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The Biotech Devil’s Dictionary: Your guide to the inanities of industry jargon

This satirical dictionary peels apart the empty jargon and linguistic absurdities that biotech investors and entrepreneurs use to promote pet projects.

Biotech can be a breeding ground for jargon, coded language, and outright nonsense, as investors and scientists probe the depths of linguistic absurdity to explain why the thing they do is just that much more special than all the other things out there. We wanted to celebrate this proud tradition — and so, like a canny capitalist repurposing an old drug, we stole an idea.

Ambrose Bierce began “The Devil’s Dictionary” in the late 1800s, creating a satirical lexicon he updated weekly before wandering off to Mexico to die. We sought to replicate at least part of that story — hence, The Biotech Devil’s Dictionary. Entries appear semi-regularly in The Readout, our free daily biotech newsletter. (Shameless plug: Subscribe here!)

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