The definitions used in this glossary of terminology either have been provided by the authors of the articles, or have been extracted wholly or in part, or paraphrased from the following sources: The American Medical Association Encyclopedia of Medicine, Charles B. Clayman, MD, Medical Editor, Random House, New York, 1989; Biotechnology from A to Z, 2d Edition, William Bains, Oxford University Press, New York, New York, 2002; A Dictionary of Genetics, 6th Edition, Robert C. King and William D. Stansfield, Oxford University Press, New York, New York, 2002; Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary, 29th and 30th Editions, W. B. Saunders Company, Philadelphia, 2000, 2003; Genes VII, Benjamin Lewin, Oxford University Press, New York, New York, 2000; The Gale Encyclopedia of Genetic Disorders, Volumes I and II, Stacey L. Blachford, Ed., Thomson Learning, New York, New York, 2002; The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Inc., Springfield, Massachusetts, 1997; Molecular Biology of the Cell, 3rd Edition, Bruce Alberts, et al., Garland Publishing, 1994; The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged Edition, 1966; Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, 1991.
The paramyxoviruses: a family of RNA viruses having a pleomorphic, usually roughly spherical but occasionally filamentous virion 150-300 nm in diameter, consisting of a lipid bilayer membrane with large peplomers surrounding a helical nucleocapsid. The genome consists of a single molecule of negative-sense single-stranded RNA (MW 5-7 X 106, size 16 kb). Viruses contain six to ten major polypeptides, including a transcriptase, and are sensitive to lipid solvents, detergents, disinfectants, and extremes of pH; thermostability varies according to genus. Replication occurs in the cytoplasm and assembly is by budding through the plasma membrane. Host range is generally narrow in nature but broad in cultured cells, and transmission is horizontal, chiefly airborne. There are two subfamilies, Paramyxovirinae and Pneumovirinae.