Mens Sana Monographs
: 2011  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 294--319

Science, names giving and names calling: Change NDM-1 to PCM

Ajai R Singh 
 Editor, MSM, India

Correspondence Address:
Ajai R Singh
14, Shiva Kripa, Trimurty Road, Nahur, Mulund [W], Mumbai 400 080

A journal editor recently apologised for publishing a 2010 paper in which authors designated an enzyme as New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase-1 (NDM-1) and its related gene blaNDM-1 after a city, New Delhi. This name had raised an outcry in India, with health authorities, media and medical practitioners demanding New Delhi be dropped from the name. The name was actually first given in another 2009 paper, whose corresponding author remains the same as the 2010 paper. There is a tradition of eponymous names in science. But those found derogatory to races, groups, cities, and countries have been changed. For example, DQMongolismDQ was changed to DownSQs syndrome; DQAustraliaDQ antigen to HBsAg; DQMexicanDQ Swine flu to H1N1; DQGRIDDQ (Gay Related Immune Deficiency) and 4H-Disease (Haitians, Homosexuals, Haemophiliacs and Heroin Users Disease) to AIDS. It is necessary that NDM-1 also be changed to a name based on scientific characteristics. NDM-1 must be changed to PCM (plasmid-encoding carbapenem-resistant metallo-β-lactamase). It is also necessary to review the tradition of naming organisms, diseases, genes, etc. after cities, countries and races. Often, such names giving amounts to names calling. It needs to be discarded by scientists in all new names giving from now on. DQGeographicalDQ and DQracialDQ names giving must be replaced by DQscientificDQ names giving. Journal editors must ensure that such scientific names giving is laid down as standard guideline in paper submissions. All such names still in currency need to be phased out by replacing them with names based on scientific characteristics, or in honour of their pioneering scientist/s or institutions. The lead author of the above 2010 paper has said he was not consulted about the final draft and did not agree with the conclusions of the paper. To ensure that corresponding authors do not ride roughshod over co-authors, and lead and other authors do not backtrack on papers, editors must ensure written concurrence of all authors, especially the lead author, to the final draft of a paper and include this in their guidelines for paper submissions.

How to cite this article:
Singh AR. Science, names giving and names calling: Change NDM-1 to PCM.Mens Sana Monogr 2011;9:294-319

How to cite this URL:
Singh AR. Science, names giving and names calling: Change NDM-1 to PCM. Mens Sana Monogr [serial online] 2011 [cited 2020 Feb 20 ];9:294-319
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