Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Bio-

Tierra, Blue planet, NASA, Globe, Bio, Life, Biology
Image courtesy of NASA

BIO-

Combining form of Greek bios life, course or way of living (opposed to zoe animal life, organic life)
in scientific words usually with the sense 'of living organisms', 'biological'.

The number of bio- words listed in the OED is extensive, some of which are universally familiar (biology) and some of which are mind-meltingly dull (bioflavonoid, which is ... urgh ... no it's really, really dull). If I covered all of the good ones, we'd be stuck on bio- for several weeks, so while I am going to do a few in detail over the next few days, here are some other interesting bio- words that you may or may not want to look into further (all links go to the relevant Wikipedia article):

The view or belief that all life is important

Biocide M20
a) The destruction of life
b) a poisonous substance, esp. a pesticide

Biology in relation to climate

An association of organisms forming a closely integrated community; the relationship existing between these organisms.

The study of the relationship between living organisms and weather.

Biopiracy L20
The practice of exploiting naturally-occurring biochemical or genetic material for commercial profit, 
esp. by obtaining patents that restrict its future use, while failing to pay fair compensation to the country or community from which it originates.

The action or process of searching for plant and animal species that may yield commercially valuable biochemicals or genetic material.

The use of infectious agents or other harmful biological or biochemical substances as weapons of terrorism.

If you have any comments regarding any of the above topics, do please feel free to share them in the box below. Of course, if there are any bio- words that don't exist but you feel they should, do tell us those too - everyone loves a good neologism! 

5 comments:

  1. Biometeorology sounds very interesting. Not so much the part where the weather influences living organisms, but the other way around. I find that very fascinating :)

    RYC: I know what you mean, Ed, about never really being able to reach pure happiness, that's not what I'm going for. How boring would it be to never have the chance to experience all these other emotions, like anger or disappointment?
    It's just that, if you cry yourself asleep at least once a week, and you lose +5 kg in a couple of months time when you've got barely any fat to lose, you know something's off. That stuff ain't good for ya.

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    1. Biometeorology is interesting, isn't it? Apparently, the fact that it rains considerably more at the weekend in industrialised nations is due to human activity, so I suppose that would be an example.

      RYC: I'm going to send you a PM : o )

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    2. Does it rain more during the weekends? I never really thought about that... Maybe because the air finally has the time to cool down when the factories shut down or work on reduced productivity?

      RYC: I'm e-mailable too, if you prefer.

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  2. I sometimes want to set fire to Persil Headquarters if my wife uses Persil Bio in the wash, because I get blotchy and itchy, although, on reflection, that might be a little rash.

    -clueless

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    1. The whole bio / non-bio thing on washing powders is needlessly confusing, isn't it?

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