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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Watch Your Mouth

Another installment from WIRED magazine's Jargon Watch

Virus Battery

n. A rechargeable power cell that uses bacteriophages as electrodes. The phages — viruses that infect only bacteria — are genetically engineered to self-assemble and conduct electricity. The nontoxic tech could be scaled for applications from cell phones to cars.


v. Forcibly detaining demonstrators in cordoned-off areas to prevent protests from boiling over. The practice, used by police at the G-20 summit in London, sparked an outcry over civil liberties.

Third Hand Smoke

n. Toxic residue left on furniture, clothing, and hair by cigarette smoke. Anti-tobacco activists decry third-hand smoke as a public health menace, but some doctors say recent research is being distorted for political purposes.

Caloplaca obamae

n. A lichen found in California's Channel Islands, it's the first species named for Barack Obama. Bush and Cheney have also been commemorated taxonomically — in the scientific names for slime-mold beetles.

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