Definition of tau
1 : the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet — see alphabet table
2 : a short-lived elementary particle of the lepton family that exists in positive and negative charge states and has a mass about 3500 times greater than an electron —called also tau particle
3 : a protein that binds to and regulates the assembly and stability of neuronal microtubules and that is found in an abnormal form as the major component of neurofibrillary tangles
Recent Examples of tau from the Web
Researchers found levels of the tau protein in the blood of 78 former NFL players were nine times higher than in the control group.
There are three types of neutrino: the electron neutrino, the muon neutrino, and the tau neutrino.
Followup research should incorporate tau in the observations, Brewer said, which should provide a more precise understanding of when in the process that the brain damage begins to affect thinking.
Amyloid and another abnormal protein, tau, are believed to start the process, causing neurons to become diseased and eventually die.
A neuropathologist named Bennet Omalu autopsied Webster, Long, and Waters, and detected a pattern: each had a high concentration of an abnormal form of a protein, called tau, on his brain.
So far, C.T.E. can be diagnosed only after someone has died; the brain needs to be cut open so that researchers can look for the accumulation of tau proteins, which signal the presence of the disease.
Patients with high levels of tau in their blood could then be screened further for C.T.E., Alzheimer’s and other diseases.
The CNGS team is searching for a phenomenon known as neutrino oscillation where muon neutrinos may change into tau neutrinos.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tau'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of tau
Middle English taw, from Latin tau, from Greek, of Semitic origin; akin to Hebrew tāw taw
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
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