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Zika Discoverer Leaves Treasure Trove Of Data On Mosquito-Borne Virus

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The man who first discovered Zika virus left a treasure trove of data, which has been found at the library of the University of Glasgow.

The man is Alexander John Haddow who served as a professor and dean at the university from 1971 to 1978 and 1970 to 1971 respectively. The said treasure that Haddow left includes hand-written graphs, mosquito catch information and slides portraying Uganda forests - the first location where Zika virus was found.

What's In A Treasure Box

The materials are considered to be one of the most interesting discoveries ever to be uncovered in the archives of the university.

The hand-drawn graphs and hand-written papers precisely determine the mosquito catches associated with Zika and other mosquito-borne viruses. There were notes and statistical records on the first ever catch of mosquitoes with Zika.

The original slides and photos were taken from a forest under the "Haddow's Tower," which is the man-made structure his team made to catch mosquitoes.

The find also includes journals, which featured the virus in a monkey.

Other stuff not related to Zika such as Haddow's study on traditional Scottish music and sketches of Scottish art were also found.

"We have been amazed by the caliber and volume of material we have found in the Haddow archive," says Eleanor Tiplady, an immunology PhD student. She adds that it was interesting to look at Haddow's work on Zika virus, which was not that big during that time.

Future Use

Senior archivist Moira Rankin says they have always known that there were Alexander Haddow files in the archives, but they were surprised at how much Zika data there is. As the university is engaged in current Zika researches, she adds that the discovery is a really vital find. It also shows how the university has been involved with the study of the virus even from way back.

At present, the university is still conducting studies about Zika outbreak, particularly trying to develop vaccines and deciphering the association between the virus and rare paralysis disorder Guillain-Barre syndrome.

The treasure trove found will now be the center of an upcoming panel discussion at the university, which will be held on June 15. The original documents in Haddow's loot will be featured via pop-up displays.

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