Tuesday, 24 December 2013

EDGE - Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered

Joining FATE in the pantheon of conservation acronyms, EDGE stands for Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered. It is the focus of the EDGE of Existence project, “saving the world’s most extraordinary species”:

“The EDGE of Existence programme is the only global conservation initiative to focus specifically on threatened species that represent a significant amount of unique evolutionary history.

Using a scientific framework to identify the world’s most Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) species, the EDGE of Existence programme highlights and protects some of the weirdest and most wonderful species on the planet. EDGE species have few close relatives on the tree of life and are often extremely unusual in the way they look, live and behave, as well as in their genetic make-up. They represent a unique and irreplaceable part of the world’s natural heritage, yet an alarming proportion are currently sliding silently towards extinction unnoticed.”

EDGE species are on the edge, so EDGE is clear pre hoc.

h/t: The Infinite Monkey Cage podcast

Sunday, 22 December 2013

FAIR - Flowchart Analysis of Investigation Results

If you are trying to establish where the blame lies for an accident, you might make use of FAIR: Flowchart Analysis of Investigation Results.

"The FAiR® System (Flowchart Analysis of Investigation Results) is an innovative management tool for determining the nature of errors and enables management to assess levels of culpability and ensure appropriate remedial actions. … By focusing upon the individuals’ actions and intentions as opposed to the consequences the FAiR® System guides intervention choices so that an organization can ensure that any defences put in place to prevent recurrence can be tailored to maximize effectiveness from both a systems and human performance perspective."

Because this is an attempt to make the blame game fairer (and avoid blaming the driver/pilot just because theirs is normally the last mistake before a crash), I think that FAIR counts as a pre hoc acronym. FAiR® might also be the first registered trademark on ORCA. I’m not sure what the lower case i is about, though.

h/t: The Pod Delusion episode 212.

Monday, 16 December 2013

BADGERS - Building Analysis Datasets and Gathering Experience Returns for Security

Whilst researching yesterday’s second WOMBAT, I came across another acronym even more contrived that the first: BADGERS - Building Analysis Datasets and Gathering Experience Returns for Security - was the name given to the Second Open Workshop for the WOMBAT project. Given that badgers have some superficial similarities to wombats, being “short-legged, heavy set” animals of similar size, I think that you can retroactively fit a connection so this one’s a post hoc.

For their commitment to contrived acronyms, I think the WOMBAT team deserve the second Outstanding Contribution To Acronym Generation Or Notoriety (OCTAGON) award.

[NB. This is not the first BADGER in ORCA.]

Sunday, 15 December 2013

WOMBAT - Worldwide Observatory of Malicious Behaviors and Attack Threats

Animal acronyms are always popular and today we have another WOMBAT - Worldwide Observatory of Malicious Behaviors and Attack Threats. This is an EU project, so unlike the last WOMBAT, there is no Aussie connection.

I am not sure whether wombats (which have cubic poo, by the way) are particularly malicious or threatening, although the Wikipedia entry does note:

“Humans who accidentally find themselves in a fray with a wombat may find it best to scale a tree until the animal calms and leaves. Humans can receive puncture wounds from wombat claws, as well as bites. Startled wombats can also charge humans and bowl them over, with the attendant risks of broken bones from the fall.”

As they are herbivores, I think that such attacks are likely only when they feel threatened. The link becomes even more tenuous when you realise that the attacks concerning WOMBAT are cyberattacks:

“The WOMBAT project aims at providing new means to understand the existing and emerging threats that are targeting the Internet economy and the net citizens.”

I run a bioinformatics lab in Australia but I am yet to encounter any coding marsupials, so I am rating this one a definite ad hoc.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

WOMBAT - Work Observation Method By Activity Timing

Coming back closer to home geographically, WOMBAT - Work Observation Method By Activity Timing is another UNSW research project, this time round out of the Faculty of Medicine:

“The WOMBAT technique was developed to undertake direct observational studies of health professionals using a handheld computer tool, allowing observers to capture multi-dimensional aspects of work and communication patterns. WOMBAT automatically captures all time data related to tasks, as well as detailing interruptions to work and multi-tasking.”

The link between WOMBAT and its underlying meaning is clearly just the Australian connection, so I think that it only merits a post hoc classification. It probably has the cutest acronym logo to date, though!

