New words – 31 December 2012

biotic virus noun a non-native plant that invades an area and over time replaces a native plant

‘Cheatgrass is a very insidious kind of biotic virus’, said Stephen Pyne, a western fire historian at Arizona State university.

[New York Times (US broadsheet) 31 July 2012]

earthquake cloak noun an elastodynamic cloak around the base of a building that deflects shock waves

The earthquake cloak will be put to the test by engineers Biswajit Banerjee and Emilio Calius at Industrial Research Limited in New Zealand.

[Smithsonian (US history, science, and culture magazine) Sept. 2012]

FidoCam noun a camera that attaches to the head of a police dog

Staffordshire police demonstrate their new digital crime fighting tool, FidoCam – a camera unit which can be used by police dogs during searches.

[ 19 July 2012]

plasma arc gasification noun a method for reducing large volumes of waste material to a gas that can be used as fuel

A plasma arc gasification system at Hurlburt Field Air Force Base in Florida processes 10 tons of garbage a day, making enough energy to sustain the system.

[New York Times (US broadsheet) 11 Sept 2012]

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