September 15, 2010 (Vol. 30, No. 16)
Strong Points: Informative, a nice approach to teaching mouse streain nomenclature
Weak Points: Some links are broken
In the quest for scientific knowledge, learning nomenclature is half (if not more than half) the battle. And boy, scientists don’t make it easy! One example of dizzyingly complicated nomenclature is that designated for transgenic mice. So how can one hope to understand a name such as Gt(ROSA)26Sortm1(Smo/EYFP)Amc/J? Sure, you could refer to the tome-like International Rules for Nomenclature of Mouse and Rat Strains, but why would you do that when you could learn the basics in a fun, interactive way? Interactive is the approach taken by the folks behind GodFather, a nomenclature resource that (ironically) has a completely nonsensical name itself. It walks users through the various parts of mouse strain names, at “beginner’s” and “intermediate” levels. Though not a complete reference, it is a good introduction for people who learn by example, rather than by reading long lists of rules.