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Field regarding the ethics of biotechnology


Fungus that causes bread to rise

Lancing the Boil

Slice boils open with something sharp to "treat it".


Thousands of pustules (little pimples full of pus) cover the skin, which turns into scars later on, assuming the victim survived. 30% fatality rate.


Resistant to disease. At the end of the ninth century, people discovered that smallpox survivors, though badly scarred, were immune for the rest of their lives.


Exposing someone to a weakened version of a disease so they might be immune.


Milder version of smallpox. In the late 18th century, milkmaids caught this from the cows they milked.

Edward Jenner

Invented the vaccine for smallpox


Substance prepared from killed or weakened pathogens and introduced into a body to produce immunity

Nonstable pathogens

Diseases that constantly mutate to foil antibody detection. They mutate so vaccines wouldn't work against them.


Heats food long enough to kill all the bacteria in it, but cools it in time to preserve its flavor.


First antibiotic, discovered by Alexander Fleming on accident


Making useful products out of raw organic materials

Deoxyribonucleic Acid

Genetic material found in all known living organisms

Biological Warfare

The use of bacteria or viruses or toxins to destroy men and animals or food

Green Revolution

New ways of food production to ensure everyone has enough to eat


A large fermentation tank for growing microorganisms.


Foreign gene that is transferred into target cell or tissue


Crossing (Breeding) with another plant


Bacillus Thuringiensis. Natural pesticide. Forms poisonous crystals that slice up the guts of insects from within, making it impossible for them to digest. They starve to death.


Engineering simple and inexpensive foods to make them more nutritious

Staple food

A food item that is commonly found in an area and eaten on a regular basis

Golden Rice

Genetically modified rice that produces edible beta-carotene, which the body can turn into vitamin A


Biofortified food meant to treat severe malnourishment. Composed of peanut paste, vegetable oil, powdered milk, powdered sugar, and vitamins and minerals. Expensive.

Forensic biotechnology

Biotech used in the analyses of crimes

Variable number tandem repeats (VNTR)

Short pieces of noncoding DNA that repeat many times in a given genome and are very different between individuals who aren't related. Ideal for DNA profiling

Human chimera

Fused fraternal twin: person who originally had a twin in the womb, but absorbed him/her. Has a mosaic of genetic material


terrorism using the weapons of biological warfare


Causes skin blisters and life-threatening pneumonia. Survives for long periods as spores


Cells that lie dormant until the right conditions arise

Incubation Period

The time a diseases lives in its host before attacking

Global Pandemic

Disease that spread all over the world


Collecting health data and analyzing it for any deviations from the norm

nucleic acids

molecules that store information for cells, e.g. DNA and RNA


monomer form of nucleic acids

bases (nitrogenous bases)

another name for nucleotides; e.g. adenine, thymine, cytosine, and guanine

base pairs

nucleotides that are complimentary / pair up with each other (e.g. adenine with thymine, cytosine with guanine)


long segments of DNA that control how a certain trait is expressed in an organism


long chains of DNA coiled up; they contain many genes


large molecules made of amino acids; have many different functions that are determined by DNA


organelles in cells where proteins are made


the process in which the sequence on DNA is copied onto mRNA to be carried to the ribosome


the process in which mRNA determines which amino acids the ribosome should assemble (and therefore resulting in a certain protein)

amino acids

building blocks of proteins


genes on DNA that actually code for proteins


long sequences on DNA that don't code for anything


different variations of a certian gene (e.g. blue eyes vs. brown eyes)

dominant allele

the version of the trait that is expressed whenever it is present; it masks recessive alleles

recessive allele

version of the trait that is only expressed if there are no dominant alleles of the same gene present


having 2 of the same allele, e.g. 2 dominant, 2 recessive


having 2 different alleles


prefix that means "same"


unplanned changes in genes

mutagenic factors

factors that cause mutation, e.g. radiation,

recombinant DNA technology

combining one strand of DNA with another in order to transfer genes from one organism to another


the transfer of recombinant DNA from one organism to another

gene gun

device that injects new DNA into the nucleus


proteins that catalyze (speed up or activate) chemical reactions

restriction endonucleases

enzymes that select and cut DNA strands


enzyme that re-connects the 2 DNA strands

recombinant cells

cells that have had recombinant DNA introduced to them


virus that is capable of injecting its own DNA into host cells; they use host cells to reproduce themselves


the process of a virus transferring DNA form one cell to another

insertional mutation

when DNA is inserted into the wrong place

Type 1 Diabetes

a disease that prevents people form producing enough insulin


hormone that controls and regulates sugar levels

pancreatic glands

glands where insulin is made

raising ethical red flags

provoking disagreement and anger towards the ethics of a certain possible solution or experiment

patent protection

protection of a certain product from unauthorized copying; the company Genentech got this for their bacteria that produced insulin


a genetically modified flower that can produce insulin

Hepatitis B

inflammation of the liver caused by the hepatitis B virus

Yellow Fever

a disease transmitted by mosquitoes: its symptoms inclued high fever and vomiting


