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150 terms

MAK WSC 2012 Science Guide Terms

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Bioethics
Field regarding the ethics of biotechnology
Yeast
Fungus that causes bread to rise
Lancing the Boil
Slice boils open with something sharp to "treat it".
Smallpox
Thousands of pustules (little pimples full of pus) cover the skin, which turns into scars later on, assuming the victim survived. 30% fatality rate.
Immune
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.
Variolation
Exposing someone to a weakened version of a disease so they might be immune.
Cowpox
Milder version of smallpox. In the late 18th century, milkmaids caught this from the cows they milked.
Edward Jenner
Invented the vaccine for smallpox
Vaccine
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.
Pasteurization
Heats food long enough to kill all the bacteria in it, but cools it in time to preserve its flavor.
Penicillin
First antibiotic, discovered by Alexander Fleming on accident
Biotechnology
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
Bioreactor
A large fermentation tank for growing microorganisms.
Transgene
Foreign gene that is transferred into target cell or tissue
Outcross
Crossing (Breeding) with another plant
Bt-toxin
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.
Biofortification
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
Plumpy'nut
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
Bioterrorism
terrorism using the weapons of biological warfare
Anthrax
Causes skin blisters and life-threatening pneumonia. Survives for long periods as spores
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
Biosurveillance
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
nucleotides
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)
genes
long segments of DNA that control how a certain trait is expressed in an organism
chromosomes
long chains of DNA coiled up; they contain many genes
proteins
large molecules made of amino acids; have many different functions that are determined by DNA
ribosomes
organelles in cells where proteins are made
transcription
the process in which the sequence on DNA is copied onto mRNA to be carried to the ribosome
translation
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
exons
genes on DNA that actually code for proteins
introns
long sequences on DNA that don't code for anything
alleles
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
homozygous
having 2 of the same allele, e.g. 2 dominant, 2 recessive
heterozygous
having 2 different alleles
homo-
prefix that means "same"
mutation
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
transformation
the transfer of recombinant DNA from one organism to another
gene gun
device that injects new DNA into the nucleus
enzymes
proteins that catalyze (speed up or activate) chemical reactions
restriction endonucleases
enzymes that select and cut DNA strands
ligase
enzyme that re-connects the 2 DNA strands
recombinant cells
cells that have had recombinant DNA introduced to them
phage
virus that is capable of injecting its own DNA into host cells; they use host cells to reproduce themselves
transduction
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
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
safflower
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
Endemic
A disease that is native or common in a certain region
Transgender
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
Reject
The immune system fights any foreign substances
Immunosuppressant
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
Pacemaker
a device that delivers electrical impulses to the heart to regulate the heartbeat
Collagen
The loss of this protein makes elderly faces hollow
Otoplasty
Procedure that pins back ears or shrinks and reshapes them
Neurotransmitters
Carry messages between neurons
Serotonin
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)
Oxytocin
Hormone linked with feelings of affection and loyalty
Placebo
Fake drug with no effects
Narcolepsy
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.
Euphoria
happiness
Stem Cells
Cells that are able to become any type of cell in the body. They also have the ability to renew themselves.
Tissues
Group of cells that combine to perform a function
Undifferentiated
able to become any type of cell in the body
Pluripotent
embryonic cells that can become any tissue in the body
Multipotent
undifferentiated cells within a group, remain inactive until needed to repair or replace damaged cells.
Unipotent
Can only become one type of cell
Fertility
ability to reproduce
Fertility drugs
drugs that increase the production of egg cells
Ova
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
Blastema
clump of undifferentiated cells that salamanders produce instead of scabs
Antigens
"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
Analogues
virus-like genetic material that confuses real viruses
Interferons
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
Myostatin
Protein that binds to special receptors on muscle cells and inhibits muscle growth
Follistatin
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)
Zygote
Ultimate stem cell, capable of forming all the other cells in a fetus
Telomeres
Sit at the end of DNA to protect them from falling apart. Shrinks as the organism ages.
Telomerase
Enzyme that lengthens telomeres and keeps cells from dying. Produced by cancerous cells.
Directed Chimerism
Mix human and animal genes together
Frankenfoods
Genetically engineered foods
Pathogen
something that causes a disease, such as a bacterium or virus
Nutraceuticals
Foods that claims to improve your health
Nanowires
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
pyrethrum
a type of insecticide made from powdered chrysanthemum flowers, discovered by Chinese farmers
alginate
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
Xenotransplantation
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
Sonogram
determining sex early in a pregnancy
abortion
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
aCaMKII
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
Amphetamines
drugs that speed up body/brain response time
Painkillers
allow athletes to continue performing and not feel pain. (i.e. Oxycontin)
Weeds
unwanted plants that grow among plants that are wanted
glyphosate
herbicide that competes with and inhibits a key enzyme in plants, making them not able to make proteins
Refuge
an area for non-resistant pests
AquaAdvantage Salmon
salmon modified with a gene that makes it grow twice as fast
Nanobots
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
Alzheimer's
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
plaque
a biofilm that forms in people's teeth that appears in the brains of people inflicted with Alzheimer's