Archive for April 18th, 2008

Paper on the global spread of influenza published in Science

Friday, April 18th, 2008

flu spreadI spent Sept. 2004 to Sept. 2007 as a postdoc in the Zoology Department at the University of Cambridge. We did research into influenza virus using a technique we called Antigenic Cartography.

I don’t want to go into details now or here, but I do want to say that we yesterday published a paper in Science. The paper’s title is The Global Circulation of Seasonal Influenza A (H3N2) Viruses. It digs into how flu viruses circulate around the world and what happens to them in the off season (summer) in temperate zones. This paper was years in the making. And if you consider the data collected by the worldwide influenza surveillance network, it has been decades in the making. As a result the paper has 28 authors, many of whom work at the international flu collaborating centers.

Here’s the official paper in Science. There’s a ton of other coverage, including stories in Science Daily, New Scientist, the LA Times, the Washington Post, National Geographic, Times Online, Reuters, the Associated Press, the Wall Street Journal, and Scientific American. There are plenty more links (currently) available at Google News if you search for influenza.

I’m listed as the #2 author, but it’s really my close friends the first and last authors, Colin Russell and Derek Smith, who did the heavy lifting on making this paper a reality. It’s so nice to see the thing finally published and getting such wide attention.