Friday, 13 December 2013

LAMARC - Likelihood Analysis with Metropolis Algorithm using Random Coalescence

A post on the Evolution Directory (EvolDir) altered me to another classic bioinformatics acronym today: LAMARC - Likelihood Analysis with Metropolis Algorithm using Random Coalescence, which has just been updated to version 2.1.9.

“LAMARC is a program which estimates population-genetic parameters such as population size, population growth rate, recombination rate, and migration rates. It approximates a summation over all possible genealogies that could explain the observed sample, which may be sequence, SNP, microsatellite, or electrophoretic data. LAMARC and its sister program Migrate are successor programs to the older programs Coalesce, Fluctuate, and Recombine, which are no longer being supported. The programs are memory-intensive but can run effectively on workstations; we support a variety of operating systems.”

I was all prepared to leap straight in and award LAMARC the coveted pre hoc acronym category for contriving a domain-relevant acronym when I was somewhat halted in my tracks by this statement on the website:

“The LAMARC package is not in any immediate sense derived from the work of Jean Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, Chevalier de Lamarck(1744-1829). The similarity of names is mostly accidental. But all evolutionary biologists do owe him a debt. Lamarck is an unfairly maligned figure. In addition to being one of the greatest figures of invertebrate biology, he was one of the founders (with Buffon) of the theory of evolution, and the first to propose a mechanism for evolution. You may want to read more about his life and work.”

I am not entirely convinced that the similarity of the names can really be “mostly accidental”, even if that particular acronym did leap out at them once they had the keywords. Either way, the evolutionary link is clear and so, accident or not, I think this warrants a pre hoc rather than post hoc. (Now go and read up on Lamarck.)

More JABBA Awards at keithbradnam.com

Just a quick post to note that Keith Bradnam has a few more contrived bioinformatics algorithms at over at keithbradnam.com for another round of JABBA (Just Another Bogus Bioinformatics Acronym) awards. I’ll no doubt steal them for ORCA once a decent amount of time has passed! :op (Actually, they’ve been up for a couple of weeks already, I was just slow to spot them.)

Thursday, 12 December 2013

ADAN - prediction of protein-protein interAction of moDular domAiNs

The ADAN Database - prediction of protein-protein interAction of moDular domAiNs - breaks the rules, really, as it is not technically an acronym. To be honest, I am not really sure what it is but it seemed so contrived that it warranted an ORCA entry. To add to the confusion, I do not know what “Adan” (the word rather than the database) is nor its relevance to protein-protein interactions, which is one of my own research areas.

As the database seems to be hosted by Universidad Miguel Hernández in Spain, the only thing I can think is that it is a backronym homage to Spanish footballer, Antonio Adán!

h/t: Nico.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

SPITFIRE - Southampton Partnership for Innovative Training of Future Investigators Researching the Environment

SPITFIRE is the Southampton Partnership for Innovative Training of Future Investigators Researching the Environment](http://projects.noc.ac.uk/spitfire/), which is a doctoral training partnership (i.e. PhD programme) run out of the University of Southampton. The Supermarine spitfire is a well-known World War II British fighter plane developed by the Supermarine Aviation Works at Southampton. SPITFIRE therefore rates as an elite pre hoc acronym - and an impressively contrived one, at that.

Monday, 9 December 2013

FATE - Future of Australia’s Threatened Ecosystems

FATE - Future of Australia’s Threatened Ecosystems - is a project somewhat linked to the last post, CREATE and for some time was also housed at University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia. It has since moved to the University of Sydney and I am struggling to find much more about it. The best so far comes from the webpage of Peter Ampt at U. Sydney:

For the past 6 years I have managed the Future of Australia’s Threatened Ecosystems (FATE) Program which began at the Australian Museum, moved to UNSW and is now to Sydney University. It is the brainchild of Professor Mike Archer and aims to explore the sustainable use of native species and ecosystems to generate conservation benefits. FATE has concentrated on the management and commercial harvest of kangaroos including consumer attitudes to eating kangaroo meat, the opportunities and barriers to achieving conservation through sustainable use, the feasibility of the use on native mammals as pets and the potential of regional bio-energy strategies to drive improved natural resource management through native agroforestry.

