by Séverine Altairac

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Theo is back.
Theo Gerritsen, 11 years of age, wrote this snapshot during the ‘Journée des métiers’ (‘Job day’) during which children accompany one of their parents to their place of work. The original text is in French and represents an imaginary protein.

Have you ever felt the uncontrollable urge to stare at your computer screen? As though some invisible force were pushing you to switch on your pc and sit in front of it for hours on end, gloating over virtual images that pinball, dialogue, fight and rest. It is a need from which many an adolescent suffers and even more so in the past few years. Believe it or not, it is all because of a protein known as Dofusin. And Theo tells us about his experience.

« Dofusin is like a little ball that spins faster and faster, gaining more and more colour and getting bigger and bigger when, all of a sudden, it explodes and sparks into 1000 little bits that dissipate and stick onto your brain like a mega-super-powerful magnet that never loses hold. After a few weeks, the Dofusin particles actually fuse to your brain, which causes a change, i.e. you start to feel a little dizzy and you don’t feel like doing anything. Nothing… Apart from playing on the computer. All the time.

Dofusin looks like a little cloud, a bit hairy and can be very colourful. It can present itself under many other aspects but they are not known well enough by scientists to be described here.

As I have already mentioned, Dofusin is found in your brain – to the left, the right, in the middle, in front, behind, and everywhere if it has exploded properly. Once it has fused to your brain, it gives you the immediate urge to play on the computer – but above all, to play “Dofus”, a game of combat and adventure.

When Dofusin doesn’t work properly, it rots in the brain and disintegrates slowly -but surely - and ends up trickling out of your ears. As a result, you are not an addict to your pc anymore. However, if Dofusin does not disintegrate completely, it remains in your brain or actually sticks to it and that’s when you become really addicted to your computer…and for life.”

Protein Spotlight (ISSN 1424-4721) is a monthly review written by the Swiss-Prot team of the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics. Spotlight articles describe a specific protein or family of proteins on an informal tone. Follow us: Subscribe · Twitter · Facebook