Glossary

This glossary was developed to help you understand the terms used in the field of biotechnology. It has definitions of terms used throughout the biotechnology topic Web pages. A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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2D PAGE Two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The most common technique for protein separation. Proteins are separated in one dimension according to their size, and in the second dimension, according to their charge (that is, their isolectric point). After separation, the gel is stained so that protein spots can be seen. 22q deletion syndrome A syndrome associated with a small deletion (missing section of DNA) on chromosome 22. Act A law made by Parliament or a provincial legislature. The process of making an Act of Parliament begins with the introduction of a proposed Act, or bill, in one of the two houses of Parliament (the Senate or the House of Commons). A bill becomes an Act if it is passed (approved) by both houses and receives royal assent. Allele A form of a gene. We inherit one allele of a gene from our mother and the other allele from our father. These two alleles can be the same (homozygous) or they can be different (heterozygous). Allele-specific oligonucleotide hybridization The use of an oligonucleotide probe to determine which of the two alternative nucleotide sequences is contained in a DNA molecule.

Assisted human reproduction (AHR) Any activity undertaken for the purpose of facilitating human reproduction. Top of Page B Bacillus thuringensis (bt) A naturally occurring soil bacterium that makes an endotoxin that is toxic to larvae of the European corn borer (Lepidoptera). 7 Antibody A protein made by the immune system that is specific to an antigen. Autosomal recessive Describes a type of inheritance where an individual must inherit a mutation in both copies of a gene in order to develop the associated trait or disorder. chromosomes 1 through 22. The triploid state of 69 chromosomes rarely occurs and is not compatible with life. The messenger RNA tells the cell what amino acids are needed and what order they must be arranged in to build a particular protein. This sample can then be analysed by karyotype to look for changes in the chromosomes. donor insemination and intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). When an antibody detects this antigen in the body. it will start an immune response to rid the body of the antigen. A flexible needle is inserted into the mother's uterus through the abdomen to remove a sample of the fluid surrounding the fetus (amniotic fluid). Amniocentesis A procedure used in prenatal diagnosis to look at the chromosomes of the developing fetus. Antigen A foreign substance that binds to an antibody and starts an immune response in the body. Assay A method for determining the presence or quantity of a component. which means one in 200 women will miscarry following this procedure. There are 20 different amino acids used in the human body. Autosome A chromosome that is not a sex chromosome (X or Y). which is found in the egg and sperm cells. Bacteria may develop this resistance naturally after being exposed to it over many years. The haploid number of chromosomes is 23. Examples include in vitro fertilization. Antibiotic resistance The ability of bacteria to tolerate an antibiotic and survive being exposed to it. There is a 0. The most common aneuploid numbers are 45 (one chromosome is missing) and 47 (one chromosome is added). The gene for this endotoxin has been incorporated into corn to produce a genetically modified corn plant that can defend itself against the . Autosomal dominant Describes a type of inheritance where an individual with a mutation in only one copy of a gene will develop the associated trait or disorder.5% risk of miscarriage associated with this procedure. Antibiotic A natural or synthetic chemical that is used to kill bacteria in order to treat diseases in humans and animals. The diploid number is 46. Aneuploid A cell where the total number of chromosomes is not an exact multiple of 23. The procedure can be done after 15 weeks of pregnancy.Amino acid The building block of proteins. which results from the joining of the egg and sperm.

