high mortality. While these pseudo-new viruses are taking many lives researchers are scrambling to definitively characterize the virus and conduct research for a vaccine. Often times it is too late and it is behavioral interventions that contain the disease. There is a big push to end this cycle of retrospective virus research and to discover these viruses with outbreak potential before they actually cause one so measures can be implemented to reduce impact or possibly prevent one form ever occurring. This is the goal of Global Virome Project. This project has proposed the cataloging of nearly all of the unknown viruses undiscovered in nature around the world. There is an estimated 1.3 million undiscovered viruses around the world and the planner of the Viral Genome project estimate it would cost 3.4 billion to locate and gain preliminary data on all of the viruses. This is lofty price tag is why they want to increase collaboration and have many stakeholders in the project.

-Vander Harris

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