Bruce Peat

23rd December 2015

Rudolphomycin and Rednose

Season's Greetings from PEAK Scientific. To celebrate the holiday season we bring you an interesting festive-themed story about the cyclic sugar "Red Nose". 

Rudolphomycin is an antitumor antibiotic compound. The name Rudolphomycin actually has little to do with the famous red-nosed reindeer, but was instead named after Rudolph, the character in the Puccini opera La Bohème.

Christmas Rudolph

In fact, Rudolphomycin is one of a number of molecules derived from Bohemic Acid whose discoverer, Dr. Nettleton, named many of the derivatives after opera singers and characters. Similarly named molecules from Dr. Nettleton are the likes of alcindoromycin, bohemamine, collinemycin, mimimycin and schaunardimycin.

On degradation of rudolphomycin, a new sugar was obtained, which was given the name 'rednose'. It is understood that the name was allowed to stand because the journal editor of the paper in which this new sugar was submitted to, on December 21st 1978, was in the Christmas spirit and decided not to question the name. Dr. Nettleton's employers were apparently not too impressed by the name accusing him of not taking his job seriously, however, by time they had discovered the name it was already too late as the paper had been formally submitted. 

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