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International Birth Defects Information Systems
Mythology and Thalidomide

International Birth Defects Information Systems

Geno-Terto Eip Tome

Mythology and Thalidomide

The use of names and terms with roots in classic mythology for scientific discoveries is an index of the broad humanistic awareness of some investigators.

Those who chose "Thalidomide" as the name for this interesting agent, marketed mostly to relieve the discomforts of pregnancy, without a doubt were aware of the mythical implications of its name.

In Latin, "Thalamus" or in Greek "Thalamus", convey ideas of "wedding bed" or "nuptial chamber" and by extension ideas related to matrimony. Thalidomide, as a sedative, probably does act upon the thalamos, the name of the "inner receptacle" of the brain, akin to that found in flowers.

"Thalia" is mentioned by Hesiod as one of the three graces; she stood for "charm" and "bloom" and later "Thallo" became the Goddess of blooming. Notably, the Greek and Roman God of marriage was Hymenaeus or Hymeneos, also known as Thalassios (another explanation of his title may be that he had a penchant for sailing the Mediterranean or Thalassa sea).

The implications in "mother" and "motherhood" are extensive and complex and include ideas related to "matter", "mate", "matrix" and much more. The intricacies in "Hymn, Hymeneos, Hymen ..." are equally charming. To explore these matters is beyond our current task (extract from " Pandora's Word Box " ).

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PandoraWordBox (Classic Etymology & Mythology - Medical Terminology)