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Latest Ben Hirschler Stories

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2012-06-02 07:26:57

Scientists studying opium poppies say that they have pinpointed the genes responsible for producing a compound which can be used as a cough suppressant and cancer-fighting agent. According to Reuters reporter Ben Hirschler, researchers at the University of York and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) located a cluster of 10 genes which they claim are responsible for the creation of noscapine within the poppies. Noscapine has been used for many years to fight coughs, and recent studies have shown that...


Word of the Day
attercop
  • A spider.
  • Figuratively, a peevish, testy, ill-natured person.
'Attercop' comes from the Old English 'atorcoppe,' where 'atter' means 'poison, venom' and‎ 'cop' means 'spider.' 'Coppa' is a derivative of 'cop,' top, summit, round head, or 'copp,' cup, vessel, which refers to 'the supposed venomous properties of spiders,' says the OED. 'Copp' is still found in the word 'cobweb.'
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