Scientists Rename Human Genes Because of Excel

In their studies, scientists have managed to find a solution to the problem people experience with Excel, which sees the codes of their genes as history: Changing the names of genes.


One of the things that make people extraordinary is their genes. Our genetic structures are unique; each of us gains different characteristics that make us who we are, thanks to these genes. Scientists who study genes, on the other hand, name each gene differently.


Each gene has an alphanumeric code in addition to its name. Scientists call it a symbol, and generally, these codes are used to tell you what gene is being mentioned when you look at a research or a document.

Problems with Excel

It is known that many studies use Excel. Although different programs are used for specialized and specific studies, Microsoft Excel is quite sufficient when working at a basic level. Excel is among the highly preferred programs in genetic studies.


Scientists involved in genetic studies, therefore, changed the symbols of 27 genes. The reason for this was that if the old alphanumeric codes were used, the program perceived the entered data as a date. For example, the abbreviation for the structure named "Membrane Associated Ring-CH-Type Finger 1" was MARCH 1, and Excel was converting it to the period March 1.

Technically, the HUGO Gene Terminology Committee (HGNC) came to the aid of scientists who experienced a similar problem with the comma and dot problem we encountered while writing decimal numbers between Turkish and English versions of Excel.

New naming from HGNC


The Hugo Gene Terminology Committee has the right to determine the terminology used worldwide. HGNC has released a new community naming guide. Old designations were also specified with the new catalog. Thus, it aims to prevent confusion arising from the changes.

In general, this name change was a decision that received support from all scientists. Although the researchers solved the problem by formatting the cells one by one after entering the data in Excel files, this method was not both long term, and everything could turn back when someone opened the file.

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