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Pokemon Causes Cancer

POK erythroid myeloid ontogenic geneNintendo has its legal hackles up over the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center's decision to name a cancer-causing gene, the POK erythroid myeloid ontogenic gene, "Pokemon".  Get it?  POK erythroid myeloid ontogenic gene.  The Nintendo branch that handles all things Pikachu, Pokemon USA, has filed a lawsuit in a bit of judicial strong-arming to get that name changed to something else.  Chances are Nintendo nor Pokemon USA wanted to see headlines proclaiming "Pokemon Causes Cancer".  I don't know what kind of irresponsible journalist would use such a headline, but there you go.  So now the Cancer Center has changed the name of the gene to simply "Zbtb7" which, as you'll recall, is the name of the final boss in Kirby Canvas Curse.

I have to wonder if this is another case of Nintendo's left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing.  How often do we hear about an overzealous legal department sending out lawsuits and cease-and-desist orders without the express consent of The Powers That Be in the main corporation?  Sega didn't react badly a few years about when a a defect-causing gene was named after Sonic the Hedgehog.  If news about this little spat winds up in the mainstream press (probably in the "Lighter Side of the News" segment) then I bet Nintendo/Pokemon USA will back down, apologize for its overzealous legal department, and then make a donation to the Center.

Yes, I know the last boss in Kirby Canvas Curse isn't named Zbtb7.