Experts look for clues in 1918 pandemic virus family tree

first_imgJun 29, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – To outside observers, the novel H1N1 virus spreading quickly to every corner of the globe must seem like it came out of nowhere, but the organism is a fourth generation of the 1918 pandemic virus and comes from an H1N1 family tree that is colorful and complex, according to two historical reviews that appear today in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).Understanding the history of swine influenza viruses, particularly their contribution to the 1918 pandemic virus, underscores the need to better comprehend zoonotic viruses as well as the dynamics of human pandemic viruses that can arise from them, the authors report in an early online NEJM edition.The world is still in a “pandemic era” that began in 1918, wrote three experts from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), senior investigator David Morens, MD, medical epidemiologist Jeffery Taubenberger, MD, PhD, and NIAID director Anthony Fauci, MD.The 1918 virus has used a “bag of evolutionary tricks” to survive in humans and pigs and to launch other novel viruses, they wrote. “The 2009 H1N1 pandemic virus represents yet another genetic product in the still-growing family tree of this remarkable 1918 virus.”The novel H1N1 virus’ complex evolutionary history involved genetic mixing within human viruses and between avian- and swine-adapted viruses, gene segment evolution in multiple species, and evolution from the selection pressure of herd immunity in populations at different times, the group wrote, adding. “The fact that this novel H1N1 influenza A virus has become a pandemic virus expands the previous definition of the term,”Though any new virus is unpredictable, Fauci and his colleagues wrote that in this pandemic era, severity appears to be decreasing over time, with an evolutionary pattern that appears to favor transmissibility over pathogenicity.Two researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, in a review article on the emergence of H1N1 viruses, wrote that viral adaptation to a new host species is complex, but the 1918 influenza A H1N1 virus was unusual because it emerged from a bird source in pigs and humans at the same time. In contrast, researchers have said the new H1N1 virus probably emerged from swine to humans. The authors are Shanta Zimmer, MD, from the medical school, and Donald Burke, MD, from the graduate school of public health.Previous research suggests that antibody specificity against the 1918 human influenza virus diverged quickly from swine influenza viruses, and genetic differences in hemagglutinin (HA) continue to show the same type of rapid divergence between human and swine viruses, they wrote.Researchers still don’t know why H1N1 retreated in 1957 for the next 20 years, though likely factors include high levels of existing homologous immunity plus the sudden appearance of heterologous immunity from a new H2N2 strain, Zimmer and Burke wrote.Cross-species transfers of swine influenza H1N1 cropped up a few times over the next two decades, and human H1N1 didn’t surface again until 1977, presumably because of a laboratory accident in the former Soviet Union. This event marked a first in interpandemic history: the cocirculation of two influenza A viruses.The authors wrote that it’s difficult to predict how well the pandemic strain will compete against the seasonal H1N1 virus. Both viruses share three gene segments with their remote 1918 descendant: nucleocapsid, nonstructural, and HA. They pointed out that studies of B-cell memory response in 1918 pandemic survivors showed that the neutralizing body against HA was specific and long-lasting.Cell-mediated immunity may also affect competition between the two viruses, the authors wrote. Though it’s not clear if cytotoxic T lymphocytes clinically protect humans, they have been shown to reduce viral shedding, even in the absence of antibodies against HA and neuraminidase.”Cytotoxic T lymphocytes that are generated by seasonal influenza viruses against conserved epitopes might provide heterotypic immune responses that could dampen transmission, even in the absence of measurable antibody protection,” Zimmer and Burke wrote.Morens DM, Taubenberger JK, Fauci AS. The persistent legacy of the 1918 influenza virus. N Engl J Med 2009 Jul 16;361(3):225-29 [Full text]Zimmer SM, Burke DS. Historical perspective—emergence of influenza A (H1N1) viruses. N Engl J Med 2009 Jul 16;361(3):279-85 [Full text]last_img read more

