Posted by: Kay at Suicyte | August 17, 2007

Try to explain this to a non-biologist

Here is a little quiz to test if you understand biological nomenclature.

  1. The estrogen receptor recognizes estrogen. The GABA receptor recognizes GABA. What does the T-cell receptor recognize ?
  2. Yeast comes in two mating types (= sexes). One is called “a”. How would you call the other one ?

to be continued…



  1. Yeah, but these sorts of non-parallel terminology are pretty common outside science too. I always find menus that list both “Beef Lasagna” and “Vegetarian Lasagna” to be rather disturbing — is the name referring to ingredients in both cases?

  2. I had to think twice before I got your point, but it is a good one. On the other hand, from the day our company cafeteria started offering “Vegetarian chili con carne” I stopped being amazed about food names.

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