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CHAT: phages etc. (was: Re: Gaelic Thing)

From:Jonathan Knibb <jonathan_knibb@...>
Date:Tuesday, July 9, 2002, 22:07
John Cowan wrote:
Thomas Leigh scripsit:
> I have no idea what "phagocytate" means, but wow, what a great word! ;-)
A phagocyte is a virus that infests bacteria; it moves in, subverts the bacterial reproduction machinery to make more viruses instead, and eventually bursts the bacterium and releases zillions of viruses on an unsuspecting world. <<< As far as I remember, although I'm no virologist, you're talking about a bacteriophage (or phage for short). I've generally heard 'phagocyte' used to describe a cell capable of phagocytosis, which is the 'eating' of some debris or foreign organism by a host cell. The verb Christophe mentions would usually be 'phagocytose' in the circles I mix in, although there may of course be variants. When I first learned this, I remember being deeply troubled that the morphemes were in the wrong order - I thought (and still think, secretly) they should have been 'cytophage' for the cell and 'cytophagy' for the eating process. But the world didn't listen. :) ObConlang (?Ob- in this context...) : I apologise for my recent lurkdom and insist that I do intend to launch Telona (remember?) on the world in the semi-near future .... but it's hard, it's hard ... :) Jonathan. 'O dear white children casual as birds, Playing among the ruined languages...' Auden/Britten, 'Hymn to St. Cecilia'