Biology to English Translator

How ridiculous do you sound when talking to someone outside your field?

The speech and writing of biologists is filled with jargon that can be unintelligible to those outside our small sub-fields. Usually, the majority of this jargon (like mitochondria, carboxysome, AlfB, etc) is relatively easy to identify - spell checking programs highlight it, and conversational partners will ask for clarification, because it has no meaning in standard English. Far more insidious are words that have a normal English meaning and a specialized biological one. For example, we can refer to a "protein" as a macromolecule, but non-specialists might hear us talking about dietary nutrients. This tool aims to call us out on how ridiculous we probably sound!

The tool was conceived at Science Hack Day Boston by a team including Kyle Karhohs, Christina Nicholson, Dan Polka, Melissa Lewis, and myself. More info can be found here.

At the Hack Day, we generated (and later expanded) this list of terms (please contribute to it!) - it builds heavily off of an existing crowdsourced list.

None of your data are sent to the server - it is a simple javascript replace function.