Wednesday, October 31, 2007

PubMed Halloween

In a neat turn of events I veer from Personalized Medicine and instead make note of a few Halloween Genes

The insect Halloween genes encode the terminal cytochrome
P450 (P450) hydroxylases mediating the biosynthesis of
ecdysteroids. Mutations disrupting these specific P450
steroid hydroxylases in Drosophila result in morphogenetic
abnormalities such as failure of head involution and cuticle
formation, leading to embryonic death.

How's that for Spooky...oh wait, that's a gene too. The problem here is that the scientists who named these little buggers never thought about how a person would feel if we had to say "I am sorry, your child has a mutation in the Halloween Genes" Say wha????

There are orthologues of these genes in humans. I ask all researchers to think twice. Because, frankly I am sick of saying Sonic Hedgehog to families.........


Anonymous said...

I agree. The names that some genes are given is down right stupid. I suspect that the scientists who named these genes named them after what they like (Sonic hedghod was a video game I think and we all know what Halloween is).

Just please, scientists, don't name a gene long, short, curvy, or anything like that. The patients will have a very hard time grasing the concept of a gene with a short sequence being called a long gene, and vise versa.

Anonymous said...

Yep...agreed. The gene nomenclature is sometimes bewildering, to say the least.