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2009-12-10 06:15:00

French scientists have identified a giant new virus dwelling inside an amoeba, and that it contains genetic material from other species. The so-called Marseillevirus is "a completely new viral form," said Didier Raoult, head of infectious and emerging tropical disease research at Aix-Marseille 2 University in France, during an interview with the AFP news agency. The genome of the 250 nanometer-diameter Marseillevirus includes a sophisticated set of genes that are "very different from the DNA...


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.'