Gene and protein names and symbols

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Published on: September 20, 2012

Scientific writing is a minefield of possible mistakes and embarrassments. Even after you’ve managed the nearly impossible task of writing, in the passive voice and past tense, twenty pages of science which your PI (if you’re a student or post-doc) and collaborators have OK’d after multiple rounds of staring at red, green, and blue track-changes, there is still the awful task of checking the formatting of species, genera, gene and protein names. Unless one of the authors is a journal editor, in which case you may have got to that stage much earlier. And although you get used to that uninspiring writing style early on, the protocol for referring to genes and proteins can feel like a constant battle, as it differs between species, and sometimes between journals too.

Well, GARNet can’t help much with the actual writing of your papers or thesis. If you want some help or inspiration with that, try this article on scientific writing on ScienceCareers which is both helpful and funny, and these exercises. We have put this list of plant species and generally accepted ways of writing gene and protein names and symbols however – enjoy!

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