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Terms and Definition for Biotechnology

Autoimmune disorders A condition which occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue.
Biotechnology The application of technology to the study or manipulation of living things.
Chemical bases Adenine (A), Guanine (G), Cytosine (C) and Thymine (T). The genes that make up your body by stringing together to form DNA.
Cloning To generate a population of genetically identical molecules, cells, plants or animals.
Diamond vs. Chakrabarty A United States Supreme Court case dealing with whether genetically modified organisms can be patented.
DNA The genetic material of most living organisms.
DNA fingerprinting A test to identify and evaluate the genetic information called DNA in a person's cells.
Fermentation The anaerobic conversion of sugar to carbon dioxide and alcohol by yeast.
Genes A region of DNA that controls a hereditary characteristic.
Genetics The branch of biology that deals with heredity, especially the mechanisms of hereditary transmission and the variation of inherited characteristics among similar or related organisms.
Genetic engineering A laboratory technique used by scientists to change the DNA of living organisms.
Gene therapy A technique for correcting defective genes responsible for disease development.
Human genome map The finished sequence of the human genome.
Human Genome Project An international scientific research project with a primary goal to determine the sequence of chemical base pairs which make up DNA and to identify and map the approximately 20,000–25,000 genes of the human genome.
Immunology The study of our protection from foreign macromolecules or invading organisms and our body’s responses to them.
Interferon A naturally occurring substance that interferes with the ability of viruses to reproduce.
Molecular biology The study of biology at a molecular level. It chiefly concerns itself with understanding the interactions between the various systems of a cell.
Nucleotide A nucleotide is the monomer structural unit of nucleotide chains that form the nucleic acids RNA and DNA; in other words, the building blocks for DNA and RNA.
Proteins Any of a group of complex organic macromolecules that are composed of one or more chains of amino acids.
Recombinant DNA The joining — or recombining — of two pieces of DNA from different sources, such as from two different organisms.
RNA (ribonucleic acid) One of the two main types of nucleic acid (the other being DNA), that consists of strands of repeating nucleotides joined in chainlike fashion, but the strands are single (except in certain viruses)
Somatic cell nuclear transfer Or therapeutic cloning involves removing the nucleus of an unfertilized egg cell, replacing it with the material from the nucleus of a "somatic cell" (a skin, heart, or nerve cell, for example), and stimulating this cell to begin dividing.
Stem cells A class of undifferentiated cells that are able to differentiate into specialized cell types.
Thalidomide introduced as a sedative drug in the late 1950s, then banned in the early 1960s after it was found to cause deformed limbs in the children of women who took it early in pregnancy.
Transgenic An organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques.
Xenotransplantation The transplantation of living cells, tissues or organs from one species to another, such as from pigs to humans.
Created by: wg44049