It's been a while, but it is time for another JABBA award. I occasionally hand out these awards whenever I see Just Another Bogus Bioinformatics Acronym (though the awards also apply to initialisms). You can see details of many previous JABBA award winners elsewhere on this site.
The latest recipient of a JABBA award is this new paper published in Genome Biology:
- MUSIC: Identification of Enriched Regions in ChIP-Seq Experiments using a Mappability-Corrected Multiscale Signal Processing Framework
As soon as I saw the title, I assumed that MUSIC would be an acronym or initialism but the paper itself does not explain what the name means. My hopes were raised that maybe this was just a simple, pleasant-sounding, name for a piece of software — a name which didn't try to clumsily form itself from a desperate grab of various letters from a longer description of the software. I was just about to thank them for the MUSIC when I thought I would check the software page that is linked to from the paper. That's when I saw this:
They chose not to mention this in the paper, but MUSIC is derived from Multiscale Enrichment Calling! The use of the letter 'i' from the word 'Enrichment' is what really escalates this to the status of a bogus acronym. By this logic they could have called this tool many other things (including 'MENTAL'). I'm a bit surprised that they didn't go for the slightly longer 'MUSICAL' (or even 'MUSICALL' if they wanted a genuinely unique name).
Although this software tool will be hard to find with a Google Search — unless people specifically search for 'ChIP-seq MUSIC — we should at least be thankful that no-one else has ever published a bioinformatics tool called MUSIC. Oh wait, they have.