(Yes, we are a little bit late announcing this, but…) The winner of the PLoS ONE Blog Pick of the Month for August is Connor Bamford from the Rule of 6ix for his post on recent advancements made in sequencing pox genomes.
By comparing the entire genetic sequence of pathogens like cowpox, smallpox, and monkeypox, researchers were not only to see how similar these able to virus were to each other, but they also started to uncover how these strains evolved in space and time:
Cowpox viruses were found to cluster in two major groups – cowpox like and vaccinia virus like suggesting that our smallpox ‘vaccinia’ vaccine potentially originated as a cowpox virus (as we thought) yet it was endemic to mainland Europe, something that goes against the tale of Jenner’s isolation of cowpox from the UK.
Connor, along with all of the authors of the paper, will receive a complimentary t-shirt from us.
Photo via Flickr / Agriculturasp