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Speaker at Applied Microbiology 2022 - Renato da Silva Bandeira
Amazon Foundation for Studies and Research, Brazil
Title : A link to the past, the genomic microcosm explaining America's history: present, past and future


The timeline of the discovery of America begins in 1492 with Christopher Columbus arriving in Mexico, Cabral in 1500 in Brazil and in 1607 the Colony of Virginia was founded in the USA. However, archaeological records have changed some historical concepts, bringing to light new evidence that America was visited by Vikings at least half a century earlier. Virus data indicated a migration via the Arctic, others combined with the slave trade, but there was a lack of a link between the events, a virus that was present in all these eras, a silent witness. The rabies virus (RABV) is characterized by being transmitted by animals, being latent for a few months and being original from the “Old World”, with no records on the “New World” continent. These characteristics make it a perfect candidate for molecular clock. A total of 892 complete RABV genomes from the NCBI and ViPR were used. The molecular clock indicated that the P and M genes appeared in Brazil between 1557 and 1510; genes N, G and L originated in the USA and Canada in the years 858, 915 and 934, respectively, and all these genes indicate origin in Brazil between 1500~1600. This matches the archaeological data with the arrival of the Vikings, coming through the Arctic region and the arrival of the Spanish and Portuguese. Interestingly, other traits were also marked in these genes, such as the M gene originating in 1693 in the US and in 1726 at the height of human trafficking in Mexico. These data allow us to infer that if it is possible to go back in time, then moving forward is not impossible, during the COVID-19 pandemic, scientists using artificial intelligence were able to predict the evolution of the infection from 14 to 30 days before it occurs. Therefore, observing these data, the Norovirus was used as a model, well known for its pandemic strains of the GII.4 variant that appear approximately every 2-5 years and with a known protein cut-off between the variants. The TMRCA for the polyprotein shows a relationship between the value of the mutation rate and the percentage of cut-off of the protein. This generates a data that when added to the TMRCA of the current strain, it can infer the possible date of origin of the previous and next strains. The results show that the origin date of the pandemic strain US95/96 was between the years 1993 to 1997, for Farmington Hills 2002 between the years 2001~2004, Hunter 2004 (2002~2005), New Orleans 2009 (2007~2010), Sydney 2012 (2010~2012). However, when added to the TMRCA of the last strain (Sydney 2012), the data predicted the emergence of a pandemic strain is in 2016, that is, with a 4-year difference from the prediction of emergence, far exceeding the current models. Both data show the power that exists within the microcosm, which is reflected in the history of our society. It can help to understand our past and, in a way, predict the future of epidemics.
What will audience learn from your presentation?

  • Importance of history in the microcosm
  • Molecular clock as a study tool
  • Viruses are good markers for measuring abiotic factors
  • At the end of the lecture, the spectators will be able to think of new uses and studies for viruses or other microorganisms that can be used as markers, not only environmental but with other diverse uses.
  • The study of the microcosm is fundamental to understand the evolution of our planet, despite the constant change in terrestrial environments, the microcosm can remain stable for longer, which can generate important data for the most diverse questions.


Postdoctoral fellow in Biotechnology, Doctor in Virology (2019), Master in Environmental Biology (2010) and graduated in Biological Sciences Full Degree from the Federal University of Pará (2008). He worked at the Evandro Chagas Institute - Reference for the study of Amazon Viruses, currently works at FAPESPA. He has knowledge in the field of Virology and Bioinformatics, with an emphasis on Genetics, where he develops his works and projects in this line of research, with 25 published articles, 1 book chapter and several other relevant contributions in this area