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Latest Kristi Wharton Stories

2012-04-02 21:07:54

Brown University biologists have found a new molecule in fruit flies that is key to the information exchange needed to build wings properly. They have also uncovered evidence that an analogous protein may exist in people and may be associated with problems such as cleft lip, or premature ovarian failure. As they work together to form body parts, cells in developing organisms communicate like workers at a construction site. The discovery of a new signaling molecule in flies by Brown...


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.'