Friday, October 16, 2009

If anyone believes that biochemists/microbiologists have no sense of humour, then they don't know the ridiculous names they chose for proteins. For example, have you had problems with your Boss? your Boss gene of course. This gene is important for the development of the fruit fly eye, and it is actually an acronym (they all are) for "bride of sevenless", and if you happen to marry the 'bride' then you will probably have the sos gene, the"son of sevenless". Fruit fly researchers appear to be slightly crazy, as they have a wonderful habit of strange names for the genes and their subsequent mutations: ex. Thick veins mutants have defects in their gut, wings and eyes (I wonder if their 'bride' or 'sons' were eating too much fast food). Or you could have a saxophone mutant, which has defects in its back, and nothing to do with its musical ability. My favorite gene so far is the mad gene, which when mutated corrects the Thick veins and saxophone mutant (not too sure how it does it, but it does). These two mutations are linked to a gene called the decapentaplegic gene (ah latin, you gottta love it). So what does the mad acronym stand for . . ."mothers against decapentaplegic" of course (no jokes, that's what it stands for) . . . SIGH, sometimes I think that researches have way too much time on their hands to think up these stupid names . . . at least I'll be able to remember these names better than the ActRII, ActRIIB genes which should not be confused with ActRI which can also be called ALK4. SIGH.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing. I agree, I think that researchers have a weird sense of humor - too much time in the laboratory sniffing the chemicals. But it is cute to read about. Good luck Becky on those terms. I don't know how you keep them all apart. Cheers to you.