Faculty mentor: Nels Elde
Mammals have double stranded RNA binding proteins as defense mechanisms in their immune system that can recognize viral RNA when present in their bodies. We studied TRBP and MDA5, proteins known to interact with viruses, to determine if they are undergoing positive selection, possibly due to encountering RNA viruses. TRBP shows no strong evidence of undergoing positive selection, while MDA5 does, but with contradicting results, so more research needs to be done on MDA5 to come to a conclusion.
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