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  • Mildred Green '25

Genetic Gaming

A gamer stares intensely at the computer screen

Scientific names often prove useful in distilling the key elements from years of research into one, brief word. This is illustrated no better than in the case of the striped skunk which the scientific community dubbed Mephitis Mephitis whose Latin translation reads as bad odor.

This straightforward title was clearly lost to Vulpes zerda foxes as they hunt whose saintly name and delicate nose are fractured due to literacy rates so low that not even the clear warning attached to each Mephitis Mephitis can deter them.

A more silent, well read killer, aware of the dangers posed by foul odors, is the POKEMON gene within humans alone. Being discovered by researchers affiliated with the violent game franchise, Pokémon, this otherwise unassuming, microscopic string carries the hostile nature of its predecessor into the bladder where it produces large quantities of POK proteins linked to tumor production. Such a deadly function is emblematic of its namesake, making POKEMON one of few titles intelligible to the common person.

Sonic Hedgehog signaling molecules responsible for the developments of an embryo are aptly named in much the same way, giving even the most uninformed an insight into exactly what their function is. Allowing for cell specialization necessary in forming limbs, Sonic Hedgehog works slowly over a period of nine months before becoming obsolete like the blue creature it derives its name from.

Mildred Green '25 is a Vol. 71 Contributing Editor


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