1. Kenny – Fruit flies lacking this gene dies after two days. This is a reference to the South Park character Kenny McCormic who dies in various ways at the end of each episode.
2. Maggie – Fruit flies with a mutated Maggie gene results in arrested development, like Maggie Simpsons from the cartoon series The Simpsons.
3. Swiss cheese – Fruit flies with a mutated Swiss cheese gene have holes in their brain.
4. Cleopatra – Cleopatra, the last Egyptian pharaoh commited suicide by letting an Egyptian cobra (Asp) bite her. In vertebrates, an interaction between the ASP protein (a protein involved in storing energy in fat cells) and mutated Cleopatra, is lethal.
5. Spock – A mutation in the Spock gene in Zebrafish results in pear-shaped ears, like the character Spock in the TV series Star Trek.
6. and 7. Tigger and Pogo – Two types of transposable elements (genes that can “jump” to different locations in the DNA).
8. Yuri gagarin – This gene is involved in sensing gravity in fruit flies. Yuri Gagarin was the first human to travel into outer space.
9. and 10. Superman and Kryptonite – Mutated Superman gene in the plant Arabidopsis thaliana increases the number of stamens. This is blocked by a mutated Kryptonite gene.