Naming Conventions

Geneticists are typically geeky (particularly those of that started out as fruit fly geneticists); once someone starts a fashion, people follow on. And that’s how it was with the naming of our genes.

My latest: phoenix

Jackson’s: joust

We name them after video games. Of course, it all began with the Atari back in the eighties. For example, there’s a gene called ‘sevenless’, because when it doesn’t work properly, segment number seven in the fly’s body is missing.

Following that a few geneticists discovered other bits of DNA, genes with similar sequences, and called them things like ‘son of sevenless’, ‘bride of sevenless’.

With Jackson’s, I know that someone named a kind of gene from the fruit fly after an eighties Atari game; ‘Frogger’, I think it was. So when he was looking for a name for his gene, which was sort of similar in that it is a ‘jumping gene’, he called it ‘joust’.

Mine, similarly jumps, hence 'phoenix'.


  1. Hey PJ,

    You're really getting the hang of this, aren't you?

    I'm not so sure this web stuff is all it's cracked up to be though.

    Bit of a laugh, sure, but I don't know!

    Keep on "musing"!

  2. Hello Jackson,

    I'm glad you could join me! Give it a go, you know you want to, my friend.

    It is good to get those thoughts out on the page, don't you think?

    Start enjoying yourself.


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