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We introduce the Bayesian skyline plot, a new method for estimating past population dynamics through time from a sample of molecular sequences without dependence on a prespecified parametric model of demographic history. We describe a Markov chain Monte Carlo sampling procedure that efficiently samples a variant of the generalized skyline plot, given(More)
UNLABELLED GENIE implements a statistical framework for inferring the demographic history of a population from phylogenies that have been reconstructed from sampled DNA sequences. The methods are based on population genetic models known collectively as coalescent theory. AVAILABILITY GENIE is available from http://evolve.zoo.ox.ac.uk. All popular(More)
A novel influenza A (H1N1) virus has spread rapidly across the globe. Judging its pandemic potential is difficult with limited data, but nevertheless essential to inform appropriate health responses. By analyzing the outbreak in Mexico, early data on international spread, and viral genetic diversity, we make an early assessment of transmissibility and(More)
In March and early April 2009, a new swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) virus (S-OIV) emerged in Mexico and the United States. During the first few weeks of surveillance, the virus spread worldwide to 30 countries (as of May 11) by human-to-human transmission, causing the World Health Organization to raise its pandemic alert to level 5 of 6. This virus has the(More)
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a leading worldwide cause of liver disease. Here, we use a new model of HCV spread to investigate the epidemic behavior of the virus and to estimate its basic reproductive number from gene sequence data. We find significant differences in epidemic behavior among HCV subtypes and suggest that these differences are largely the(More)
The widespread extinctions of large mammals at the end of the Pleistocene epoch have often been attributed to the depredations of humans; here we present genetic evidence that questions this assumption. We used ancient DNA and Bayesian techniques to reconstruct a detailed genetic history of bison throughout the late Pleistocene and Holocene epochs. Our(More)
Many recent studies have sought to quantify the degree to which viral phenotypic characters (such as epidemiological risk group, geographic location, cell tropism, drug resistance state, etc.) are correlated with shared ancestry, as represented by a viral phylogenetic tree. Here, we present a new Bayesian Markov-Chain Monte Carlo approach to the(More)
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a leading cause of liver cancer and cirrhosis, and Egypt has possibly the highest HCV prevalence worldwide. In this article we use a newly developed Bayesian inference framework to estimate the transmission dynamics of HCV in Egypt from sampled viral gene sequences, and to predict the public health impact of the virus. Our results(More)
BACKGROUND Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a rapidly-evolving RNA virus that establishes chronic infections in humans. Despite the virus' public health importance and a wealth of sequence data, basic aspects of HCV molecular evolution remain poorly understood. Here we investigate three sets of whole HCV genomes in order to directly compare the evolution of whole(More)
A key priority for infectious disease research is to clarify how pathogen genetic variation, modulated by host immunity, transmission bottlenecks, and epidemic dynamics, determines the wide variety of pathogen phylogenies observed at scales that range from individual host to population. We call the melding of immunodynamics, epidemiology, and evolutionary(More)