BIOL 513 Final Exam Answers
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We started this class with each student providing a definition of a virus. Nearly 800 pages of text
reading and over 900 discussion board posts later, how has your personal definition of a virus
evolved? Write a paragraph (150 words or less) providing a comprehensive definition of a virus.
Comment on how your definition has changed from the beginning of the semester.
Influenza A (H7N9) is one of a subgroup of influenza viruses that normally circulate among
birds. In late March of this year, a number of individuals in and around Shanghai, China were
stricken with severe influenza-like symptoms. These individuals were found to be infected with a
new H7N9 Influenza A virus, which had never before been observed to infect humans. To date,
a total of 108 laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A (H7N9)
virus, including 22 deaths have been reported to WHO. Answer the following questions about
this virus. (Note: I am not expecting you to research the answer to these questions, but rather
use what you have learned this semester to provide plausible responses)
a) Explain in laymens term what the term H7N9 influenza virus means (3-4 sentences
b) The complete genome sequences of H7N9 virus from three patients have been
determined. The HA gene is most closely related to a 2011 duck H7N3 virus found in
Zhejiang China. The NA gene appears to be almost identical to a H7N9 virus found in
wild birds in Korea. The remaining genes appear to be closely related to a brambling
H9N2 virus found in 2012 near Beijing. Briefly describe likely mechanism(s) of how this
virus might have evolved.
c) Will the current seasonal vaccine influenza A vaccine likely be effective against the
H7N9 virus? How about antivirals such oseltamavir or zanamavir? Why or why not.
d) It is speculated that the new H7N9 virus is...