Fate… the future… I think that deserves a pre hoc classification.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

CREATE - Coalition for Research into the Evolution of Australian Terrestrial Ecosystems

CREATE - the Coalition for Research into the Evolution of Australian Terrestrial Ecosystems is a foundation run by my faculty (Science) at the University of New South Wales:

The CREATE fund has been established to provide a focus for studies into the evolution of Australia’s Ecosystems, concentrating on the last 100 million years.

The main emphasis is on the lessons that can be learned from the past and how these can provide an understanding of the present and the key to our future.

I think that CREATE counts as ad hoc but given that the products of their research constitute a stream of explanatory problems for Creationists, perhaps it is an ironic backronym!

Thursday, 5 December 2013

COLBERT - Combined Operational Load-Bearing External Resistance Treadmill

COLBERT - the Combined Operational Load-Bearing External Resistance Treadmill - is the device used by astronauts on the International Space Station to keep fit. The NASA treadmill was originally called the T-2 but was renamed:

NASA selected the treadmill’s name after comedian and host Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” took interest during the Node 3 naming census and urged his followers to post the name “Colbert,” which received the most entries.

The acronym was engineered to fit the initials in a kind of inverse post hoc fashion (where the relevance of the acronym is added after its construction). In fact, COLBERT represents a new class of acronym to ORCA: the "Backcronym". (It was the Backcronym wikipedia page where I came across COLBERT, in fact.)

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

ACHOO - Autosomal dominant Compelling Helio-Ophthalmic Outburst

ACHOO - Autosomal dominant Compelling Helio-Ophthalmic Outburst - syndrome is another name for Photic sneeze reflex. This is the condition that affects around a fifth to a third of the population in which stimuli such as bright lights trigger uncontrolled sneezing. (Also known as “sun sneezing”.)

According to the source from which I discovered ACHOO, the ABC Science Weekly Update, it is “a funny acronym invented by doctors to help them remember the essentials of the photic sneeze reflex!” Personally, I think that “Photic sneeze reflex” is clearer than “Autosomal dominant Compelling Helio-Ophthalmic Outburst”! I suspect they were just having a bit of fun but, either way, it gets the coveted pre hoc status for such a well-aligned (if somewhat over contrived) acronym. (It’s just a shame about the “dominant” bit, which, ironically is probably the most likely bit to be forgotten!)

Thursday, 21 November 2013

ASSET - Accelerated Segment Switch in Exons to alter Targeting

See the entry for RAVER. These guys had clearly tried so hard to contrive an acronym that was a dictionary word (surely it should really be ASSEAT?) that I thought they deserved their own entry.

ASSET - Accelerated Segment Switch in Exons to alter Targeting:

Doley R, Mackessy SP & Kini RM (2009).Role of accelerated segment switch in exons to alter targeting (ASSET) in the molecular evolution of snake venom proteins. BMC Evol Biol. 9:146.

RAVER - Rapid Accumulation of Variations in Exposed Residues

Things are beginning to settle after my recent move to Australia and today’s PubCrawler alert contained a reminder that ORCA had been somewhat neglected over the past few weeks:

RAVER - Rapid Accumulation of Variations in Exposed Residues - is the acronym given to a new theory to explain the molecular evolution of “three-finger” (snake) toxins:

Sunagar K, Jackson TN, Undheim EA, Ali SA, Antunes A & Fry BG (2013). Three-Fingered RAVERs: Rapid Accumulation of Variations in Exposed Residues of Snake Venom Toxins. Toxins (Basel) 5(11):2172-2208.