A disease that is native or common in a certain region


person who changed their gender

gender reassignment

gender change

Cochlear implant

A device for converting sounds into electrical signals and stimulating the auditory nerve through electrodes threaded into the cochlea


The immune system fights any foreign substances


Limits the body's natural immune system. Organ recipients must take these drugs for the rest of their lives. However, this limits the body's ability to fight actual infections

Ventricular assist device

Helps keep the patient's heart pumping, sometimes through electrical stimulation


a device that delivers electrical impulses to the heart to regulate the heartbeat


The loss of this protein makes elderly faces hollow


Procedure that pins back ears or shrinks and reshapes them


Carry messages between neurons


Neurotransmitter that is linked with emotion

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

A drug that keeps more serotonin in the brain, used to make depression patients feel better (i.e. Prozac)


Hormone linked with feelings of affection and loyalty


Fake drug with no effects


A disorder that induces sleepiness even when the patient feels well-rested

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Disorder- patients can't focus on one task for long

Modafinil (Provigil)

drug that keeps people alert and awake, might even be used to combat depression

Ritalin and Adderall

closely related to cocaine, used to combat ADHD. Increase amounts of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain.

Norepinephrine and dopamine

Plays a role in cognition, mood, emotions. More of these in the brain gives patients better attention spans, more energy, and even a sense of happiness.



Stem Cells

Cells that are able to become any type of cell in the body. They also have the ability to renew themselves.


Group of cells that combine to perform a function


able to become any type of cell in the body


embryonic cells that can become any tissue in the body


undifferentiated cells within a group, remain inactive until needed to repair or replace damaged cells.


Can only become one type of cell


ability to reproduce

Fertility drugs

drugs that increase the production of egg cells


egg cells

In vitro fertilization

Multiple eggs are extracted and fertilized outside the body. The develop into 6-8 cell embryos before doctors implant them into a woman's uterus.

Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)

Screening embryos to assess the risk of certain genetic disorders and the presence of certain traits before deciding which ones to use


clump of undifferentiated cells that salamanders produce instead of scabs


"markers" on cells that determine whether the immune system should produce antibodies against them

Blood-brain barrier

a barrier in the brain that narcotics such as cocaine must pass in order for the person to become high

Virus-associated proteins (VAPs)

drugs that interfere with viruses by mimic proteins and bind to receptors or mimic the receptors and bind to the protein


virus-like genetic material that confuses real viruses


Body's natural defense against viruses. They travel from infected cells to other cells and produce proteins that will inhibit the growth of the virus


Protein that binds to special receptors on muscle cells and inhibits muscle growth


Protein that binds to myostatin, stopping it from acting. Promotes muscle growth

Epigenetic changes

physical differences in the expression of genes despite the same genetic code (i.e. environment in a mother's womb, presence of antibodies in breast milk, hazards of everyday living)


Ultimate stem cell, capable of forming all the other cells in a fetus


Sit at the end of DNA to protect them from falling apart. Shrinks as the organism ages.


Enzyme that lengthens telomeres and keeps cells from dying. Produced by cancerous cells.

Directed Chimerism

Mix human and animal genes together


Genetically engineered foods


something that causes a disease, such as a bacterium or virus


Foods that claims to improve your health


extremely small wires that can be used to build tiny circuits.

Carbon nanotubes

rolled-up sheets of individual carbon atom that are hundreds of times stronger than steel, and six times lighter

white blood cells

blood cells which patrol the body to help stop infections


a type of insecticide made from powdered chrysanthemum flowers, discovered by Chinese farmers


gum-like material that are patched over damaged portions of the heart to conduct electrical signals to new grown heart tissues

Lytic viruses

viruses that bursts a cell after duplicating itself several times and spreads.

Lysogenic viruses

viruses that integrates with DNA and turns dominate, later its turns lytic when triggered and spreads


transplanting organs from other species (e.g. pig heart valves in older humans)

Orexin A

a hormone that excites neurons; Most narcoleptic patients don't produce enough of this


determining sex early in a pregnancy


ending unwanted pregnancies

Prosthetic limb

artificial limb

Magic Bullet

a type of therapy that only kills cancer cells and nothing else

aldehyde dehydrogenase

enzymes that helps breaking down alcohol


a major signaling molecule for a neural receptor in the brain that erases the memory of something when subject remember it

Muscular dystrophy

a disease that shrinks muscles

Tay-Sachs disease

a disease that causes brains of children to decay, currently is inheritable and has no cure

Human Growth Hormone

growth regulating hormone/steroid


drugs that speed up body/brain response time


allow athletes to continue performing and not feel pain. (i.e. Oxycontin)


unwanted plants that grow among plants that are wanted


herbicide that competes with and inhibits a key enzyme in plants, making them not able to make proteins


an area for non-resistant pests

AquaAdvantage Salmon

salmon modified with a gene that makes it grow twice as fast


nanoscale robots

carbon nanotube circuit

nanobots capable of behaving like a synapse in the human brain

receptor proteins

Proteins on brain cells that help controls brain activities


a disease of the mind that affects mostly older people, where they steadily lose their memory and their thinking ability

myelin sheaths

a substance that surrounds neurons in people's brains; it degenerates when a person inflict Alzheimer's

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