Bioinformatics Education Dissemination: Reaching Out, Connecting and Knitting-together

Curricular Resources

West Nile Virus Workbench Lab
contributor: Stacey Kiser, Lane Community College

This lab focuses on one very specific area in today's lab for which the WNV RNA has been sequenced. more...


Potential Investigations

Tracking West Nile Virus - NYC
Sequences in the strain of WNV introduced in New York City in 1999 can be compared to the sequences found in other strains identified worldwide since 1937 when WNV was first isolated from a woman in Uganda. Using the sequence data set provided and tools from the Biology WorkBench, run a ClustalW to produce a rooted tree in order to examine phylogenetic distances.

Tracking West Nile Virus Israel
How were penned domestic geese in Israel exposed to WNV? Did the stork bring it? Explore bird migrations and the spread of WNV.

Tracking West Nile Virus Regional Differences in the US
Are there transmission factors involved in the differences observed between Eastern, Midwestern, and Western regions of the US? What organisms are involved? How might sequence information help us predict and control future WNV outbreaks?

Evolution of WNV in North America

Throughout 1999 and 2000, WNV spread through northeastern states of the U.S., yet little genetic divergence was observed. The sequence of nucleotides making up its RNA molecule remained pretty much the same. Yet WNV from different regions of the U.S. since 2001 indicate that WNV is evolving. Mutations are incorporated into WNV genetic material and different variants with similar genetic structure tend to occur in the same geographic area.

Characterize variations in WNV sequences
The viral genome behaves as a single ORF (Open Reading Frame). The single stranded RNA acts as mRNA to produce a protein complex that is digested.

Testing for WNV
How do we test patients for WNV? How do we screen blood and organ donations?

and more!

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