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November 15, 2005
>>The government will try to predict the influenza virus's next moves by sequencing genomes for thousands of known human and bird flu viruses, a project that could help researchers understand how the flu constantly evolves.<<
This is welcome news. The virus clearly evolves via recombination and is quite predictable because it simply recycles old mutations. However, having a historic data base will improve the predictability because there are some obvious gaps in the data base, including partial sequences of old isolates. The virus is MUCH more predictable than most realize, and current approaches to vaccination are stop-gaps at best.
The story is in the sequence and the mechanism of viral evolution and emergence is recombination.