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My lab performs a set of experiments that utilize a particular biological technique called ChIP-seq. I am trying to translate the following phrase:

We use the data produced by the ChIP-seq experiments for...

I'm hung up on how to naturally translate "ChIP-seq experiments". ChIP-seq is a noun but functions perfectly fine as an adjective in this context in English. Does the same work in Spanish, perhaps with "de" inserted? (I have determined that ChIP-seq is often written as ChipSeq):

Utilizamos los datos producidos por los experimentos de ChipSeq para...

Utilizamos los datos producidos por los experimentos de tipo ChipSeq para...

Would it be better to drop "los experimentos"? Or to clarify that the experiments utilize ChIP-seq? The following make sense in English but sound a little more awkward to me:

We use the data produced by ChIP-seq... / Utilizamos los datos producidos por ChipSeq...

We use the data produced by experiments using ChIP-seq... / Usamos los datos producidos por los experimentos que utilizan ChipSeq para...

Would a Spanish-speaking biologist use any of these phrasings in this sort of situation? Thanks!

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  • La última frase es ambigua. Podría interpretarse como "Usamos los datos producidos por los experimentos [que utilizan ChipSeq] para..." o "Usamos los datos producidos por los experimentos [que utilizan ChipSeq para...]". ¿Cómo es la frase completa?
    – Yay
    Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 14:37

2 Answers 2

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I am not a biologist, but I am quite into the science world. I have searched the term and have seen that in Spanish you can say secuenciación ChIP, or just use the term ChIP-seq as an adjective or noun. So all of these sound natural to me:

Utilizamos los datos producidos por los experimentos ChIP-seq para...

Utilizamos los datos producidos por los experimentos de ChIP-seq para...

Utilizamos los datos producidos por los experimentos de secuenciación ChIP para...

As a tip, if you search the following in Google (including the quotes), you have

  • "experimentos ChIP-seq": 47 results.
  • "experimentos de ChIP-seq": 516 results.
  • "experimentos de secuenciación ChIP": 0 results. Funny, sounded natural to me but it seems that nobody uses it.

If you search "experimentos ChipSeq", no results are found. So, it seems that your first option was right, but you'd better use ChIP-seq and not ChipSeq.

About dropping los experimentos, I'm not sure about that, I would leave it in the sentence, but as I said, I'm not a biologist, so another opinion will be welcome.

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The concept Chromatin immunoprecipitation-sequencing seems to play its main role as a noun. I think an accurate word-by-word translation may be Secuenciamiento por inmunoprecipitación de cromatina (where secuenciamiento, a noun, is the main word to which the rest is modifying). Of course, I am not saying that this is the proper way to translate it (which, BTW is not part of the question): I am just doing this for the sake of grammatical analysis.

Assuming that 1) you decided to keep ChIP-seq as part of your nomenclature and 2) the concept is a noun, and since it is not quite standard to adjectivize noun abbreviations in Spanish, I think the safest way to go is experimentos de ChIP-seq.

Anglicisms -and neologisms in general- always generate opposing opinions on whether they should be accompanied by an article when appliable (i.e., datos producidos por ChIP-seq o datos producidos por EL ChIP-seq): by joining it to experiments you avoid this controversial issue.


A note on why I think the usage of article in neologisms is not settled and may cause controversy:

Years after its massification, you can still find opposing opinions about the usage of internet. (Funny enough, the WP article on the subject starts ackoledging both el internet and la internet (with artcile), yet in the body you can find internet (alone, without article) where the article should be used to be consistent.

Even the RAE is not consistent about this: while its dictionary accepts both upper and lowercase (placing uppercase as an additional, secondary option and not making any mention of article usage) AND both masculine and feminine (seemingly with the same hierarchy), the Diccionario Panhispánico de Dudas, also an official, primary source, rules that it is to be written preferably in uppercase and without article, yet allowing the opposite (lowercase w/ feminine article).

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