Thursday, March 17, 2011

Funny gene name browser

As you celebrate st-Patty's day, going for beers after a long day at the lab, here are a few gene names you can drop to impress your lab mates:

chadonnay. chablis, frascati, merlot, retsina, riesling, cabernet, grenache, chardonnay, chianti, pinotage, sauternes, weissherbst, zinfandel, freixenet and yquem: mutations in these loci cause defects in hematopoiesis (production of blood cells).

cheap date. Mutants are especially sensitive to alcohol (which, seriously speaking, might be a feature to avoid in a date). Interestingly, another name for the gene is amnesiac, as mutants also have a poor memory.

half pint. Cheryl Van Buskirk writes: "The mutant ovaries produce egg chambers that contain eight instead of sixteen cells. Since there are 16oz in a pint, we figured it was a pretty fitting name. Half pint is also an informal term for a very short person, and it so happens that the mutant eggs were indeed quite short. Sadly, the official gene name has since become Dmel/pUf68, based on its molecular weight and homology to poly-U binding splicing factors, and the name half pint is considered a synonym."