Outsize impact

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NewAmerica

Banned
Mandarin
The use of the word "outsize" appears to be carefully chosen. Scientists used to pay attention to large size proteins and ignore smaller ones. Now new discoveries reveal the vital role the small proteins play and so the author describes such impact of the role as "outsize impact", humorously referring to that the small size proteins can have larger impact than large size proteins.

Am I on the right track?

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Outsize impact
Proteins are supposed to be large—they are macromolecules. But researchers have discovered that cells produce hundreds or thousands of tiny proteins, some of which contain only a few amino acids. Scientists had largely ignored these proteins because they didn't meet the size criterion for genomic analyses. But new studies suggest the proteins are abundant and perform a variety of key jobs in cells.

Source: Science 18 Oct 2019
Outsize impact | Science
 
  • JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Yes, your understanding of the text is correct, although the premise as presented is postively ludicrous:D It is completely an artifact of how the (gene-centric) molecular biologists decided what was important in the genome. Proetin chemists have known about such "small proteins" for decades (I've worked on a few over the years) so to say that such proteins have been "discovered" is nonsense! Proteins are absolutely not "supposed to be large" (though, of course, they can be :eek: ) Perhaps the genetics folks/molecular biologists are just now becoming aware of such proteins, having been previously blinded by their own self-imposed constraint.

    past researchers typically excluded any ORF that would yield a protein smaller than 100 amino acids in eukaryotes or 50 amino acids in bacteria
     

    NewAmerica

    Banned
    Mandarin
    My original sentence is:
    Now new discoveries reveal the vital role the small proteins play
    The discoveries are the vital role that scientists didn't realize before. Chemists knew small proteins to be there for long, of course, just like they long knew junk DNA to be there, but revelation of their possible important role is very recent.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    My original sentence is:


    The discoveries are the vital role that scientists didn't realize before. Chemists knew small proteins to be there for long, of course, just like they long knew junk DNA to be there, but revelation of their possible important role is very recent. :thumbsdown: :thumbsdown:
    I disagree with your assessment of the situation about the importsance of the smaller proteins. You have accurately summarized what the gene guys think, not what the protein chemists have known for a long time. However, this issue is no longer a language question. There was never any reason to think they did not play a vital role, It seems that many of the genetics scientists were under the mistaken impression that one could ignore the small proteins.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Keep in mind that journalists are often terrible at conveying the finer points of anything.

    Who knows where this statement comes from. It doesn't attribute it to anybody.

    Proteins are supposed to be large—they are macromolecules.

    But outsize is certainly a way of highlighting the difference between size and importance.
     
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