The fun had to end at some point. Ten genes have been designated by the Human Genome Organisation (HUGO) Gene Nomenclature Committee as being in dire need of a name makeover due to their potential to offend. Here are the top five gene symbols and names that are believed to be “inappropriate, demeaning, and pejorative.”
- LFNG – lunatic fringe homolog (Drosophila)
- MFNG – manic fringe homolog (Drosophila)
- RFNG – radical fringe homolog (Drosophila)
- SHH – sonic hedgehog homolog (Drosophila)
- IHH – Indian Hedgehog homolog (Drosophila)
HUGO has decided to keep the gene symbols but change the gene names to a non-offensive form where appropriate.
Dr. Chris Doe, professor of biology at the University of Oregon:
It’s a cute name when you have stupid flies and you call it a ‘turnip.’ When it’s linked to development in humans, it’s not so cute any more.
Other quirky gene names include:
- mothers against decapentaplegia (MAD)
- one-eyed pinhead
- faint sausage
- fear of intimacy
- sex lethal
- death executioner Bcl-2
Do you think the name change is reasonable? Or do you think we’re going full throttle PC (politically correct)?