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Aug. 2nd, 2011

[Szent-Györgi] crystallized [the chemical factor] in pure form and showed that it was an acid, related to sugars, that also occurs in oranges and in cabbage. The chemical names of sugars all end in “-ose”. Not knowing what kind of sugar it was, he first called it “ignose”. When the editor of the Biochemical Journal objected to that flippant name, he changed it to “godnose”, whereupon the incensed editor gave it the prosaic name “hexuronic acid”.

Max Perutz, I Wish I’d Made You Angry Earlier

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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
akicif
Aug. 2nd, 2011 11:27 am (UTC)
Which is the editor doing the same thing less flippantly: "hexuronic acid" is a generic term for an acid produced by partial oxidation of hexose sugars: glucose, for example, would give glucuronic acid, mannose gives mannuronic acid and galactose, galacturonic acid.

I suspect that Szent-Györgi could have got away with ignuronic or godnuronic acid, leaving ignose / godnose as the parent hexose....
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