Science Diction: The Origin Of The Word ‘Clone’


Friday, March 11th, 2011

In 1903, plant physiologist Herbert J. Webber coined the term ‘clone,’ from the Greek klon, to refer to the technique of propagating new plants using cuttings, bulbs or buds. Science historian Howard Markel discusses how the term later came to refer to a bevy of genetic manipulations.

The word clone, literally, has its roots in the ground.

At the turn of the last century, agricultural science was hitting its stride and developing new breeding techniques to produce large crops….

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