Bioethics (and biomedical ethics) A discipline that studies the ethical implications of biological applications. storage (in databases). domestic animals. Also identifies linkages to wider sustainable development outcomes. They can also work in low amounts. to discover a new pharmaceutical or a new herbicide). grass and leaf compost). Biohazard A biological agent. and efficient use of data/information from genomics from biological research to accomplish an objective (for example. The endotoxin is very specific in that it only affects the corn borer larvae. It is not toxic to people. but essentially they also fall under the regulatory definition of a biologic. Biopharmaceuticals This term is sometimes used for biologic drugs produced through rDNA technology. forestry. treatment or cure of diseases or injuries in humans. but also poultry litter and animal residues and waste. to break down pollutants in soil. risk. biomaterials and biosensors. Biosensing Technology for the detection of a wide range of chemical and biological agents. including bacteria. sawdust. forestry and other industries) and reducing fossil fuel use (product displacement). Biosensor An electronic device that uses biological molecules to detect low levels of substances like proteins in the body or pollutants in water. critical economic. waste streams. as in the development of aids or replacements for defective or missing body organs. Bioengineering Engineering applied to biological and medical systems. The potential danger. they can reduce the use of conventional pesticides while maintaining crop yields. and industrial and municipal solid waste (for example. usually microorganisms. environmental and security benefits (such as adding value to farm. . Biomass Any organic matter. Bioinformatics The generation/creation. or a condition that constitutes a threat to humans. Bioassay A method of determining the effect of a compound by quantifying its effect on living organisms or their component parts. emission of greenhouse gases and other pollutants. wood chips. such as an infectious microorganism. collection. in the environment and humans. industry and municipal waste) and conversion technologies such as fermentation (alcohol production) and co-firing (co-combustion of biomass and coal). or harm from exposure to such an agent or condition. or analogous product used in the prevention. toxin. they break down quickly and when used properly. agriculture.European corn borer. animals or plants that is used for pest control. Bioenergy Energy choices using a wide range of biomass sources (for example. antitoxin. therapeutic serum. Bioremediation The use of organisms. particularly available on a renewable or recurring basis such as trees and plants (residues and fibers containing cellulose or lingo-cellulose). especially in biological research or experimentation. They tend to have less of an impact on the environment and human health because they are less toxic than conventional pesticides and usually affect only one specific pest instead of being broad-range. such as biomechanics. Bioengineering also includes biomedical engineering. Biopesticides A product made from natural sources such as bacteria. fish or wildlife. paper. Biological products / Biologicals / Biologics Any virus. viruses and toxins. air or groundwater. Biomedical ethics See Bioethics.

Microarray technology is an important part of cellomics research. as well as modern applications like recombinant DNA techniques to improve crops. religious or ideological goals through intimidation.Biotechnology A general term used to describe the use of biological processes to make products. especially mental. A sample is removed from the chorion. These products are made from plasma like coagulation factors. Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) A procedure used in prenatal diagnosis to look at the chromosomes of the developing fetus. This individual most often does not develop symptoms of the disease. before the embryo implants in the uterus. in contrast to purely chemical processes. plasma proteins and albumin. which is part of the placenta and contains . Carrier An individual who has a gene mutation for a recessive disease on one allele while the other allele is normally functioning. The cell consists of a membrane that encloses the DNA-containing nucleus and the mitochondria. viruses or toxins with the intent of causing harm to people. When mutations happen in these genes. Cellomics A study that combines information from genomics and proteomics with the complex chemical and molecular relationships of cell components. Top of Page C Cancer A disease where cells grow out of control. Biotechnology has been in practice for centuries and includes such traditional applications as the use of yeast in making beer. the cell's energy source. Biotherapeutic strategy A plan or program to contribute to the cure of disease or to general. arteries. BRCA1/BRCA2 Two genes that are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer when they have mutations. Bioterrorism The use of bacteria. animals or food to achieve certain political. platelets. often developing a tumour. blood is comprised of such components as: blood cells. capillaries and veins of a vertebrate animal carrying nourishment and oxygen to and taking away waste products from all parts of the body. which make proteins that are responsible for preventing cancer from forming. well-being. Every human being has these two genes. Cancer cells can spread to other areas of the body and interrupt normal processes. the protective proteins do not work as well and the individual is then at increased risk of developing cancer. but is at risk of having a child with the disease if their partner is also a carrier. A mutation in the BRCA1/2 genes can be inherited or it can be acquired during our lifetime. Cell The smallest structural unit of living organisms that is able to grow and reproduce independently. Blastocyst stage Four to five days after the union of the sperm and the egg. Research about what goes on within a cell can give us valuable information about drug targets and drug development. plasma Blood products Products derived from blood. Blood The fluid that circulates in the heart. Blood components At its subcomponent level.

