Anne Britt asks...
>>What does the term apoptosis mean, in Greek?
>I know what the phenomenonis. Also, I assume
>the second p is silent, as in Psmith?
The reference for the word 'apoptosis' is in the British J. Cancer
1972 26:239 (Kerr et al). Within the paper, credit is given to
Prof. James Cormack of the Dept of Greek, Aberdeen for suggesting
apoptosis to describe the specific form of programmed cell death
that now goes by that name. In Greek, it is pointed out, the word
is used to describe the 'dropping off' or 'falling off' of petals
from flowers, or leaves from trees. Further, in their paper, Kerr
et al suggest that the emphasis be on the penultimate syllable and
that the second 'p' be silent, as the derivation involves the
related word 'ptosis' (silent 'p') which means 'to fall', and is
already used to describe the drooping of the upper eyelid. At a
meeting last year called 'Apoptosis', great fun was had with various
permutations in the pronuciation of that word. I gathered that the
vote is clearly out in that field, over which pronunciation is
correct. However, everyone seemd to feel that *their* pronunciation
was correct... ;-)
(thanks to Kay Lawton for obtaining a copy of the above cited paper)