Adam Cole – Football INDEX – The growing appeal of football trading

first_img Spotlight ups matchday commentary reach and capacity for new EPL Season  August 21, 2020 Premier League looks to broadcast every behind-closed-door fixture August 28, 2020 Related Articles Share QPR names Football Index as new shirt sponsor August 21, 2020 Share Submit StumbleUpon Football INDEX is the world’s first football stock market, enabling users to buy and sell real money shares in the world’s top footballers.Detailing how the site accumulated 100,000 users across the UK, with a number of single trading days in excess of £1 million, as well as analysing future plans for expansion, Adam Cole, Founder and CEO of Football INDEX spoke to SBC. SBC: Hi Adam, could you reveal more about the appeal of Football INDEX?Adam Cole: The Football INDEX proposition is simple and appealing – build value in your portfolio (capital appreciation), earn dividends (ROI) based on your football knowledge, and ultimately sell at a profit. We are regulated by the UK Gambling Commission and profits are exempt from Capital Gains.With Football INDEX, football ‘traders’ can earn dividends based on their football knowledge and the on-pitch performance and media profile of players in their portfolio. They can build a portfolio of players of their choice and aren’t restricted by selecting from a single team.Powered by Opta data, we have invested over £2.5 million in developing an innovative, proprietary platform and user-friendly app, allowing fans to earn dividends on their football portfolio 365 days a year, with multiple profit opportunities. Since launching in October 2015, the concept has rapidly gained traction.  SBC: What is the key target market Football INDEX aims to reach? AC: Football Index fills a vacant space between two massive markets – football sports betting and Fantasy Football – but has advantages over both. Fantasy Football, for example, requires an unflagging weekly commitment and there’s very little financial gain or reward (other than bragging rights).Football betting is the largest sportsbook activity in the UK. However, betting can be brutal and expensive – it is focused heavily on quick ‘event’ outcomes.With Football INDEX, we offer extended entertainment value and intellectual stimulation combined with the thrill of a bet. Our value proposition is unrivalled by any other product on the market. Our users – or ‘football traders’ – are typically smart football fans who find the concept of Football Index more intellectually satisfying and generally more rewarding than regular betting. Football fans in particular those who understand fantasy football and those with a an understanding of markets are a key demographic. Our users are spread across all age groups but are predominantly between the ages of 20 and 45. SBC: Can you outline some of the key factors that dictate whether a player’s value decreases or increases? AC: ‘Performance Dividends’ pay out to traders based on footballers’ on-pitch performance. Traders can buy players they consider ‘on form’ as we use Opta data measures – 40 points for scoring a goal to 1 point for a successful pass and minus 5 points for a yellow card.  As well as trading footballers for profit, customers have the chance of multiple ‘wins’ from a single bet. Football INDEX’s daily Buzz Chart is a UK media monitor which determines the trending footballer in the news each day. Any traders holding futures in the trending footballer receives a dividend payout per future held.  Payouts are made to the Top Defender (including Goalkeepers), Top Midfielder, Top Forward and Star Footballer, who is the day’s top performing player.  ‘Football traders’ only make a loss if they choose to sell at a loss.SBC: With coverage of football continually increasing, how important is it that you provide traders with an expansive database to trade from? Traders can currently buy shares in over 1,000 players from the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, French Ligue 1, Italian Serie A, German Bundesliga, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League. We are currently in the process of expanding our product offering to 2,000 tradeable footballers. SBC: As sportsbooks grow by adding new markets and utilising more data, in what ways can football trading evolve to keep players engaged? AC: Longer term we have ambition to provide our service globally (where possible) and indeed our platform may be applied to any sport such as American Football, basketball, baseball, ice hockey, cricket, rugby etc. We continue to invest in our technology and have a roadmap packed with new functionality, much of which is focused on delivering our users more data.SBC: How can football trading satisfy the instant gratification that is wanted by punters? AC: We offer both instant gratification and long term gains. Instead of the ‘bet’ being on a single outcome (e.g. Manchester United vs Watford), with Football INDEX, traders have the possibility of a micro win every day of the year for three years with our daily Buzz Chart which determines the trending footballer in the news each day. We refer to these micro wins as ‘dividends’ and they provide a yield for ‘instrument’.last_img read more

EPL: Baba Rahman on bench as Atsu misses out on team

first_imgGhana international could make his debut as he has been named on the Chelsea bench for their game against Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge.The youngster who signed from German side Augsburg two weeks ago missed Chelsea’s victory against West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns a week ago.Striker Jordan Ayew is back on the bench after starting in a Carling Cup game in midweek. His Aston Villa side face Sunderland at Villa Park.Jeffery Schlupp continues his fine start to the season as he is named in Leicester City’s starting line-up against Bournemouth. The foxes remain unchanged from the team that drew with Tottenham Hotspurs.Unfortunately, Christian Atsu did not make the match squad for Bournemouth despite featuring in the Capital One Cup during the midweek.Dede Ayew’s Swansea play Manchester United on Sunday. –Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more