which means one in 100 women will miscarry following this procedure. We inherit 23 chromosomes from our mother and 23 from our father. usually a gene. Top of Page . This sample can then be analyzed by karyotype to look for changes in the chromosomes. See also Human clone. function and abnormalities of human chromosomes. Clone A genetically identical copy of an organism or of a specific piece of DNA for use in research. It is composed of a long strand of DNA that is greatly condensed for storage. The nucleotides in DNA (adenine. the total number of chromosomes in a diploid cell is 46. When geneticists speak of cloning. Cloning is the process of making copies of a specific piece of DNA. Cytogenetics The study of the structure. they do not usually mean the process of making genetically identical copies of an entire organism.cells from the fetus. Cystic fibrosis A hereditary disease whose symptoms usually appear shortly after birth. The genes act like recipes in that they contain the information necessary for the cell to make the corresponding proteins. It is a doublestranded helix held together by hydrogen bonds between pairs of nucleotides. They include faulty digestion. Diploid A cell with two full sets of chromosomes. but treatment is now so improved that patients commonly live into their 20s and beyond.reproductive cloning and therapeutic cloning. Top of Page D Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) The molecule that carries the genetic information in most living organisms. The procedure can be done at 10 to 12 weeks into the pregnancy. Humans have 46 chromosomes in every cell of their body except the sperm and egg cells. Drug Identification Number (DIN) A number issued to a drug indicating that it is authorized for sale in Canada. In humans. Diagnostics / Diagnostic products A test. guanine. In the past. There is a 1% risk of miscarriage associated with this procedure. Chromosome A structure found in the cell nucleus that carries the genetic information in humans and animals. breathing difficulties and respiratory infections due to mucus accumulation. Clinical trial Medical research undertaken with informed and consenting human subjects in a controlled environment. Complementary DNA (cDNA) DNA synthesized from a messenger RNA rather than from a DNA template. Dominant inheritance See Autosomal dominant. Cloning The process of creating a genetically identical copy (clone) of an animal or plant. and excessive loss of salt in sweat. The intent of a clinical trial is for the sponsoring company or research institution to gather information on the safety and effectiveness of new drugs or therapies before seeking approval of a procedure or product for use by the Canadian public. medical device or kit used to diagnose a disease or medical condition. cystic fibrosis was almost always fatal in childhood. drug. cytosine and thymine) are arranged in different combinations to represent each gene. This type of DNA is used for cloning or as a DNA probe for finding specific genes. There are two recognized forms of cloning related to humans -.

Expression The process of converting genetic information into RNA and protein for use in the cell. Many essential reactions in the body require the help of enzymes and would not proceed on their own. Enzymatic Activity of an enzyme which is a substance produced by a living organism and acting as a catalyst to promote a specific biochemical reaction. Northern and Western). Fetal .E E. Embryonic stem cells Cells that are removed from the early embryo and are able to become any of the 210 cell types found in the human body. Based on the principle of antibody-antibody interaction. such as disease and health. Examples of EIA include ELISA and Western blotting. this test allows for easy visualization of results and can be completed without the additional concern of radioactive materials use. can give a lot of information about the roles genes play in different situations. Microbes are usually incubated under specific conditions in large tanks called fermenters. Enzyme A protein that facilitates a biochemical reaction. and is used as an initial screen for HIV detection. Researchers are looking at the great potential stem cells have in developing new treatments for disease and injury. after major structures have been outlined. Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay The ELISA is a fundamental tool of clinical immunology. Fermentation is a specific type of bioprocessing. Enzyme-Linked Immuno Assays (EIA) Enzyme-Linked Immuno Assays (EIA) are use to measure the amount of a particular substance by virtue of its binding to a specific antibody. The mixture of molecules is added to one end of a gel-like medium. When a current is applied to it. Ex vivo (testing) The testing of a substance by exposing it to (excised) living cells (but not to the whole. the gel can be used in a blot (Southern. coli (Escherichia coli) A bacterium found in the intestinal tracts of most vertebrates. the molecules will travel through the medium to the other end at different speeds depending on the charge and size of the molecule. Embryo Defined in the Assisted Human Reproduction Act as a human organism during the first 56 days of its development following fertilization or creation. It includes any cell derived from such an organism that is used for the purpose of creating a human being. Top of Page F Fermentation A process of growing microorganisms to produce various chemical or pharmaceutical compounds. excluding any time during which its development has been suspended. Once the molecules are separated. Electrophoresis A technique used to separate molecules such as DNA or proteins using an electric current. Every gene is not expressed at the same level and at the same time. Expression patterns. It is used extensively in recombinant DNA research because it has been genetically well characterized. multicelled organism) in order to ascertain the effect of the substance (for example. pharmaceutical) on the biochemistry of the cell. easily analyzed using microarray technology. Fetal tissue The tissue from the unborn offspring of a human in the post-embryonic period (from eight weeks after fertilization to birth).

