Letter from Eloise R. Giblett to Victor A. McKusick
Number of Image Pages:
2 (76,661 Bytes)
1976-03-24 (March 24, 1976)
Giblett, Eloise R.
Puget Sound Blood Center
McKusick, Victor A.
Original Repository: Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives. Victor Almon McKusick Collection
Reproduced with permission of Eloise R. Giblett.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Terminology as Topic
The Bar Harbor Course and "McKusick's Catalog," 1960-1980
[McKusick's edits to the Report of the Nomenclature Committee [of the Workshop on Human Gene Mapping]] [17 March 1976]
Letter from Victor A. McKusick to the Nomenclature Committee [of the Workshop on Human Gene Mapping] (March 17, 1976)
24 March 1976
I could hardly believe my eyes when I received the latest version of what is now supposed to be a report from the Nomenclature
Committee of the Workshop on Human Gene Mapping. Our committee met last April, at the expense of the National Foundation,
specifically to iron out the problem of enzyme nomenclature. That was our charge from Dr. Bergsma, and that was the whole
basis for our two days of meetings in Philadelphia. We did not deal with the blood groups and HLA types for the reasons outlined
in the preamble of our report.
At the Baltimore meeting last October, the assembled group voted to accept this committee's report, and at least two journals
have subsequently adopted the nomenclature as a standard for authors. The American Journal of Human Genetics has already published
its endorsements (page 99 of the January, 1976 issue) and has stated (in good faith) that the consensus report will be published
as a part of the Baltimore Conference.
It was our understanding that we were to consider all of the enzymes currently under study for genetics purposes, regardless
of whether or not they had been assigned to a specific chromosome. It is totally wrong to quote our committee as necessarily
accepting the terminology for non-enzyme proteins. Also, there are several typographical errors which made my heart sink,
remembering the number of hours it took to prepare our report last summer before it was finally free of such errors. As it
now stands, the report is inaccurate, difficult to read, and incomplete. I can see no reason to leave out perfectly good enzymes
-- some of them genetically polymorphic -- just because their loci have not yet been assigned to specific chromosomes.
In short, I am totally opposed to revising a report which was accepted by vote and which has been adopted by journals under
the assumption that it is to be published in Human Gene Mapping 3. I hope that other members of the committee will join me
in urging you not to violate the fruits of our labor. In spite of that horribly mixed metaphor, I feel very strongly about
the matter. Please tell me you won't go through with the revision!