This post was most recently updated on October 4th, 2016
Naming of microorganisms is a very challenging game. Some of the name of microorganisms are given in honour of those persons who have discovered this organism. In some cases the name of particular organism is dervied from the place of its discovery, and in other cases the name reflects some of the salient feature of the organisms such as Staphylococci (grape like cluster: morphology), Mycobacteria: (containing Mycolic acid: salient feature).
But today I am talking about those popular names of microorganisms, inferences taken based only on those names results funny answer! I have found students getting confused and writing unrelated properties of these organisms. After seeing the name, they just guess the properties, which may not be correct.
Here are the some:
- Chicken Pox: The question asked was, “write properties of Chicken Pox“. I got the answer: It is a pox virus and it infects chicken.
But: Chicken pox does not infect chicken, nor is it caused by a pox virus. A herpes virus is its cause.
- Histoplasma Capsulatum: When asked about Histoplasma in a viva, a student replied: It’s a protozoa and it is capsulated.
But: As its first name suggest, it is not a protozoa, It’s a fungus. As its second name suggest, it is not a capsulated organism, it does not bear any capsule.