I have a sentence of the form: "Y can be viewed as containers used to transfer X", where X in my case is genetic information. It feels like this sentence could be simplified to something like "Y can be viewed as a xxxx of X", but I cannot find the proper word. In my particular case, the context is: "male gametes can be viewed simply as containers used to transfer genetic information", and the issue came up when answering a question at Biology-SE.

So, what I'm looking for is a replacement for "containers used to transfer". I've been thinking about using vessel, but dictionaries usually focus on vessel as a container of liquids (e.g. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vessel), beside the obvious meaning of vessel as ship. To me, vessel also feels a bit awkward to use in this case.

  • Can vessel be used in my sentence?
  • Is there another more suitable word to use?
  • 2
    What's wrong with simply "container"?
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 13:25
  • @HotLicks I considered that, but, to me, that lacks the connotations of motion. Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 13:27
  • 2
    @SUMGUY - Make that a "nuclear wessel".
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 17:03
  • 3
    Could you give the entire sentence? What is X here? That can completely change the wording. Also, please clarify the context in which you want to use the term you are searching for.
    – terdon
    Commented Mar 20, 2015 at 15:41
  • 1
    When discussing anything having to do with anatomy, "vessel" should be avoided unless it's talking about a blood vessel or some similar structure. Again, there is absolutely nothing wrong withe "containers used to transfer" -- I don't see why you're so resistant to that. Are you being charged by the letter or something?
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Mar 22, 2015 at 13:50

4 Answers 4


I can't really tell without more context, but presumably you are referring to some sort of sequence element. If so, you could use carrier:

Y can be viewed as carriers of genetic information.

Alternatively, you could rephrase. Something like

Y encode genetic information.

Or, simply, if these are genes:

Y codes for X.


Usage of the word 'Vehicle', or 'Carton' may serve the purpose.

  • 2
    +1 for vehicle. especially if this is something machine-like happening at the molecular or cellular level, such as the activity of amino acids within cells.
    – Erich
    Commented Mar 20, 2015 at 12:17

Maybe the word you're looking for is conveyor or transporter.
The Free Dictionary - Conveyor

  • 1
    Depends where you live - 'carrier' would be the word of choice in the UK, rather than conveyor (which, here, suggests a moving belt of some sort).
    – bamboo
    Commented Mar 22, 2015 at 14:02
  • @bamboo A conveyor of information hardly suggests a moving belt. Commented Mar 22, 2015 at 14:38
  • @JanusBahsJacquet as I said, 'carrier' would be the UK word of choice - doesn't mean it would be in other places though.
    – bamboo
    Commented Mar 22, 2015 at 14:40

I would rearrange the sentence, placing X before Y. This isn't a solution to your word request, but it flows better.

Ex. X is/are transferred within Y.

  • if it's not an answer, better to put this in comments.
    – Erich
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 23:23

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