Subject: Re: Fwd: nomenclature
From: David Baillie
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2002 22:12:19 -0700
To: Bhagwati P Gupta
CC: Paul Sternberg ,, Marie-Anne Felix ,,,

Hello all,

Here are some comments that are from Don Riddle, I asked for his
opinion because he was involved in the CGC and gene name allocation
for almost 10 years.

Off the top of my head, I guess I agree there is a problem, but the
solution is pretty ugly. My immediate response is that different names
for the same gene happen enough as it is.  They
should not be programmed into the system.  The potential for the
converse is also scary. 
Suppose two labs disagreed on which gene was an orthologues.  The
nomenclature proposed
requires the same name for the two different genes.  It is just not
worth the hassle. Cb-tra-1
should be a C. briggsae tra gene that may or may not be an orthologues
of C. elegans tra-1.  The
name should not be required to contain such information.  Scrap the
tra[Cb]-1 designation.
I agree that assigning blocks of numbers to species is a bad idea.
I disagree with the view that three digit numbers are too difficult to
remember.  There is
nothing wrong with them.  Most genes have one or two digit numbers
anyway.  Only let has
3 digit numbers."

I might add, that unc also has three digits now (has 
had three digit names for two decades), and lin is moving
up quickly.  I see no problem with three digit numbers and find them
infinitely easier to deal with than thousand's of "cute" names, that
eventually be come a burden.   I agree with Don in all of the points he


-- David Baillie, Professor Canadian Research Chair in Genomics Currently on leave at the BC Genome Sequence Centre, BC Cancer Agency Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, V5A 1S6 Phone: Office 604-268-6590 lab 604-291-4597 Home 604-875-8982 Fax 604-291-5583 e-mail web site