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hormesis

Use this forum to suggest Good Words for Professor Beard.

hormesis

Postby sardith » Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:36 am

Dr. Goodword,

I ran into this word, 'hormesis' in the news, just following the tsunami in Japan and the resulting Nuclear plant situation, which is still a serious concern. :cry:

I had never heard of the word, or the theory before, and would like the good Doctor to give it a 'turn' in his column, please.

It also gives me the chance to ask, "How DO scientists decide what to name new discoveries/theories?" or rather, "Who gets to decide how they are named?" That is just a personal curiosity. :?

Thanks Doc,
Susan Ardith Lee :)
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Postby Slava » Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:18 pm

Definitely one of the odder words to cross our path here. Wikipedia has a decent write up on the whole deal. I find it interesting that exercise is considered the best form of hormesis.

As to naming things, I believe it's mostly up to the scientist who discovered the thing of invented the concept. Within certain boundaries, of course.
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hormesis

Postby sardith » Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:20 am

I read the article and you are correct, it is interesting stuff, Slava. It did lead me on to another curious word, (which is the subject of the article listed below), 'mithridatism', especially since I am a 'Princess Bride' fan from way back! :wink:

Take a look at 'mithridatism' at work, (fictional, of course):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQNHBUqfLnM

Info contained in this article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mithridatism

p.s. At the end of the article, it mentions what I suspected, that 'hormesis'/'mithridatism' and 'vaccination' are all related, and why wouldn't they be?! :shock:

Take care and get your flu shot,
Sardith :D
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Postby Slava » Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:39 am

What :?: Are you trying to tell me that The Princess Bride is fictional :!: :evil: Horrors :!: This is one of the greatest movies ever made :!:

Okay, that's a little overboard, but I do love this one, and the clip you attached is one of the best scenes. Then again, it's hard to think of a bad one.

I wonder how many other films and novels use this theme. It's an interesting idea, though as the articles point out, not a particularly useful one in real life. That's where Hollywood comes in.
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Postby MTC » Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:59 am

A renowned expert on venomous snakes, Bill Haast, owes his life to Mithridatism. See excerpt from Wikipedia article:

"Soon after opening the Serpentarium Haast began experimenting with building up an acquired immunity to the venom of King, Indian and Cape cobras by injecting himself with gradually increasing quantities of venom he had extracted from his snakes, a practice called Mithridatism." For the full article go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Haast)

The signature landmark of the Serpentarium-- a huge concrete King Cobra in an "S" strike position-- has hung over Dixie Highway and my imagination for many years.
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