Monday, November 12, 2007

When acronyms are not

From a current Journal of Neuroscience abstract:
To identify genes downstream of BDNF that may play roles in psychiatric disorders, we examined a subset of BDNF-induced genes also regulated by 5-HT (serotonin), which includes the neuropeptide VGF (nonacronymic)


Neuropeptide VGF (nonacronymic)? WTF? As if crazy acronyms like BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor) weren't confusing and non-mnemonic enough. And who, given a rare opportunity to name something, squanders it on a random sequence of letters? Clearly, there's some in-joke here that I'm missing.

2 comments:

Adam said...

VGF = Vaccinia Growth Factor.

It is bizarre that the authors parenthetically added "nonacronymic." I guess they didn't want to take the time to look it up... some professional researchers, huh?

On another note, I always thought it was weird when people wrote: "Seratonin (5-HT)". "5-HT" doesn't stand for "seratonin!" Why not write, "5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT, or seratonin)" or "Seratonin (5-hydroxytryptamin, or 5-HT)" or something like that? Oh well...

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