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A medical instrument with a light attached that is used to look inside the body.
A rod-shaped bacterium that is commonly found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded organisms. Most strains of E. coli are harmless but some can cause food poisoning.
The belief and practice of improving the genetic quality of the human population.
All of the exons in a genome, which consist of the DNA that contains the instructions to make proteins.
The emission of light by a substance following exposure to light or radiation.
The unborn young of an animal still in the womb or egg.
A large group of organisms that includes yeasts, moulds and mushrooms. Fungi are distinct from plants, animals and bacteria because they have cell walls that contain chitin.
A letter or region of a gene that is different in different individuals. The most common gene variants are single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) where a single DNA base is altered. There can be numerous variants for any given gene.
The genetic makeup of a cell, organism or individual.
The process of determining the genetic makeup (genotype) of an individual by examining their DNA.
A condition when the heart can no longer pump enough blood around the body. It usually occurs when the heart muscle has become too weak or stiff to work efficiently.
A type of chemical used to kill unwanted plants.
A group of viruses that infect your skin and the moist membranes lining your body, such as your mouth, throat and genitals. Cause abnormal tissue growth and genital warts.
Your body’s defence system that recognises and defends the body against pathogens such as bacteria and viruses.
An electrically charged particle formed when an atom loses or gains electrons.
A hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates the amount of the sugar glucose in the blood. A lack of insulin or an inability to respond to insulin causes diabetes.
A gene or fragment of DNA with a known location on a chromosome. Markers can be used to establish the relative location of specific regions of the genome that might be of interest.
Meiosis is a process where a single cell divides twice to produce four cells containing half the amount of genetic information as the original parent cell. These cells are our sex cells – sperm in males, eggs in females.
A living organism that is too small to see with the naked eye, such as bacteria, fungi and protozoa. Some microbes cause disease.
Mitosis is a process where a single cell divides into two identical daughter cells (cell division) with the same amount of genetic material as the original parent cell.
A branch of biology that deals with the interactions between the molecules in our cells.
A slippery substance secreted by the mucus membranes, for example the mouth and throat, that lubricates and protects the inner surfaces of the body.
A chemical substance that transmits messages between nerve cells.
A functional RNA molecule that is transcribed from DNA but is not translated into a protein.
An abnormally high accumulation of body fat which can have a negative effect on health.
A collection of cells and tissues that perform a specific function in the body.
A gland located behind the stomach that secretes enzymes into the intestine to aid digestion. The pancreas produces the hormone insulin that regulates the absorption of sugar by cells.
The physical traits and characteristics of an organism resulting from their genetic makeup.
The normal, healthy functioning of an organism’s body and organs.
A small circle of genetic material, typically DNA in bacterial cells, physically separated from chromosomal DNA that replicates independently. Plasmids are used as vectors to transfer genes between cells.
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