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NyxAustin
04-24-2013, 08:24 PM
OK, so a disease breaks out, everyone is scared but the scientists still manage to make up a long name that sounds like nonsense. Where do they come up with those scientific sounding names?

From what I understand they make a preliminary name - but how do they come up with that.

I think I can make up the common name everyone else uses, but I'd like to know where the preliminary scientific name comes from.

Thank you in advance.

GeorgeK
04-24-2013, 08:48 PM
Typically it's named either for its discoverer, whoever figured out a cure, patient zero, location of patient zero or a scientific name describing either the presenting syndrome or the scientific name of the organism causing the disease. The names are not nonsence to physicians, virologists or bacteriologists

Lyme disease is named for Lyme County in one of the New England states (Connecticut). The causative agent is Borrelia burgdorferi (Burgdorfer was one of the scientists or doctors involved in its study). The disease is Borelliosis. Borellia is the genus name of the bacteria

Just as an aside, most physicians already have a name for a putative bacterium that will be resistant to antibiotics and cause a pandemic. We call it Godzillabacter. Some call it Gorillabacter.

King Neptune
04-24-2013, 09:09 PM
Typically it's named either for its discoverer, whoever figured out a cure, patient zero, location of patient zero or a scientific name describing either the presenting syndrome or the scientific name of the organism causing the disease. The names are not nonsence to physicians, virologists or bacteriologists

Lyme disease is named for Lyme County in one of the New England states (Connecticut). The causative agent is Borrelia burgdorferi (Burgdorfer was one of the scientists or doctors involved in its study). The disease is Borelliosis. Borellia is the genus name of the bacteria

Just as an aside, most physicians already have a name for a putative bacterium that will be resistant to antibiotics and cause a pandemic. We call it Godzillabacter. Some call it Gorillabacter.

No, Lyme disease is named for the Town of Lyme, Ct.

That godzillbacter probably already exists. Well, not just probably but almost certainly it already exists. It's more a matter of it breaking out of whatever limited range it has and becoming the Big One.

NyxAustin
04-24-2013, 11:01 PM
Thanks, that helps a lot. And don't worry, I don't actually think they are nonsense.

veinglory
04-24-2013, 11:05 PM
Most diseases have a name of common use that arises as they emerge, whatever people start to call it as they confer about what to do.

The only reason it would need some other name would be if they discover an exact bacteria or virus that causes it (H1N1 etc).

That is how 'poll evil' (horse has a sore head and is mean) became 'Brucellosis' (caused by Brucella bacteria) etc.

GeorgeK
04-25-2013, 12:13 AM
No, Lyme disease is named for the Town of Lyme, Ct.

fair enough


That godzillbacter probably already exists. Well, not just probably but almost certainly it already exists. It's more a matter of it breaking out of whatever limited range it has and becoming the Big One. it is sort of inevitable

King Neptune
04-25-2013, 01:17 AM
it is sort of inevitable

Yes, it's just a matter of time.

Buffysquirrel
04-25-2013, 04:04 AM
Or a disease may be named for what it does--like HIV.