Here is an article in the 30 October Pittsburgh Tribune-Review by Jennifer Bails profiling Henry Niman and his ideas; "Fox Chapel researcher says bird flu coming faster than expected." I'm quoted towards the end of the article, once again pointing out the lack of peer-reviewed anything from Niman. I find it increasingly odd that Niman claims the H5N1 strain currently circulating carries portions of genes imported from mammalian flu strains, particularly since recent sequence analysis indicates the virus is entirely avian in origin.
Specifically, the WHO Global Influenza Program published a paper in the journal Emerging Infectious Disease in October, "Evolution of H5N1 Avian Influenza Viruses in Asia", which states quite explicitly that:
Genomic analyses of H5N1 isolates from birds and humans showed 2 distinct clades with a nonoverlapping geographic distribution. All the viral genes were of avian influenza origin, which indicates absence of reassortment with human influenza viruses.
So, Dr. Niman, what gives?
By the way, even after no less a figure than Sydney Brenner explained cladistics to me, I still don't understand. Anyone care to enlighten me in, say, 30 words or less?
I'll have another post on the evolution of flu viruses by tomorrow.