It's a bit early for April Fool's Day, but University of Oxford researcher Stephan Feller apparently couldn't wait to do a little gentle tweaking of the 'omics community with a "paper" published this week in the journal Cell Communication & Signaling (of which he happens to be the editor-in-chief.)
In it, he introduces a new concept that he says is on the cusp of taking the scientific community by storm — microproteins, or, because everyone loves a good abbreviation, miPs. What are they? Nobody knows. That shouldn't stop them, though, from becoming the next big thing, Feller says.
"To study them is easy," he writes. "Just mass spec your protein dye fronts to death, synthesise all found miP candidates, biotinylate them, and go fishing for binding partners."
These heretofore non-existent molecules "can be expected to steer embryonic development and stem cell differentiation, to play a role in cancers and neurodegenerative diseases and should also make great leads for future drugs," Feller says. "Clearly, miPs are yet another Nobel Prize lurking, and begging for attention."
Sounds like someone has read one too many overhyped journal submissions.