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General News Archive - May 18, 2009

Exposure to particulate matter has been recognized as a contributing factor to lung cancer development for some time, but a new study indicates inhalation of certain particulates can actually cause some genes to become reprogrammed.

Word of the Day
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'