Three-finger toxins (3FTx) represent one of the most abundantly secreted and potently toxic components of colubrid (Colubridae), elapid (Elapidae) and psammophid (Psammophiinae subfamily of the Lamprophidae) snake venom arsenal. Despite their conserved structural similarity, they perform a diversity of biological functions. Although they are theorised to undergo adaptive evolution, the underlying diversification mechanisms remain elusive. Here, we report the molecular evolution of different 3FTx functional forms and show that positively selected point mutations have driven the rapid evolution and diversification of 3FTx. These diversification events not only correlate with the evolution of advanced venom delivery systems (VDS) in Caenophidia, but in particular the explosive diversification of the clade subsequent to the evolution of a high pressure, hollow-fanged VDS in elapids, highlighting the significant role of these toxins in the evolution of advanced snakes. We show that Type I, II and III α-neurotoxins have evolved with extreme rapidity under the influence of positive selection. We also show that novel Oxyuranus/Pseudonaja Type II forms lacking the apotypic loop-2 stabilising cysteine doublet characteristic of Type II forms are not phylogenetically basal in relation to other Type IIs as previously thought, but are the result of secondary loss of these apotypic cysteines on at least three separate occasions. Not all 3FTxs have evolved rapidly: κ-neurotoxins, which form non-covalently associated heterodimers, have experienced a relatively weaker influence of diversifying selection; while cytotoxic 3FTx, with their functional sites, dispersed over 40% of the molecular surface, have been extremely constrained by negative selection. We show that the a previous theory of 3FTx molecular evolution (termed ASSET) is evolutionarily implausible and cannot account for the considerable variation observed in very short segments of 3FTx. Instead, we propose a theory of Rapid Accumulation of Variations in Exposed Residues (RAVER) to illustrate the significance of point mutations, guided by focal mutagenesis and positive selection in the evolution and diversification of 3FTx.

This is really a twofer, as RAVER itself is proposed as a replacement for ASSET, which is pretty weak as fitting words to acronyms goes: ASSET - Accelerated Segment Switch in Exons to alter Targeting:

Doley R, Mackessy SP & Kini RM (2009).Role of accelerated segment switch in exons to alter targeting (ASSET) in the molecular evolution of snake venom proteins. BMC Evol Biol. 9:146.

Unless there are more snakes in banking or dance music than I realise, I think these must both be rated as ad hoc.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

PICRUSt - Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States

I think that my favourite talk from the 1st International Environmental ‘Omics Synthesis Conference was the Keynote address by Jack Gilbert on the Earth Microbiome Project and other cool microbial metagenomic/metagenetic stuff. It also featured an impressively contrived acronym:

PICRUSt - Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States.

Profiling phylogenetic marker genes, such as the 16S rRNA gene, is a key tool for studies of microbial communities but does not provide direct evidence of a community’s functional capabilities. Here we describe PICRUSt (phylogenetic investigation of communities by reconstruction of unobserved states), a computational approach to predict the functional composition of a metagenome using marker gene data and a database of reference genomes. PICRUSt uses an extended ancestral-state reconstruction algorithm to predict which gene families are present and then combines gene families to estimate the composite metagenome. Using 16S information, PICRUSt recaptures key findings from the Human Microbiome Project and accurately predicts the abundance of gene families in host-associated and environmental communities, with quantifiable uncertainty. Our results demonstrate that phylogeny and function are sufficiently linked that this ‘predictive metagenomic’ approach should provide useful insights into the thousands of uncultivated microbial communities for which only marker gene surveys are currently available.

Langille MGI et al. (2013). Predictive functional profiling of microbial communities using 16S rRNA marker gene sequences. Nature Biotechnology 31, 814–821.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

GOBLET - Global Organisation for Bioinformatics Learning, Education & Training

I’m at the 1st International Environmental Omics Synthesis (iEOS) Conference conference in Cardiff, which means (a) very little time for posting, and (b) a wealth of acronyms on display. A particularly notable contribution from one of the earlier sessions was GOBLET: Global Organisation for Bioinformatics Learning, Education & Training.

GOBLET, the Global Organisation for Bioinformatics Learning, Education and Training, is a legally registered foundation. Its mission is to:

  1. Provide a global, sustainable support and networking structure for bioinformatics educators/trainers and students/trainees (including a training portal for sharing materials, tools, tips and techniques; guidelines and best practice documents; facilities to help train the trainers; and offering different learning pathways for different types of learner)

  2. Facilitate capacity development in bioinformatics in all countries

  3. Develop standards and guidelines for bioinformatics education and training

  4. Act as a hub for fund gathering

  5. Reach out to, amongst others, teachers at high schools, to bridge the gap to the next generation of bioinformaticians, and

  6. Foster the international community of B3CB trainers

As well as the natty acronym, it could be quite useful.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

BEDASSLE - Bayesian Estimation of Differentiation in Alleles by Spatial Structure and Local Ecology

Courtesy of Graham Coop on Twitter comes BEDASSLE: Bayesian Estimation of Differentiation in Alleles by Spatial Structure and Local Ecology.

