What a great way to begin a blog–scooped before I’ve even started!
I started with this great–and not so original idea, apparently–of having a little contest: everyone is invited to send in their all time favorite names of proteins.
In my own career, I once had the opportunity to name a protein. It was back in 2001, and I was racing to do “RACE-PCR” and clone the human homolog of the gene that coded for protein involved in lysosome fusion. I was not only racing against potential competitors, but also against the Human Genome Project.
In any case, one day I will perhaps be able to tell my grandchildren that I cloned one of the last genes before the human genome was published, and that I ended up giving it a very uninspiring name–based on its homology to the yeast protein Vam6p/Vps39 (Vam=Vacuole Morphology; Vps=Vacuole Protein Sorting), we called it: hVam6p/Vps39. The distinguishing part here, is the “h” for human.
In my view, this was a missed opportunity for giving the protein a really “cool” name, like “superglue”, or “family reunion”, or “sardine maker” based on the function of this protein in inducing fusion of lysosomes with one another.
So now I turn to you all and give you the opportunity to send in your favorite protein names. Please limit to no more than three names per person. I have already assembled an expert panel of local judges from Nebraska (nothing rigged here!)–my own 2 kids–who will announce the winning name and submitter by July 1, 2011.
Although I myself am disqualified, here are a few of my favorites:
JNKKK (Jun N-terminal kinase kinase kinase—how ridiculous can you get?!)
nuclear fallout (NuF)
LET THE CONTEST BEGIN!