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Glossary

BioScience.com.pk try the best to avoid the use of medical terms that could make it more difficult to understand the information on this website. Still, there are a number of terms that can't be avoided and that are useful to know because they are so often used by the doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals with whom you might speak. The list below includes the terms used on BioScience.com.pk for which we have provided definitions.

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Term Definition
Amino Acid

One of a group of chemical compounds (organic acids) that have an amino group (NH2); many are the building blocks of proteins.

Amniotic fluid

Fluid surrounding and supporting a fetus

Amplification

1) In molecular diagnostics, a process by which multiple copies of genetic material (RNA, DNA) are generated so as to produce adequate levels of the target to be detected or quantitated

2) The process by which the signal from a detection system is increased so as to improve detection or quantitation of an analyte of interest, such as genes or drugs

3) When there is more than the normal number of copies of a gene or genes in a cell, as in tumor cells, the gene is said to be amplified.

Anaerobic

Living or occurring in an oxygen-free environment

Analyte

Also known as: Test


In the clinical laboratory, a substance from the body that is undergoing analysis.  In lay terms, often referred to as a "test."

Anaphylaxis

Severe allergic reaction that can cause intensely itchy welts (hives) on the skin, low blood pressure, and difficulty breathing. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening so those who have been affected by it may be advised to carry an emergency injection of epinephrine.

Androgens

Hormones that are responsible for the induction of sexual differentiation and produce secondary male physical characteristics such as a deep voice and facial hair. An example is the hormone testosterone. They are also present in females as precursors to female hormones (such as estrogen).

Anencephaly

Congenital defect that occurs during fetal brain development when the neural tube fails to close properly at the head. The result is the lack of development of a large portion of the brain and skull.

Aneuploidy

Having an abnormal number of chromosomes

Aneurysm

Weakened portion of a blood vessel wall that widens or bulges and may eventually rupture; a ruptured aneurysm can bleed heavily and may be fatal.

Angioedema

Weakened portion of a blood vessel wall that widens or bulges and may eventually rupture; a ruptured aneurysm can bleed heavily and may be fatal.An allergic reaction involving the skin and deeper (subcutaneous) layers that is characterized by patches of swelling

Angioplasty

Medical procedure used to widen blood vessels that have been narrowed or blocked.  During the procedure, a balloon-tipped catheter is inserted into the body (usually through a small incision in the groin). The catheter is guided to the site of the blockage using X-rays and injected dye. The balloon on the catheter is then gently inflated to flatten the blockage and open the blood vessel.

Anovulation

An egg is not released by the ovaries during a menstrual cycle

Anterior

At or toward the front

Antibiotic resistance

Ability of a microorganism to grow despite the presence of an antibiotic

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