Yada Yada virusDate: 17 January 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
A novel virus detected in Australian mosquitoes has been provisionally named the Yada Yada virus (YYV), after the catchphrase made famous by the American sitcom Seinfeld.
The Cambridge dictionary defines the phrase Yada Yada as an informal exclamation used to describe boring speech. The first known usage of the phrase was in 1967, and it is considered to be the alteration of an earlier word “yatata”, which meant idle chatter. In the Hebrew language, the word “yada” means to “know”.
When the team of researchers extracted RNA from a large number of mosquitoes in Australia’s Victoria state, they found a new alphavirus, which belonged to a group that includes other alphaviruses such as chikungunya virus and the astern equine encephalitis.
The novel virus poses no threat to human beings, because it is a part of a group of viruses that only infect mosquitoes. Other viruses in the same group include the Tai forest alphavirus and the Agua Salud alphavirus.
While the discovery of the virus does not have any direct implications for human beings, in the papers, the authors have mentioned that YYV’s discovery expands the “diversity and geographic range” of mosquito-specific alphavirus complexes, which may help in revealing the origin of the virus and “host switching”.
Mosquito-specific viruses can help us understand how viruses evolved and can be really useful for vaccine production and diagnostics.