Functional food Ordinary food that has components or ingredients added to give it a specific medical or physiological benefit. and to conduct research into viruses. prepare or treat "food". whether processed. Human fetal tissue in culture is used by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to develop vaccines. semi-processed or raw. Genetic disease A disease or condition caused by a change or mutation in a gene. carcinogenesis. It is made up of DNA that acts as a blueprint to make a particular protein. Gene expression See Expression. The Human Genome Project estimates that humans have over 30. and transfer it into another plant. A marker may or may not be part of a . Also known as nutraceutical. excluding any time during which its development has been suspended. Every human being (except identical twins) has a unique set of genes. Genetic mapping A research method that collects genetic information to determine the relative position of a gene or a phenotype in the genome.tissue research is conducted using fetal tissue from cadavers to study birth anomalies. genetic engineering changes the type or amount of proteins an organism is capable of producing. which is intended for human consumption. There are also other potential medical uses for fetal tissue. chewing gum and any substance which has been used to manufacture. Gene The basic unit of heredity. located on a chromosome. infectious disease. Emerging medical practices use fetal tissue to treat neurological conditions such as Parkinson's disease. The medical procedure involves replacing. Each one is responsible for a different part of our biology. or a change in the chromosomes. and ending at birth. It excludes cosmetics. Gene therapy An evolving technique used to treat genetic diseases. genetic anomalies. Food biotechnology The application of biotechnology to the production of food. Genetic marker A DNA sequence at a unique physical location in the genome.such as resistance to insect attack . Top of Page G Gamete A mature reproductive cell (sperm or egg cell) that contributes to fertilization. Genetic engineering The technique of removing. Food Any substance. modifying or adding genes to a DNA molecule to change the information it contains. Genetic engineering allows scientists to isolate a specific gene for a particular trait .000 genes in their genome. half of which came from their mother and the other half from their father. manipulating or supplementing non-functional genes with healthy genes so that they can function normally. other than a purely nutritional effect. By changing this information. to test the efficacy and developmental malformations caused by new pharmaceutical products. etc. It includes drinks. Fetus Defined in the Assisted Human Reproduction Act as a human organism during the period of its development beginning on the 57th day following fertilization or creation. tobacco and substances used only as drugs.in a plant or animal. which varies sufficiently between individuals that its pattern of inheritance can be tracked through families and/or it can be used to distinguish among cell types.

