- Molecular Biology: Topic Page
Molecular Biology is the study of the molecular basis of life, particularly using modern methods of working with DNA, to look at the structure and function of the components of living cells and to answer wider biological questions.
- Anemia: Topic Page
Condition in which the concentration of hemoglobin in the circulating blood is below normal.
- Cell: Topic Page
Basic biological unit of which all plant and animal tissues are composed.
- Endocytosis: Topic Page
In biology, process by which substances are taken into the cell.
- Homeostasis: Topic Page
Maintenance of a constant environment within and around living cells, particularly with regard to pH, salt concentration, temperature, and blood sugar levels.
- Meoisis: Topic Page
Process of nuclear division in a living cell by which the number of chromosomes is reduced to half the original number.
- Mitochondrion: Topic Page
Cytoplasmic organelle of all eukaryotic cells engaging in aerobic respiration, and the source of most ATP in those cells.
- Mitosis: Topic Page
Process of nuclear division in a living cell by which the carriers of hereditary information, or the chromosomes, are exactly replicated and the two copies distributed to identical daughter nuclei.
- Osmosis: Topic Page
Transfer of a liquid solvent through a semipermeable membrane that does not allow dissolved solids (solutes) to pass. Osmosis refers only to transfer of solvent; transfer of solute is called dialysis.
- Evolution: Topic Page
Evolution is the process by which life has developed by stages from single-celled organisms into the multiplicity of animal and plant life, extinct and existing, that inhabits the Earth.
- Adaptation: Topic Page
The adjustment of living matter to environmental conditions and to other living things either in an organism's lifetime (physiological adaptation) or in a population over many many generations (evolutionary adaptation).
- Darwinism: Topic Page
Concept of evolution developed in the mid-19th cent. by Charles Robert Darwin. Darwin's meticulously documented observations led him to question the then current belief in special creation of each species.
- Natural Selection: Topic Page
Process by which gene frequencies in a population change through certain individuals producing more descendants than others because they are better able to survive and reproduce in their environment.
- Protective Coloration: Topic Page
Coloration or color pattern of an animal that affords it protection from observation either by its predators or by its prey. The most widespread form of protective coloration is called cryptic resemblance, in which various effects that supplement the similarity of color between the animal and its surroundings enable the creature to blend into the background of its habitat.
- Genetics: Topic Page
Genetics is the branch of biology that studies heredity.
From The Cambridge Dictionary of Human Biology and Evolution: refers to the sequencing of DNA, the identification of genes, the discovery of normal and abnormal gene functions and mutations, and interspecific comparisons.
From the Encyclopedia of the Human Genome: The development and/or application of computational tools and approaches for expanding the use of biological data, including those to acquire, store, organize, archive, analyze or visualize such data.
- Allele: Topic Page
One of two or more alternative forms of a gene at a given position (locus) on a chromosome, caused by a difference in the sequence of DNA. This is best explained with examples.
- Chromosome: Topic Page
Structures in a cell nucleus that carry the many thousands of genes, in sequence, that determine the characteristics of an organism. There are 46 chromosomes in a normal human cell.
- Clone: Topic Page
Exact replica - in genetics, any one of a group of genetically identical cells or organisms. An identical twin is a clone; so too are bacteria living in the same colony.
- Cloning: Topic Page
The process of asexual reproduction observed, for example, in bacteria and other unicellular micro-organisms which divide by simple fission, so that the daughter cells are genetically identical to each other and to the parent (except when mutation occurs). In higher organisms, genetically identical individuals may be produced by cloning.
- DNA: Topic Page
Molecular basis of heredity. It is a complex giant molecule that contains, in chemically coded form, the information needed for a cell to make proteins.
- Eugenics: Topic Page
Study of human genetics and of methods to improve the inherited characteristics, physical and mental, of the human race.
- Gene: Topic Page
Basic unit of inherited material, encoded by a strand of DNA and transcribed into RNA. In higher organisms, genes are located on linear chromosomes.
- Genetic Engineering: Topic Page
All-inclusive term that describes the deliberate manipulation of genetic material by biochemical techniques. It is often achieved by the introduction of new DNA, usually by means of a virus or plasmid. This can be for pure research, gene therapy, or to breed functionally specific plants, animals, or bacteria.
- Genetic Fingerprinting: Topic Page
Technique developed in the UK by Professor Alec Jeffreys (1950-), and now allowed as a means of legal identification. It determines the pattern of certain parts of the genetic material DNA that is unique to each individual.
- Heredity: Topic Page
Transmission from generation to generation through the process of reproduction in plants and animals of factors which cause the offspring to resemble their parents. That like begets like has been a maxim since ancient times.
- Human Genome Project: Topic Page
he Human Genome Project is a huge international scientific project that began in 1990. Its aim is to map all the genes on the human chromosomes.
- Intron: Topic Page
In genetics, a stretch of DNA that interrupts the coding parts (exons) of a gene but apparently carries no genetic information. Introns, discovered in 1977, are at first transcribed into messenger RNA (mRNA) but removed before translation.
- Mutation: Topic Page
In biology, a sudden, random change in a gene, or unit of hereditary material, that can alter an inheritable characteristic.
- Nucleic Acid: Topic Page
Any of a group of organic substances found in the chromosomes of living cells and viruses that play a central role in the storage and replication of hereditary information and in the expression of this information through protein synthesis.
- Recessive Gene: Topic Page
Allele (alternative form of a gene) that will show in the (phenotype observed characteristics of an organism) only if its partner allele on the paired chromosome is identical. Such an allele will not show if its partner is of a different, dominant type, that is if the organism is heterozygous for a particular characteristic.
- Recombination: Topic Page
Process of "shuffling" of genes by which new combinations can be generated.