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Supramap depicts the westward spread of avian influenza (H5N1). Red tree branches indicate a genotype of lysine (K) at amino acid position 627 in the PB2 protein which confers increase replication in mammals. White tree branches indicate a genotype of glutamic acid (E), the wild type for H5N1. Mutations at each node can be viewed in pop-up windows. Credit: Janies et al. 2010 Cladistics online 04-9-10
Pathogens can now be easily tracked in time and space as they evolve, an advance that could revolutionize both public health and inform national security in the fight against infectious diseases. Developed by researchers that include scientists at the American Museum of Natural History, Supramap is a new, powerful, web-based application that maps genetic mutations like those among the different strains of avian influenza onto the globe. The new application is published in the early online edition of Cladistics.