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vinculum





  1. (ANATOMY) A connecting band of tissue (plural vincula). The vincula tendinum are thread-like bands of synovial membrane that connect the flexor tendons of the fingers and toes to their point of insertion on the phalanges.


  2. (MATH) The bar that is placed over repeating decimal fractions to indicate the portion of the patterns that repeats. The Latin noun vinculum refers to a small cord for binding the hands or feet; likewise, the verb vincire means "to bind". The symbol was once used in the same way that parentheses and brackets are now used to bind together a group of numbers or symbols. Originally the line was placed under the items to be grouped. What today might be written 7(3x + 4) the early users of the vinculum would write 3x + 4 7. Sometimes the horizontal fraction bar is called a vinculum as it binds the numerator and denominator into a single value.


  3. vinculum
    (SF) In the Star Trek universe, a Borg device that interconnects the minds of drones, purges individual thoughts, and disseminates information relevant to the Collective. The term is employed (by the scriptwriters) with reference to the same Latin root as its factual mathematical counterpart, i.e. the Borg vinculum "binds together" the individual components of the hive mind (see hive intelligence). In essence, the vinuculum's function is like that of the Borg Queen, but on a ship-wide basis as distinct from the entire collective. In cases of extreme emergency when a connection to the collective has been lost, the vinculum is capable of setting up a temporary collective mind for the ship and its crew. In this way, the affected drones are still able to operate in a unified manner even though they are separated from the rest of the Borg Collective.

    The vinculum is introduced in the Star Trek Voyager episode "Infinite Regress" (series 5, episode 7). In the year 2375, the starship Voyager encounters a Borg debris field in the midst of which is a still-functioning vinculum – the processing device at the core of every Borg vessel which, as the Bog put it, "brings order to chaos". Tapping into Seven of Nine's cortical implant, it attempts to re-integrate her with the Collective, resulting in a severe case of multiple personality syndrome for Voyager's ex-drone eye-candy.

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   • ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY
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