On tomorrow's Science Friday program, host Ira Flatow will discuss the etymology of the word "genome" with the University of Michigan's Howard Markel, as part of the show's monthly Science Diction series. Markel says that "much of our 'genetic' terminology stems from the Greek word, genesis." In 1920, Hans Winkler "collided the German word for gene, gen, with the Greek suffix, -om, indicating body — from soma," he adds. The word "genom," Markel notes, first appeared in Winkler's textbook "Distribution and Cause of Parthenogenesis in the Plant and Animal Kingdoms," that year to characterize "the 'haploid chromosome set, which, together with the pertinent protoplasm, specifies the material foundations of the species.'"
It's All Greek to Geneticists
Jul 08, 2010