Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of various microscopic one-celled or colonial heterokonts of the class Bacillariophyceae that are photosynthetic, have a silica cell wall made up of two interlocking parts, and form an important component of phytoplankton.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A member of the Diatomaceæ;

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Bot.) One of the Diatomaceæ, a family of minute unicellular Algæ having a siliceous covering of great delicacy, each individual multiplying by spontaneous division. By some authors diatoms are called Bacillariæ, but this word is not in general use.
  • noun A particle or atom endowed with the vital principle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun One of the Diatomaceae, a family of minute unicellular algae having a siliceous covering of great delicacy.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun microscopic unicellular marine or freshwater colonial alga having cell walls impregnated with silica

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[New Latin diatoma, from Greek diatomos, cut in half, from diatemnein, to cut in half : dia-, dia- + temnein, to cut; see tem- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek διά (dia, "through") + τέμνειν (temnein, "to cut"), i.e., "cut in half"

Examples

  • The name diatom comes from a Greek word diatomos that means cut in half, because the shells of diatoms have two overlapping, symmetrical halves.

    Diatomite

  • I'm not exactly sure what Visuals by diatom is all about, but yet I like all the different colours and the funky graphic work they perform there.

    Archive 2007-10-01

  • Washington, April 9: Engineers at Oregon State University (OSU) in the US are using an ancient life form called diatom to create one of the newest technologies for solar energy, in systems that may be simple enough to build compared to existing silicon-based solar cells.

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  • Domoic acid is produced by the diatom Nitzschia pungens and has been isolated in shellfish from Prince Edward Island, Canada. 10 This toxin is responsible for amnestic shellfish poisoning (ASP) in humans causing symptoms of gastroenteritis and neurotoxicity.

    Fish poisonings and envenomations

  • Marine diatom cells (Pleurosigma), a group of phytoplankton

    Oceans at Risk

  • Marine diatom cells (Rhizosolenia setigera), a group of phytoplankton

    Oceans at Risk

  • Marine diatom cells (Pleurosigma), a group of phytoplankton

    Oceans at Risk

  • In the European Arctic, combined evidence from oxygen isotope and pollen-inferred precipitation records, cladoceran-inferred lake levels, diatom-inferred lake-water ionic strength, and elemental flux records of erosion intensity into lakes, all suggest more oceanic conditions in the region during the early part of the Holocene than today, with a shift towards drier conditions between approximately 6,000 and 4,500 years BP [34].

    Historical changes in freshwater ecosystems in the Arctic

  • Recent studies [76] show no change in water quality over time but do show a subtle shift in diatom assemblages as evidenced in the paleolimnological record.

    Historical changes in freshwater ecosystems in the Arctic

  • Trends in chemical parameters such as dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and total nitrogen can also be reconstructed from fossil diatom assemblages as demonstrated for lakes in the treeline region of the central Canadian Arctic [17], Fennoscandia [18], and elsewhere.

    Historical changes in freshwater ecosystems in the Arctic

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