What is the gt in lambda gt10 or gt11?

Mark D. Garfinkel mg16 at ellis.uchicago.edu
Fri Mar 18 08:41:46 EST 1994

smithwhi at students.msu.edu  (Brian Smith-White) posts:

>> >> [prior poster attribution deleted] The 'gt' label was good
>> >> advertising for Young and Davis, but is it good terminology?
>        The vocabulary is explicitly designated in the original literature -
>        PNAS 71,4579 (1974). Since you claim to have read the original
>        literature I will provide the quote for those of us who obviously
>        don't have either the time or the inclination to read and forget.
>        TERMINOLOGY. The term lambda gt (generalized transducer) designates
>        that portion of the lambda genome that is common to all the hybrid
>        DNA molecules and contains all of the essential genes for plaque
>        formation." (So much for the "garbage truck" theory put forth in an
>        accompanying note.)

	I can't help but wonder if Mr. Smith-White had *never* heard of
the Thomas (Cameron) and Davis, 1974, PNAS paper he so thoughtfully quoted
before I posted the pointer to it. If so, the least he could have done is
acknowledge publically that fact. Mr. Smith-White should be careful in his
insinuations regarding people who "read & forget." The posters & lurkers in
this group undoubtedly includes scientists who have been in the business
much longer than he has, men & women who have forgotten more than he may
ever know.

	As for his dismissal of the "garbage truck" theory: I posted that
my authority is a scientist now-eminent in his own right, who had been one
of Ron Davis's graduate students of that era. I so much as said my source
was one of four named individuals. Someone sufficiently motivated could
contact any of them for corroboration. I posted that "garbage truck" likely
wouldn't be found in the literature. I stand by, reiterate, and amplify my
earlier statement: "garbage truck" is the original meaning of "gt" in
cloning vector terminology, given by the Davis lab technician who built the
earliest of the vectors. Since she didn't write the papers, "generalized
transducer" was the sanitized form chosen for publication.

	Cute names, trivial meaningless names, amusingly irreverent names,
did not begin in 1985 with biotech companies' marketing efforts.

	Anyone care to debate the origins of "amber," "opal" and "ocher"?

Mark D. Garfinkel (e-mail: garfinkl at iitmax.acc.iit.edu)
My views are my own, which is why they're copyright 1994 (c)
Ignore the header; I post from here only if I can't post from there.

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