STERIGMATA npl. spore-bearing projections in some fungi
Anagram of MAGISTRATE
PSORALEN /SAW.ruh.len/ n. a naturally occurring chemical used to treat skin conditions
Psoralen occurs naturally in several common plants, including parsnips, figs, parsley and celery. It is mainly used to treat skin conditions such as acne, PSORIASIS, EKZEMA, and VITILIGO (that’s the skin pigmentation disease Michael Jackson had).
The chemical works because of its tendency to increase the skin’s ability to absorb light, which then does the actual healing. Unfortunately, this property of psoralen also leads to an increased chance of developing skin cancer, which prompted its ban from being used in sun tanning products in the mid 1990s.
HYDRA n. a tiny freshwater creature in the same genus as jellyfishes and sea anemones
The real hydra has a similarly eery quality of being able to multiply on being divided.
The term hydra is also used metaphorically to describe a manifold problem or evil that cannot be overcome with a single effort.
Example: “This predicament is a hydra, which we’re going to have to tackle from multiple directions.”
WEAKON n. a type of particle responsible for mediating the so-called weak interaction in particle physics
I wrote a bit of background on these particles recently here.
Anagram of AWAKEN
ALGOID adj. relating to or resembling algae
Example: “Standing with our backs to the flow, and hooking the heels of our wellies over the upstream edge of the concrete to avoid being swept away, we would slowly shuffle sideways across the weir, on our insteps, inches at a time, whilst trying desperately not to slip on the slimy algoid surface, and ignoring the splashes that made it inside our boots.”
Anagram of DIALOG
CORBAN /KOR.ban/ n. an offering to God in fulfillment of a vow
The picture above shows the Hebrew word corban etched into stone along with drawings of two pigeons which were presumably used as a biblical sacrifice.
Example: “After this he (Pilate) raised another disturbance, by expending that sacred treasure, which is called corban, upon aqueducts, whereby he brought water from the distance of four hundred furlongs”
Anagram of CARBON