Table Scraps II: Naming Genes, The Vaudeville Way

Here’s a proof-of-concept we threw together for a segment about the naming of genes. The background: fruit fly geneticists display signs of humor by sometimes come up with joke names for the genes they discover. A gene that increases the lifespan of a fly, for example, is called the INDY gene (short for I’m Not Dead Yet – an almost quote from Monty Python’s Holy Grail) and a gene that produces fruit flies without external genitalia: “Ken and Barbie.” We thought this would make a great vaudeville act (yes, we know, it’s way too hard hitting and in-depth for a science segment).  Some people find that gene jokes are not as funny as we did. The NPR segment makes this clear. We still think genes are funny. Genes. Heh.

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