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An infectious agent that causes disease or illness to its host. Usually a bacteria, virus or parasite.
A neurodegenerative condition in which part of the brain becomes progressively more damaged. Primarily affects movement leading to tremors and muscle stiffness.
An organism that lives in or on another organism and benefits at the expense of their host. Malaria is a type of parasite.
Reproductive gland in which the female reproductive cells, eggs, are produced.
A functional structure found within eukaryotic cells. Organelles carry out functions such as making proteins, processing chemicals and generating energy for the cell.
The practice of providing unrestricted and free access to the results of research, often via the internet.
A gene that normally directs cell growth. If mutated, an oncogene acts like a car accelerator stuck on drive, leading to uncontrolled cell growth, and cancer.
A structure at the centre of all eukaryotic cells that contains the genome and acts as the ‘control room’ for the cell.
A level of DNA packaging present within chromosome. Nucleosomes are formed from a single length of DNA wrapped around a series of proteins called histones.
This involves the bone marrow being partially killed to supress the immune system. This may be done prior to a stem cell transplant, to avoid rejection.
Sections of DNA that do not code for proteins. Although first called junk DNA it is now becoming clearer that much of this DNA has a function in controlling gene expression and chromosome structure. The amount of non-coding DNA varies amongst different species.
Range of conditions that affect the neurons in the human brain and cause progressive brain damage. Affect balance, movement, talking and memory. For example, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
The process where those organisms better adapted to their environment survive and pass on their beneficial characteristics to their offspring.
An organism resulting from or showing the effect of a genetic mutation.
The muscular and skeletal systems. Provides form, support, stability and movement to the body.
An inherited disorder that gradually causes the muscles to weaken.
A form of staphylococcal infection that is resistant to a number of commonly used antibiotics.
When only one copy of a chromosome is present.
The power plants of our cells. Membrane-bound organelles found in most eukaryotic cells, they generate the cell’s source of energy.
Type of RNA molecule with an important role in protein synthesis. Involved in carrying genetic information from DNA to the ribosome in the cell where proteins are made.
One million bases or base pairs (1,000,000 b or 1,000,000 bp). In molecular biology, commonly used to describe the length of a DNA/RNA molecule.
Type of white blood cell important in the immune system. There are three subsets, T cells, B cells and natural killer cells.
A type of cancer affecting the blood cells. It is named according to the type of white blood cell affected and whether it is chronic or acute.
Often done in model organisms, knockouts are when specific genes in an organism’s genome are inactivated. This allows scientists to understand more about the role of certain genes and what happens if they are absent.
One thousand bases, or pairs of bases (1000 b or 1000 bp). In molecular biology, commonly used to describe the length of a DNA/RNA molecule.
An image of all the chromosomes from an individual cell. Used to check for large-scale chromosome abnormalities.
Part of a gene that is not used to make protein and is cut out from the RNA between transcription and translation.
Disease caused by a microorganism such as a virus, bacterium or parasite. They can be spread from one person to another.
A type of stem cell generated from an adult cell that has been reprogrammed to act like an embryonic stem cell.
Reproduction resulting from the mating of a pair of individuals that are genetically closely related. Can lead to reduced fitness in a population.
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