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Monday 25 June 2012

Spot the Frippet: cell.

Prisoners, monks and nuns have got it easy today.

Hi there, guys!

For those of us not incarcerated, there are other sorts of cells all over the place. Look at a fly or a bee: an area on an insect's wing that's bounded by veins is a cell.

A single cup in a honeycomb is a cell, too.

cell can be an electrical battery; or, if you're in America, what in England we call a mobile will be a cell phone, so you may well be Spotting this Frippet even as you read these words.

Of course every living thing (including you) is made of cells, but they're usually too small to spot without a microscope. An egg, however, is a cell, and they're easily visible in a fridge near you.

I note, finally, that of all the many special cells which go up to make up your incredible body, one kind is called a  Merkel cell.

It, most surprisingly, is the one which is sensitive to light pressure.

Spot the frippet: cell. This word comes from the Mediaeval Latin word cella, which means monks' store room. It's related to the Latin word cēlāre, to hide.

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