Antisense and sensibilities

Paul N Hengen pnh at
Thu Jan 25 12:04:15 EST 1996

| Why not define the strands based on the action that is taken on them:  the
| transcribed strand (T-Strand) (for the anti-parallel complementary strand
| to the mRNA), and the non-transcirbed stand (N-Strand) for the strand with
| the same sequence as the mRNA? The name of the gene that is transcribed
| can be added if it has not already been defined (as suggested by Dr.
| Moldwin).   mRNA should be mRNA or sense-RNA, and anti-Sense RNA should be
| the anti-parallel complement to the message.  I don't see any ambiguity in
| this system.

Has everyone had their say yet? Can someone put this kind of proposal in
writing (more formalized) so we can vote on whether it is acceptable?
Anyone care to suggest what should be done with the tally? I am willing
to collect the yes and no answers. Maybe a letter to Science or Nature? Or
would you prefer I publish a letter of the proposal under my column in TIBS?
I'm willing to do this, but don't feel I should take all the credit for it,
so if anyone involved with the discussion (Bob, Steve, Louis, Tracy, Mikhail,
Ken, etc.) wants to help, e-mail me.

In case you missed it, here again are Bob's questions concerning how we go
about fixing the problem of sense and anti-sense terminology:

1) Should we try to come up with an Official Recommendation of the
Virtual Committee, or just take a vote, and announce how popular each
alternative is?
2) If we decide to make an Official Recommendation, what rules shall
we use to decide what constitutes a quorum, how much of a
majority/plurality is needed to be Official, etc.?
3) Should we work out a ballot here before the conference starts? This
could include summaries of the arguments for/against each suggested
term. Or should we use the conference to put together a ballot, and
take votes by e-mail?
4) Do we (mostly) agree that, due to conflicting historical
definitions, use of the terms "sense" and "anti-sense" as applied to
DNA are a Bad Idea? If so, the meeting could focus on which terms to
use. If we do not agree that our goal is to come up with better terms,
then it might be difficult to come to any conclusion at a meeting.
5) Should Paul Hengen be our ChairDude/Most Exhausted Grand High
6) Should we start a new BioMOO Meeting thread, for the benefit of
those who gave up on this one long ago?

* Paul N. Hengen, Ph.D.                           /--------------------------/*
* National Cancer Institute                       |Internet: pnh at |*
* Laboratory of Mathematical Biology              |   Phone: (301) 846-5581  |*
* Frederick Cancer Research and Development Center|     FAX: (301) 846-5598  |*
* Frederick, Maryland 21702-1201 USA              /--------------------------/*
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