mumps

Do mosquitoes get the mumps? Part V. A general method for finding interesting things in GenBank

This is the last in a five part series on an unexpected discovery of a paramyxovirus in mosquitoes and a general method for finding other interesting things.

In this last part, I discuss a general method for finding novel things in GenBank and how this kind of project could be a good sort of discovery, inquiry-based project for biology, microbiology, or bioinformatics students.

I. The back story from the ... Read more

Part IV. Assembling the details and making the case for a novel paramyxovirus

This is the fourth in a five part series on an unexpected discovery of a paramyxovirus in a mosquito. In this part, we take a look at all the evidence we can find and try to figure out how a gene from a virus came to be part of the Aedes aegypti genome.

Part III. Serendipity strikes when we Blink

In which we find an unexpected result when we Blink while looking at the mumps polymerase.

This is the third in a five part series on an unexpected discovery of a paramyxovirus in mosquitoes. And yes, this is where the discovery happens.

I. The back story from the genome record
II. What do the mumps proteins do? And how do we find out?
III. Serendipity strikes when we Blink ... Read more

Part II. What do mumps proteins do? And how do we find out?

This is the second in a five part series on an unexpected discovery of a paramyxovirus in mosquitoes, and a general method for finding interesting things.

I. The back story from the genome record
II. What do the mumps proteins do? And how do we find out?
III. Serendipity strikes when we Blink.
IV. ... Read more

Part I. The back story from the genome record

Together, these five posts describe the discovery of a novel paramyxovirus in the Aedes aegyptii genome and a new method for finding interesting anomalies in GenBank.

I. The back story from the genome record
II. What do the mumps proteins do? And how do we find out?
III. Serendipity strikes when we Blink.
IV. ... Read more

Mumps was a common childhood disease when I was a child. We grew up learning that it was better to get mumps as a child because getting it as an adult would make you sterile. No doubt that idea arose from symptoms like swollen glands, swollen testicles, etc. When I looked in PubMed though, I couldn't find much data on sterility (at least not easily).

I did find data on hearing loss.

Death is not a common outcome of mumps. Between 1953 and 1962, there were 162,344 cases of mumps in the U.S. every year and only 39 deaths per year. People, mostly children, did ... Read more

It's déjà vu all over again.

... Read more
The first chapter in Arthur Allen's book "Vaccine" describes the history of smallpox vaccination in the United States. In 1721, in Boston, the prevailing belief was that to get vaccinated was to intervene with "divine providence." If you tried to protect yourself, it meant that you lacked faith in God.

Today, I read that a mumps outbreak is