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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  1. bb says

    they must be running out of ideas for names…
    is there even any reason for them to name proteins after anime?

  2. Yein Jee says

    bb… well, obviously it’s not easy to find new and unique name. Actually it’s not unreasonable for the above cases to name it after the anime characters… they are connected in a certain way.

  3. Joan says

    Please are there any new updates on the pikachurin compound ? I chose it as my interesting compound of choice for my Organic chemistry project and I can’t find much about it on the internet. Please If there is any information regarding the physical properties, chemical properties and other information about the compound, please kindly post in reply to this. I need this before next week and I really want to do a term paper on this compound. Thank you!

    • Tyler says

      Hey I’m doing a report on this protein as well, do you think you could email me the information that you have please? :)

    • Yein Jee says

      This is old story, and this blog is not really a scientific or educational type (more for fun and leisure instead), can’t help much. Good luck.

    • John says

      Ah, another googler after the reference in Yuyushiki. And of course you will not bother with the boring Wiki article; you will go for the cool one with the Pikachu picture, even though it’s dated 2008.

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