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InDel

blending noun
insertions and deletions, types of small genetic mutations where base pairs are added or taken away
 
This is a scientific term, that can actually be used in formal settings. It is used in the paper below, though not in the title, so it is a term of medium formality. It refers to both insertions and deletions, since they are related mutations, but if one wants to talk about either specifically, they have to use the full word, as the blend can’t be split (ie you wouldn’t just use “in” to talk about insertions or “del” to talk about deletions). This term is pretty well understood among the biochemistry community, as mutation studies are very common and often used to study topics outside of genetics. It is almost always used in the plural. When written, it can be written with varying capitalization as indels, InDels, or INDELS. It refers specifically to small insertions or deletions, but smaller ones can be specified by using “microindels.”
Etymology : InDels are a blend of Insertions and Deletions. Insertion comes from Latin “inserere,” “to implant” through the French insertion. Deletion comes from the Lation deletionem. Something interesting to note is its similarity to the common popular culture blend “incel.” This is speculation, but maybe the commonness of words that start with the prefix “in” and end with the “l” sound (whether they end with “l” or “le” make these blends very likely to catch on and be remembered.
Source : published paper: Fitness Effects of Single Amino Acid Insertions and Deletions inTEM-1β-Lactamase
Last modified: 10 December 2019


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