Pikachurin… the Pikachu protein

A group of researchers at Osaka Bioscience Institute (OBI) has identified a protein that is necessary to efficiently transmit visual information, and they named it Pikachurin, after Pikachu, a popular anime character in Pokémon.

Pikachurin Pokemon Pikachu proteinAs bizarre as it sounds, this is not the first time a scientific term is named after an anime character…

There is a protein called Sonic Hedgehog Homolog (SHH) which plays a key role in the growth of digits on limbs and organisation of the brain.

There is another gene named as Pokemon (which happens to be an acronym for POK erythroid myeloid ontogenic factor), a gene that may act as a master switch for cancer. The name was later changed to Zbtb7 after some strong protest from the Pokémon franchisor because they don’t want to share their name with a cancer-causing gene.

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