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Noun: Atavism (AT-uh-viz-um) Definition: 1. A recurrence in an organism of a trait or character typical of an ancestral form and usually due to genetic recombination. 2. Recurrence of or reversion to a past style, manner, outlook, approach or activity. 3. One that manifests atavism: a throwback. Sample sentence: An example of atavism would be […]

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The heavier you are, the more likely you are to be in pain. This finding comes from data gathered by telephone survey of more than one million Americans. Researchers calculated the body mass index of each respondent based on the weight and height they reported. Overall, 38 percent of the participants were overweight and 25 […]

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Adjective: Zoomorphic (zoh-uh-MOR-fik) Definition: 1. Having the form of an animal. 2. Of, relating to, or being a deity conceived of in an animal form or with animal attributes. Sample sentence: Using her new cookie cutters, Angela baked a batch of zoomorphic cookies to bring to the kids in her niece’s classroom.

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If you’re working lots of overtime, you could be at an increased risk of major depression. A new study from researchers in Finland and Great Britain found that individuals who work 11 or more hours per day have 2.43 times the risk of a major depressive episode as those who work the usual seven to […]

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Noun: Epaulet (ep-uh-LET) Definition: 1. Something that ornaments or protects the shoulder 2. An ornamental fringed shoulder pad, formerly worn as part of a military uniform. 3. An ornamental strip or loop sewn across the shoulder of a dress of coat. Sample sentence: Vintage military outer wear is back in the fashion scene, complete with […]

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Swimming is often promoted as good aerobic exercise for seniors because it is easy on the joints. Now a small study suggests that it can also help lower blood pressure. Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin recruited 43 men and women (average age 60), all of whom had high blood pressure or pre-hypertension. […]

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Adjective: Knee-jerk (NEE-jerk) Definition: Readily predictable, automatic; also, reacting in a readily predictable way. Sample sentence: After counting the money and realizing that $100 was missing, the manager’s knee-jerk response was to fire the clerk.

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If you’re overweight or obese, chances are that you’re at increased risk for low back pain due to spinal disc degeneration. Results of a large study in southern China, which included nearly 2,600 adults (age 21 and older) demonstrates the risks to the discs of carrying excess weight. The participants, from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, were […]

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Adjective: Hebdomadal (heb-DAH-muh-dul) Definition: Occurring, appearing or done every week. Sample sentence: Charles made room in his schedule for hebdomadal visits with his math tutor throughout the semester.

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Sleep may reinforce the negative emotions aroused by witnessing something scary or traumatic. As a result of “sleeping it off,” you may be just as upset reviewing images of the event as you were in the first place. You can even have vivid flashbacks. But by staying awake after seeing, for instance, an accident or […]

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