"This is a method [Gideon Bradburd] worked on in collaboration with Peter Ralph and Graham Coop. It allows users to quantify the relative contributions of geographic and environmental distance to patterns of genetic differentiation."

This is a very solid ad hoc contrived acronym - making a word that is easy to pronounce but also (thanks to the altered spelling) easy to Google whilst not sounding too contrived. Hats off to Gideon, Peter and Graham. (I'm not really sure that I understand the connection to the logo, though!)

Monday, 9 September 2013

PURRS - Personal Unconditional Rescue Rehabilitation Re-homing Satisfactorily

Posts are a bit thin on the ground at present due to moving house and travelling around, but here’s an acronym that I came across whilst packing up my worldly goods. It’s the motto of Barbara’s Cat Rescue and deserves a mention here firstly because of it’s clear pre hoc contrived nature and, (a more important) secondly, to give a bit of extra publicity to Barbara.

PURRS - Personal Unconditional Rescue Rehabilitation Re-homing Satisfactorily

If looking after homeless animals is your kind of thing, please visit (and “Like”) Barbara’s Facebook page. Better still, make a donation!

Saturday, 31 August 2013

FACE - Free-Air CO2 Enrichment

Free-Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) is not the most contrived acronym in the world but it’s worth a quick mention because (1) I am involved in a project looking at the effects of elevated CO2 and (2) it is one of those acronyms that, whilst hard to Google without extra keywords, gives lots of opportunities for punny titles. (And who doesn’t love a punny title now and again.) Indeed, one such punny title was the inspiration of today’s post, an ecology Editor’s Choice article in Science: “About FACE” (Sugden AM, 2013. Science 341: 938).

As faces do emit CO2 and, by doing so, enrich the free-air CO2, I’m rating FACE as post hoc. (Although I don’t think that’s what they had in mind!)

Thursday, 29 August 2013

ORCAE - Online Resource for Community Annotation of Eukaryotes

Another contribution from top ORCA spotter, Bethan, and another animal-themed genome resource. This one was too good to ignore: ORCAE - Online Resource for Community Annotation of Eukaryotes:

ORCAE is an online genome annotation resource offering users the necessary tools and information to validate and correct gene annotations. The system is build on the wiki philosophy, all modifications to a certain gene are stored and can be found back in the annotation history of that gene. To be able to modify genes however you will need to have a user account. Anonymous users can browse the public genomes but don’t have editing rights.

Sterck L, Billiau K, Abeel T, Rouzé P & Van de Peer Y (2012). ORCAE: online resource for community annotation of eukaryotes. Nat. Methods 9:1041.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

BADGER - British Aristocrats Disregard Government Expert's Research

The last acronym, whilst badgery, did not really capture the right tone so I opted to create my own:

BADGER - British Aristocrats Disregard Government Expert’s Research.

Like the badger cull, it’s not pretty but (unlike the cull) it makes the point, I think.

A close second was: BADGER - British Aristocrats Defy Gathered Evidence and Research. Feel free to submit your own in the comments.

BADGER - Bay Area Digital GEo-Resource

To highlight the plight of the British badger, I wanted a BADGER acronym today. The best I have found (thanks to Acronyms List) is BADGER - Bay Area Digital GEo-Resource:

The Bay Area Digital GeoResource (BADGER) Project is a three year project to develop a non-profit community service that offers on-line access to San Francisco Bay Area geographic data. This resource will provide an easy and efficient method of accessing information developed from satellite and aerial imagery, maps, and databases to industry, government agencies and the general public.

BADGER is a collaboration between Lockheed-Martin and two more acronyms: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Ames Research Center and the Bay Area Shared Information Consortium (BASIC). BASIC itself is worthy of ORCA, I think.

One of their other acronyms is not so impressive:

The user is asked to identify the site by street address or assessor’s parcel number. The application code then locates the site and displays the parcel boundary on a digital orthophotoquad (DOQQ).

I am not sure where the second Q comes from!

Monday, 26 August 2013

JABBA - Just Another Bogus Bioinformatics Acronym

As already noted in the recent Biostars post, my own field of bioinformatics is particularly bad (or good, depending on your point of view,) at spawning contrived acronyms. Sometimes this works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes, you get the feeling that people are trying a little too hard.

