Is the expression "Liver's ability to detoxify alcohol was tested..." grammatically correct? Can it also be used for genes, for example: "C-MYC's role in cancer is well known". This is, can gene molecules, organs and other body parts be used as such in sentences like the ones in the examples?
closed as not a real question by Will Hunting, jwpat7, Matt Эллен, simchona♦, Mitch Mar 27 '12 at 15:25
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Sure, livers, genes etc. possess properties. In english, that possession is often indicated via an apostrophe ess.
I presume you're asking about the -'s possessive suffix. There's no problem with that. There is a problem, however, with the use of Liver in
Without an article, liver is a meat, a mass noun like beef, never treated as a count noun:
(Well, almost never; Hannibal Lector is an outlier. But the fact that the thought occurs is why the count construction's avoided.)
Presumably, this sentence is about an experiment. Generally, the construction used there would be a Definite Generic The liver.
... and, one more quibble. Epistemologically, one can't actually "test" a generic; the generic liver doesn't exist and is not available for testing -- it's a platonic ideal.