Saturday, May 27, 2006

Avian flu, phylogeny, and Google Earth

The penny just dropped (duh!).
Having mentioned Bill Piel's very cool visualisation of phylogenies on Google Earth

what about the other cool use of Google Earth in biology, namely Declan Butler's displays of the march of avian flu?

Instead of standard diagrams like this one from the Ruben Donis' paper in Emerging Infections Diseases:

why not take phylogenies for avian flu virus and add them to the data Declan is displaying? This could be a potentially compelling graphic, and a test of whether phylogenies add useful information to our understanding of what is going on.

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