Living modified organisms (LMOs) and transgenic organisms are other terms often used instead of GMOs. which has 23 chromosomes in humans (haploid). Bacteria. Genotype The genetic make-up of an individual. vaccines). but also on cheek cells. Often referred to as the right to be let alone. Genetics The study of how traits are passed on in families and how genes are involved in health and disease. bodily. Genomics The study of the entire genome (chromosomes. viruses. It is done to determine if the organism providing the sample has been exposed to specific chemicals which have caused problems such as mutations. Germ cell A reproductive cell (sperm or egg cell). The Supreme Court of Canada has indicated that confidential therapeutic relations enjoy some Charter protection but they are not absolute. insects. or the application of genetic analysis to identify potential targets for therapeutic products (drugs. Genome All of an organism's genetic information. that might confirm the diagnosis of a genetic disease or that show a predisposition to a genetic disease. Informational privacy protects the access. including from one species to another. Genetic testing A laboratory test. skin cells. or mutations. Top of Page . it protects territorial. fungi. Many of these interests are directly implicated by genetic testing. control and spread of personal information. Genetic privacy The freedom from unauthorized intrusion. amniotic fluid or a placenta sample. Genetic modification A general term which refers to any intentional change to the heritable traits of an organism. It looks at a particular gene for changes. more specifically. Recognized exceptions include those authorized in law. done most often on a blood sample. and to discover the associations between genetic mutations and disease. an individual's consent or waiver of privacy. Genetic toxicology A research field in which genetic samples from a living organism (including humans) are placed on a DNA microarray (gene chip) and tested in a computerized device for the presence of toxic substances from the environment. usually referring to a particular pair of alleles for a gene that can be related to a particular phenotype of interest. This includes both traditional breeding and recombinant DNA techniques. bone marrow. pharmacogenomics.gene. fish and mammals are some examples of organisms whose genetic material has been artificially modified to change some physical property or capability. plants. Markers are essential for use in linkage studies and genetic maps to help scientists to narrow down the possible location of new genes. genes and DNA) and how different genes interact with each other. including all of the DNA that makes up the genes that are carried on the chromosomes. Genetically modified organism (GMO) An organism produced from genetic engineering techniques that allow the transfer of functional genes from one organism to another. Privacy is essential to maintaining relations of trust. Genomics and molecular biology form the basis for modern biotechnology and. cancer and birth defects. psychological and informational integrity and decision making. The study of the pattern of occurrence of such biomarkers in a sample of individuals or a community is called genetic epidemiology. See also Gamete. and overriding duties to third parties.

Medical devices 4. Pharmaceuticals (both regular and biotechnology-based products) 3. the federal government shares in the cost of these services. Host genomics The genetic makeup of a person (host or patient). Natural Health Products Health surveillance The ongoing. as a result of the manipulation of human reproductive material or an in vitro embryo. Health surveillance tracks and forecasts the occurrence of health events or determinants through ongoing data collection. Human clone Defined in the Assisted Human Reproduction Act as "an embryo that. In humans. Hormones act as messengers to tell the target cell to stop or start certain cellular processes. . Health product Encompasses products subject to the Food and Drugs Act. liver cell Heredity The transfer of genetic information from parents to children. Hormones A chemical that is made by one type of cell in the body and acts on another. or transplant a human clone into a human being or into any non-human life form or artificial device". and are managed along the following broad categories: 1. 2004. Health care Canada's health care system provides access to universal. Hepatocyte Any of the polygonal epithelial parenchymatous cells of the liver that secrete bile called also hepatic cell. inpatient and outpatient physician services. analysis and interpretation of those data into a product that is disseminated to those who need to know. contains a diploid set of chromosomes obtained from a single -. the resulting cell will be diploid with 46 chromosomes. systematic use of routinely collected health data to guide public health action in a timely fashion. comprehensive coverage for medically necessary hospital.H Half-life The time required for the decay of half of a sample of particles of a radionucleotide or elementary particle. It also involves the collation. which received royal assent on March 29.living or deceased . Homozygote An individual with two identical alleles at a particular locus on a pair of chromosomes. Heterozygote An individual with two different alleles at a particular locus on a pair of chromosomes. states that "no person shall knowingly create a human clone by using any technique.human being. The Act. foetus or embryo". Human genetics The study of how traits are passed on in families and how genes are involved in health and disease. Provincial and territorial governments are responsible for the delivery of Canada's health care and hospital services. Once they join during fertilization. Biologics (both regular and biotechnology-based products) 2. Haploid A cell with one set of chromosomes. Haplotype characterization The characterization of SNPs by coherent packages (SNPs that are usually transmitted together). the egg and sperm cells are haploid cells and have only 23 chromosomes.

