Friday, February 26, 2010

MSU researcher combines computers, biology to track flu

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Mississippi State University researcher has found that biology and computer science make the perfect combination for tracking animal flu viruses.
Henry Wan is an assistant professor in systems biology at MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine and has years of experience studying flu viruses. While doing graduate work in China, Wan became the first scientist to isolate the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus. Soon after this discovery, highly pathogenic H5N1 outbreaks occurred in poultry in Asia, Europe and Africa. More than 440 confirmed human cases across 15 countries were also caused by this virus. About 60 percent of them were fatal.