Damn and blast…I can't think of what to name my software


As many people have pointed out on Twitter this week, there is a new preprint on bioRxiv that merits some discussion:

The full name of the test that is the subject of this article is the Bron/Lyon Attention Stability Test. You have to admit that 'BLAST' is a punchy and catchy acronym for a software tool.

It's just a shame that is also an acronym for another piece of software that you may have come across.

It's a bold move to give your software the same name as another tool that has only been cited at least 135,000 times!

This is not the first, nor will it be the last, example of duplicate names in bioinformatics software, many of which I have written about before.

The 100,000 Genomes Project has finished

This week I helped write a blog post for The Institute of Cancer Research to mark the completion of the 100,000 Genomes Project. This blog post was co-written by a former colleague, Dr Sam Dick, who wrote the majority of the article:

Read the blog post:

Reflecting on this milestone achievement, I also took to Twitter this week for a lengthy (and admittedly rambling) thread that reflected on how far genomics has come as a field. Click on the tweet below to see the full Twitter thread:

Hopping back for another JABBA award

jabba logo.png

So I was meant to have retired myself from handing out JABBA awards to recognise instances of ‘Just Another Bogus Bioinformatics Algorithm’. However, I saw something this week which clearly merits an award.

And so, from a new paper recently published in PLoS ONE I give you:

The three lower-case letters signal that there is going to be some name wrangling going on…so let’s see how the authors arrive at this name:

GRASShopPER: GPU overlap GRaph ASSembler using Paired End Reads

That’s how it is described in the paper, so I guess it could have also been called ‘GOGAUPER’? I find this is another example of a clumsily constructed acronym that could have been avoided altogether.

‘Grasshopper’ is a cool, and catchy, name for any software tool and it doesn’t really need to be retconned into making an awkward acronym.

It does, however, give me one new animal for the JABBA menagerie!