Saturday, 21 February 2009

Sonic hedgehog's nemesis Robotnikinin discovered

You may remember a few years ago scientists named a protein after Sonic the Hedgehog - "Sonic hedgehog". Now they have discovered a "potential inhibitor of the Hedgehog signalling pathway", appropriately naming it "Robotnikinin".

Robotnikinin is a macrocycle that "inhibits Sonic hedgehog signalling in a concentration-dependent manner". Nope, I don't understand it either.

The study's co-author, Lee Peng, has said "as Sonic hedgehog was deliberately named after the Sega videogame character Sonic the hedgehog, we wished to adhere to the convention established by the original investigators in naming our inhibitor of Sonic hedgehog signalling. Dr Robotnik is Sonic's archenemy, so we decided that 'robotnikin [sic]' was an appropriate name for our compound".

Interesting. Science would be a lot more fun in schools if everything was named after well-known characters, wouldn't it? With Pikachurin protein and the Pokémon gene as well, that looks like a possibility!

[Source: Australian Life Scientist]

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