Ten funny gene names

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.

Tinman from the Wizard of Oz

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 BarbieMutations 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.

1 grim reaper
Grim Reaper

If you have your own favorites, please share.

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