And finally itís time for our Gene of the Month, and this time itís Merlin. Rather than being named after King Arthurís legendary wizard, Merlin is an acronym, short for "Moesin-Ezrin-Radixin-Like Protein" - you can see why itís a useful nickname. Also known as Neurofibromin 2 or NF2, after the name of the gene that encodes it, the Merlin protein plays a part in the biological scaffolding inside nerve cells, helping them to keep their shape. Faults in its gene, NF2, cause tumours in the nervous system, particular in nerves in the ear. So it seems that just like the protecting force of its namesake, Merlin also helps to protect us against cancer.