Misc.: Biology Terms and Other Names
- "a chimeric mouse-human monoclonal
antibody directed against the GP IIb/IIIa receptor"; used during
angioplasty to prevent platelets from forming clots. It derives from
the rather inflexible
Nomenclature of monoclonal antibodies
: "ab-" = unique prefix;
"-ci-" = cardiovascular target; "-xi-" = source is chimeric; "-mab" =
suffix for all monoclonal antibodies.
C3PO (a protein involved in RNA interference; see
also R2D2) "We named this factor C3PO (component 3 promoter of RISC
[RNA-induced silencing complex]) because this is the third component
besides Dcr-2 and R2D2 that promotes RISC activity." [Science
guanine - (one of the 4 bases of DNA) Named after
guano (bird excrement), in which it was first found.
larva - Latin for "ghost" or "ghoul". Since the
ghosts of antiquity often disguised themselves, the word also came to
mean "mask." Linnaeus used it in that sense for immature forms which
"mask" the adult form.
mirasorvone (steroid defensive ejection from the
sunburst diving beetle, Thermonectus marmoratus) Named "in
honor of Mira Sorvino, who, as Dr. Susan Tyler in the motion
picture Mimic, successfully confronted the ultimate insect
challenge." [Meinwald et al., PNAS 95: 2733]
MRI - Magnetic Resonance Imaging has become a
widespread medical diagnostic technique, but that couldn't happen until
the name was changed from Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR). "Nuclear"
in the name referred to the fact that only the nuclei of certain atoms
are affected by the magnets, but it instilled fear of radiation in
general public. For chemical analasys, it is still called MRI.
northern blot - (a technique for separating RNA
fragments) First, the Southern blot technique was developed, which
separates DNA fragments by gel electrophoresis (so, e.g., probes can
then identify specific segments). This technique was named after its
inventer, E. M. Southern. When an analogous technique was developed for
RNA, its name also followed by analogy. There is also a
western blot for proteins. No eastern blot
R2D2 (a protein involved in generating siRNA) The
Drosophila proteins which generate small interfering RNA (siRNA)
from longer RNA are Dicer-2 and a previously unknown protein. The
latter, when described, was named R2, because it contains two
dsRNA-binding domains, plus D2, for its association with
Dicer-2. [Science 301: 1921]
- (a projection in yeast cells for mating)
Named after a creature from the Li'l Abner
comic strip, no
doubt due to a resemblance in shape. The cells form this projection
in the presence of the pheremone "Kikapoo Joy Juice," another Li'l
snottite - "mucous stalactites"; cave formations
produced by colonies of sulphurphilic bacteria, composed of elemental
sulphur, iron oxide crusts, gypsum, and bacteria. They take the form
of gelatinous, dripping microbial draperies and are highly
thagomizer - One Far Side cartoon (by Gary Larson) shows
a caveman pointing to a picture of the spikes at the end of the tail
of a Stegosaurus and saying, "Now this end is called the thagomizer
... after the late Thag Simmons." Paleontologists have adopted the
ANDi (First genetically modified primate) From
"inserted DNA" spelled backwards. The rhesus monkey had a gene for a
jellyfish protein inserted in his DNA.
C. C. - (first cloned cat) Short for "copycat".
Ditteaux - first cloned wild carnivore (Felis
lybica, an endangered African wildcat). The spelling is an homage
to Ditteaux's birthplace, New Orleans, Louisiana.
Dolly - (first cloned sheep) Named after the buxom
actress Dolly Parton because the sheep was cloned from mammary
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