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Memorizing Terms

When memorizing foreign or new terms in the sciences, namely Anatomy and Biology, I found it helpful to understand why each term was given its name. Ever wonder what "sternocleidomastoid" or "ribosome" means? The name sternocleidomastoid refers to its origin and insertion points: it originates from the sternum (sterno-) and clavicle (-cleido-), and is inserted into the mastoid process.

The word "ribosome" comes from ribonucleic acid and "-some" means body, so it is the place (body) where ribonucleic acid is dealt with. Translation, which is the synthesis of proteins from mRNA, occurs on the ribosomes. Notice how understanding the word "ribosome" also helps to understand what a ribosome does? These and many other words in science can reveal important information about a certain muscle or organelle, for instance, that makes the material easier to understand. Try it!