Keith Bradnam has a long and illustrious career in bioinformatics - I first met him when I was a PhD student in Nottingham in the late ’90s, where he was probably the number one local bioinformatics guru. As a result, he has seen more that his fair share of acronym atrocities committed in the name of science. This has resulted in his creation of the Just Another Bogus Bioinformatics Acronym (JABBA) Award.

I won’t reveal the winner of the inaugural JABBA award here - you’ll have to read Keith’s post, linked above, to find out - but ORCA is sufficiently impressed with Keith’s commitment to using acronyms to fight acronyms, that he is being awarded the inaugural Outstanding Contribution To Acronym Generation Or Notoriety (OCTAGON) award. Congratulations, Keith!

Sunday, 25 August 2013

GARFIELD - Genome Annotation Resource FIELDs (a cat genome browser)

This seemed like an appropriate “Caturday” post. GARFIELD is short for Genome Annotation Resource FIELDs and is a real pre hoc contrived acronym, for this is a cat genome browser. It’s a shame that there is nothing inherently feline about the expanded name, which suggests that sacrifices were made in pursuit of the desired acronym, but it’s still a worthy effort.

As well as its clear ORCA credentials, GARFIELD has a special place in ORCA as it was an email about it from a friend and collaborator that first brought the idea of resuscitating ORCA to mind. Thanks, Bethan!

Pontius JU & O’Brien SJ (2007), Genome Annotation Resource Fields—GARFIELD: A Genome Browser for Felis catus. J Hered 98 (5): 386-389.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

BIOSTAR - BIOinformatic Special Tactics And Rescue

Thanks to official Friend of ORCA™, Niall, ORCA has hit the Biostar forum. Quite a few of the suggested acronyms in the thread are already queued up for (re)posting but check out Niall's post for an earlier look at some of the riches the field of bioinformatics provides in terms of contrived acronyms - good and bad!

Biostar administrator Istvan Albert contributed one for Biostar itself: BIOinformatic Special Tactics And Rescue. I don't think Biostar is actually an acronym in reality. (Although I always thought it was BioStars and was short for Bioinformatics Stars!) This might constitute a new class of acronym - one that is made up after the word has already been in existence for a while. Inverted post hoc, maybe.

I am guessing that Istvan was inspired by SWAT - Special Weapons And Tactics - a classic that probably deserves a place in ORCA itself. I reckon SWAT is also post hoc - they go and swat the bad guys but it's a tenuous link at best.

PS. If you like this sort of thing, you should also check out another Biostars forum post, CRAC: funny and/or weird names for bioinformatics tools.

Friday, 23 August 2013

ORCA - the Organisation of Really Contrived Acronyms

The obvious, though possibly not best, acronym to kick things off is ORCA itself:

The Organisation of Really Contrived Acronyms.
orca noun any of various whales, esp. the killer whale.

organisation noun
a group of people formed into a society, union, or especially business.

really adv.
very; genuinely

contrived adj.
forced or artificial.

acronym noun
a word made from the first letters or syllables of other words.

ORCA was founded in 2004 by Rich Edwards, then a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Prof Denis Shields at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. I’m not sure now where these definitions come from (possibly OED online) but I have decided to stick with the original 2004 definitions. The term “Organisation” is a bit of a stretch but then these are contrived acronyms.

ORCA is an ad hoc acronym - until we discover that cetaceans are prolific abbreviators, at least. (Who knows what those clicks and whistles mean‽)

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Resurrecting the beast

ORCA, the Organisation for Really Contrived Acronyms, has been dormant for many years. ORCA was created as a fun little side-project when I was a postdoc at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and was in the middle of a particularly productive spell of contrived acronym names for bioinformatics programs - many of them mine!

In the years since it has dwindled and ultimately disappeared when the old server hosting it perished. Recently, however, an acronym emailed to me by a friend reminded me of the old project and I did a little Google search for “organisation of really contrived acronyms”. The old site, long gone, was not found but there were three hits. One was a Facebook competition post by the Canadian Museum of Nature from March 2009:

Trivia Game—Whales Tohorā
What do the Oral Cancer Awareness Foundation, Ireland’s Organisation of Really Contrived Acronyms, and the Ontario Region Ceramic Association have in common?

This game is inspired by
Whales Tohorā
at the Canadian Museum of Nature
March 2 – September 3, 2012

For some reason, this inspired me to resurrect the old beast! Acronyms to follow…