One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(chiefly in science fiction) the scientific study of alien biology, cultures, etc.
- ‘The proposed approach to terrestrial xenology has the attractive advantage not to require complex and sometimes very artificial scenarios for the early history of the Earth.’
- ‘1 Postmodernism is highlighted by an emphatically interdisciplinary nature: we can be certain that we won't be seeing departments of xenology being set up at universities.’
- ‘Molecular homologies can reflect the phylogeny of either species or genes and can reveal a complexity of pattern unknown in morphology, with orthology contributing to species phylogenies and paralogy and xenology contributing to gene phylogenies.’
- ‘According to published hypotheses, this distribution might result from vertical inheritance of ancestral genes via speciation, from one or more horizontal transfers (xenology), or from a mixture of both.’
- ‘An illustration of xenology due to horizontal gene transfer.’
1950s: from Greek xenos ‘stranger, foreigner’, (adjective) ‘strange’.
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