Wednesday, October 31, 2012

All In A Name, Not All For A Name

“Leuconostoc mesenteroides…Roseomonas gillardi…Elizabethkingia meningoseptica”

This sounds like an event of history or an opening line of a tragic story, ages ago a kingdom ran out of stock of roses for their queen and therefore the king died in septic grief.  Trust me this did not happen. Unfortunately and very interestingly there is something else to make it worse, imagine if you were meeting these living beings every other morning. Yes, they are some and I get to. And all are names of micro organisms which the Vitek machine in our laboratory that identifies them comes up with. Brows up I look at the print outs of the reports every day, my textbooks make no mention of them and all my professors do all the research that is possible before reporting them as a potential pathogen which could cause some disease. The worst thing for us doctors is expecting them in a patient’s blood. Of course there is nothing more dangerous than a Staphylococcus, but these strange ones too are enough to make us think. 

Where on earth do these come from?  I mean this fact just amazes me, we do not know the names or the role of more than half of the living things that make our world. Isn't it alienating enough? More hilarious is the christening, why do most of the researchers end up giving a name to their invention or discovery which is nothing but difficult to remember, duh! The other day one of my teachers was telling in his class “In the field of science, there are no friends, there are no enemies”. I guess that is the reason why one ends up being blunt and comes up with such out of the world names after years of locking himself up with something. Things like these can happen only in science. Once you get into it, nothing else makes sense to you. And maybe what you are up to will never to anybody else. Well it all started a very long ago, check out these root words for proof, Biology Study Guide. Greek and Latin, and languages that are beyond our scope of understanding or so we think, my respect to you. 

A friend of mine comes across such very interesting matters to read every other moment, recently  I happened to ask him how does this occur only to him, all he said was “ It is like travelling, you start somewhere head in a direction, you keep encountering nice stuff,  they decide your direction” Inspired, I decided to do my Internet exploring and this is what I found after my little research: 

Picture Courtesy
Okay do not laugh at me if I call this beetle Arnold Schwarzenegger. I hope I am getting the spelling right. For all its physique it is called the ‘Agra schwarzeneggeri’, for a more mind boggling list: THE List. An another orthopedician friend during our MBBS days used to tell me that he wants a medical syndrome named after him, I believe he still does and will work on it. Sometimes I wonder if it is the science that is weird, or the scientists. It is all in a name, the difficulty to remember and understand so much for sure, all the excitement apart. But the real ordeal to most of us who are totally into science know this one definite thing, those skipped lunches and sleepless nights are not just for a name. We f********* just not, but truly love science;-)


1 comment:

Pramod Sudarshan said...

THE list was interesting raksha...Wonder y bill gates and shakespeare came into picture..another thing was that a thai princess sirindhorn was most commonly named!!
n yeah..i still want something named after not a syndrome..probably a surgical procedure or so..just a fantasy:)