Thursday, June 09, 2011
Worst new omicsword, perhaps ever, the Dispensome #awful #badomics #reallybad #uggh
Well, I do not even have any idea what to say. I got pointed to this paper: PLoS Genetics: Finished Genome of the Fungal Wheat Pathogen Mycosphaerella graminicola Reveals Dispensome Structure, Chromosome Plasticity, and Stealth Pathogenesis by KamounLab on twitter. The authors of the paper include colleagues at the DOE-Joint Genome Institute so it is possible that they are baiting me to get some attention. But YHGTBFKM - the dispensome? Defined by them as "The dispensable chromosomes collectively comprise the dispensome and showed extreme plasticity during sexual reproduction." Now, I have seen my share of bad omics words (and which I write about often with, for example, my Worst New Omics Word Award and Bad Omics Word of the Day). But this is the first case where the word, and the excessive use of it in the paper is distracting (as suggested by KamounLab) to the science. Is this word really necessary? Could they not just say "dispensable chromosomes" (which I note, I might still have problems with since they would only be known as dispensable under certain conditions)? But "dispensome" is unnecessary, distracting, and, well, not a good word. Thus in this case I have decided to not even give them an award per se but to simply say that I think this is possibly the worst omics word I have ever seen. I note - I am not criticizing the science (nor endorsing it mind you) they did here. But the word, oh the word. It hurts me. It really does.