So I'm reading a review about c-Myc and the genes it
activates, and I come across the phrase This Laodicean response
does not reflect some intrinsic property of the ODC gene. This
piqued my curiosity; ok, the review writer is blatantly
showing off here, but I consider myself to be as classically
knowledgeable as the next biochemist, and I have no idea what he is
referring to. I tried Wikipedia, and it tells me that Laodices is an
alternate name for Elektra, or any of several minor queens, and that
there are several places called Laodicea named after said queens.
So does anyone have a clue why a relatively weak gene response
might be described as Laodicean? Other than that the author
got over-excited about looking for synonyms for weak in his
thesaurus! In some ways it's kind of cute, I must admit, but it's
annoying me that I don't recognize the reference.
It's not a classical reference, it's a biblical one. Most unusually, this time I get to tell you about a NT reference. (And no, I didn't know it in advance, I just had a hunch.) Revelation 3:14–16 (and further, which I haven't quoted):
And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write [say King James' translators]; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
This is the second consecutive post on my friends-list that called for illumination on something NT-ish, and in neither case was I quick enough off the mark to be the one to reply. *flounces off to sulk in an overly-melodramatic manner*
Oh, thank you! I can't believe I didn't think of that; I was aware of that passage but had forgotten entirely which place it was associated with. Well done indeed for tracking that down; I was evidently looking in entirely the wrong place.