New words – 7 February 2011

February 7, 2011

abandoned DNA noun DNA a person leaves behind, for example on a cup, which can then be tested and stored in a data bank by the police or other authorities without the person’s permission
What about abandoned DNA? Can police follow you around and wait till you spit on the street and then collect that? [WNYC: Leonard Lopate Show (US NY culture and current affairs)] 16 Dec 2010

connectome noun the mental makeup of an individual; a mind map
The connectome is a product of your genes and your experiences. It’s where nature meets nurture. [New York Times (US broadsheet)] 28 Dec 2010

connectomics noun the detailed study of extremely thin slices of brain to create reassembled pictures of the brain’s wiring and find out how the brain stores memory, personality traits, and skills
The National Institutes of Health handed out $40 million in grants to researchers […] to pursue connectomics. [New York Times (US broadsheet)] 28 Dec 2010

Goldilocks Zone noun a region of space in which conditions would permit the existence of life; so called because conditions would be “just right”
It’s in the ‘sweet spot’, the Goldilocks Zone, that would allow for liquid water, but we don’t know if there’s actually water on it – water may never have been present. We really should be cautious. [http://sluggerotoole.com] 01 Oct 2010


  1. All of the poll links are broken.

    “Abandoned DNA” is familiar from “Law & Order” and other police procedurals. The other three terms are new to me; I suspect they should be classified as “technical” or “medical”

    • The problems have been fixed. I will also express admiration of “Goldilocks Zone.” I like the whimsy.

  2. am a new learner to leaner dictionary, i really appreciate being one. please elaborate for me, abandoned DHN. in to details.

  3. The “Abandoned DNA” is a great word. Quite useful for suspense/thrillers!

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