Having studied and worked as a molecular biologist for many years I’ve come a cross many genes and proteins with funny names. Here is a list of ten of them. Many of the genes listed are a reference to movies, books and games.
1. Tinman – Fruit flies with a mutated Tinman gene does not grow a heart.
2. Casanova – Zebrafish with a mutation in the Casanova gene develops two hearts.
3. INDY (I’m not dead yet) – A mutation in the INDY gene prolongs the lifespan of fruit flies. This is a reference to a line in the movie Monthy Python and the Holy Grail.
4. Cheap Date – Fruit flies with a mutation in this gene becomes extra sensitive to alcohol.
5. Dracula – Zebrafish with a mutated Dracula gene are sensitive to light and eventually die.
6. Sonic Hedgehog – Fruit fly embryos with mutated Sonic hedgehog gene develop spikes that resembles a hedgehog.
7 and 8. Ken and Barbie – Mutations in Ken and Barbie results in fruit flies without external genitalia.
9 and 10. Grim and Reaper – Both these genes regulates the death process (apoptosis) in fruit flies.
If you have your own favorites, please share.