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Lecture 7

Lecture 7 - In January 1995 Janet Allen a Lafayette...

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1 B. Crime! Another use for phylogeny Or CSI Evolution In January, 1995 Janet Allen, a Lafayette, Louisiana nurse tested positive for HIV-1. She accused Richard Schmidt, a local gastroenterologist of infecting her with HIV and hepatitis C. Schmidt himself was not infected with either disease. She claimed that after she threatened to break off their 10-year love affair, he deliberately injected her with tainted blood in place of her regular vitamin injections. The tainted blood, the prosecution claimed, came from two of Schmidt’s patients, one with HIV and one with hepatitis C. Schmidt denied it. Facts of the case : Allen had sex with 7 people in last decade, all were tested and found to be negative for HIV Allen tested positive January, 1995 Accused Schmidt of injecting her with tainted blood 8/94 Missing lab notebook of Schmidt’s was found by police with search warrant Identified particular HIV patient as a possible source -last entry in “missing” notebook -blood was drawn differently than was typical for that lab How could a phylogeny solve this case? HIV virus mutates rapidly, so each infected person essentially has own strain Phylogenic analysis of virus can be done, to determine evolutionary history - common ancestry - where person’s infection from Molecular systematist did just that Collected blood from: Schmidt’s patient (source?) victim Janet Allen controls –samples of HIV infected people in the Lafayette, LA area Sequenced HIV genes share more recent common ancestor than victim & controls
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Used different techniques to choose best tree (parsimony, likelihood, and others); all - same conclusions victim and patient sequences were more similar to each other than to any controls - victim and patient shared most recent common ancestor Test were done in Houston, and repeated in Michigan, with separate blood samples from patient and victim Tests were done “blind” - researchers did not know which sample came from patient, victim, controls Scientists called by defense claimed similarities between patient and victim could have been by chance Other evidence - hidden notebooks, threats made by Schmidt, etc. supported prosecution Schmidt was found guilty October, 1998 faced 15-50 years in prison In 2000, Louisiana State Supreme Court upheld guilty verdict March 4, 2002 US Supreme Court rejected appeal of case, ending judicial proceedings Precedent for use of phylogenetic analysis to support or reject criminal viral transmission - established in US courts Mystery meat • Whale meat a delicacy in Japan • Declining whale populations led agreements protecting many whale species • Is the meat sold from legally hunted species? E. coli
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Lecture 7 - In January 1995 Janet Allen a Lafayette...

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