Science 2 min read

New Virus Named "Yada Yada" After Seinfeld Catchphrase

An RNA mosquito-borne alphavirus which causes tropical disease Ross river fever, or epidemic polyarthritis, endemic to Australia and islands in the South Pacific | Kateryna Kon / Shutterstock.com

An RNA mosquito-borne alphavirus which causes tropical disease Ross river fever, or epidemic polyarthritis, endemic to Australia and islands in the South Pacific | Kateryna Kon / Shutterstock.com

Scientists named a novel virus after Seinfeld catchphrase "yada yada," because it isn’t that big a deal as far as humans are concerned.

About 30 years ago, a sitcom called Seinfeld premiered on NBC, and little by little gained a religious following.

Besides all the side-splitting laughing, the show left many notable sayings and expressions that became popular catchphrases in everyday speech. There’s a long list of funny Seinfeldisms, such as “anti-dentite,” “close talker,” “bad breaker-upper,” and yada yada yada…”

All the Seinfeld farce aside, this last quote that means “nothing much” has inspired the name of a new virus.

The “Yada Yada Virus” is Kinda Boring

The “Yada Yada” is the title of Episode 19, Season 8 from Seinfeld that aired on April 24, 1997.

In the Seinfeld dictionary, “yada yada” means small or empty talk. The phrase can be translated as “blah blah blah.”

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the expression is “used interjectionally especially in recounting words regarded as too dull or predictable to be worth repeating.”

Now, for a team of bioscientists, this Seinfeld catchphrase sums up their new find.

Researchers at AgriBio, the Centre for AgriBioscience, in Australia have named a new virus “Yada Yada” after the Seinfeld saying. Per the team, the new virus they discovered belongs to a group called alphaviruses, and it poses no threat to humans.

According to the paper, published in the journal Microbiology Resource Announcements, the team extracted RNA from Australian mosquitoes and detected the novel alphavirus. Because it only infects mosquitoes, with no threat to humans at all, it earned the name Yada Yada virus (YYV).

This doesn’t mean that the Yada Yada virus is scientifically non-significant. Insect-only viruses help scientists understand how these microorganisms have evolved and can help in diagnosis and vaccine development.

However, this discovery is not an exciting breakthrough. Scientists have found several other mosquito-specific viruses in recent years. A little underwhelmed, Jana Batovska, one of the research team members who made the discovery, thought Yada Yada was the perfect name.

Batovska tweeted:

“Lastly, we did name the virus after Seinfeld! The rise of metagenomic sequencing has resulted in an explosion of virus discovery, with new viruses being announced every day – this is another one: Yada Yada virus.”

“Also,” she added, “Seinfeld is awesome.”

Read More: Stand-Up Science: Comedy to Communicate Science

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Zayan Guedim

Trilingual poet, investigative journalist, and novelist. Zed loves tackling the big existential questions and all-things quantum.

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