copyright. or induced inability to develop a normal immune response. The IFNs have multiple biological activities demonstrated to greater or lesser degree by the various types. In humans there are three major classes: Type I consists mainly of the original types alpha (including various isoforms) and beta. Immunotoxicity The toxicity of a therapeutic agent because it could cause immune reactions or allergy. Type II consists of IFN gamma. Examples from each of these classes have been cloned and commercialized. Insulin A hormone made by the pancreas that controls the level of sugar in the blood. so that the RNA becomes associated with the complementary DNA. The interferons (IFNs) are a highly conserved family of multi-functional. Immunodeficiency An innate. The patent system offers the only protection available for the intellectual products of research. . and. acquired. Hybridization The creation of RNA-DNA hybrids by a heating process. Immuno Therapies and/or treatments that stimulate the immune system. Intellectual property A form of creative endeavour that can be protected through a trademark. Interferon A protein first recognized in animals for its action in inhibiting viral replication and inducing resistance in host cells. the regulation of immune and inflammatory responses. Immunosuppression The prevention or lessening of the immune response. These include: the induction of intracellular mechanisms having antiviral effects (affecting viral protein synthesis) and anti-proliferative effects (affecting cell replication). fibroblastic IFN (beta) and immune IFN (gamma). Immunotyping The process of screening patients specimens to identify the specific viral antigen on antigen presenting cells or detecting specific viral antibodies. the stimulation of cellular immune responses against viruses. map and sequence all human genes. There is increasing pressure on the patent system to patent life forms. for example. Human health The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as a state of complete physical. patent. The IFNs have been reclassified based on their recognition of cell-surface receptors. cells and organs that work together to protect the body against infection and disease. mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. industrial design or integrated topography. Top of Page I Immune system A network of molecules. by irradiation or by administrating certain substances. In vitro Describes a biological process that takes place in a laboratory instead of in a living cell or organism. bacteria and tumours.Human Genome Project An international research effort that aims to identify. Type III consists of IFN lambda. secreted proteins originally classified on the basis of cellular origin including: leucocyte IFN (alpha). species-specific.

Top of Page L Legislation A collection of written and approved laws that "guide" behaviours in society.In vitro fertilization A procedure to help infertile couples conceive. The 23rd pair of chromosomes are the sex chromosomes -. Eggs are removed from the woman and fertilized with the man's sperm in the laboratory. Even non-experts can see instances where a chromosome. who might need hours to examine a single chromosome. In vivo Describes a biological process that takes place in a living cell or organism. Top of Page M Marker gene Genes that identify which plants have been successfully transformed. A living organism is a biological entity that can transfer or replicate genetic material. "signalling" molecules. and are basic components of cell membranes. The chromosomes can be identified by their unique banding patterns and arranged in order of size (1 is the largest and 22 is the smallest). on the other hand. It is useful for observing the number. painted in one colour. such as a change in the number (for example. has a small piece of a different chromosome. Lipids serve as "fuel" molecules in organisms. Lipids Water-insoluble (fat) biomolecules that are highly soluble in organic solvents such as chloroform. Fertilized eggs can then be transferred to the woman's uterus to try to establish a pregnancy or they can be frozen for future use. Top of Page K Karyotype A picture of an individual's chromosomes as seen under a microscope. highly concentrated energy stores. Meiosis . Locus The position of a gene or a marker on a chromosome. attached to it. Karyotyping (traditional) A laboratory technique that allows scientists to view all of the human chromosomes at one time in black and white.a female has two X chromosomes and a male has one X and one Y chromosome. "paints" each pair of chromosomes in a different fluorescent colour. Interpreting these karyotypes requires an expert. Living modified organism (LMO) Any living organism that possesses a novel combination of genetic material obtained through modern biotechnology. Legislative process See Legislation. size and shape of the chromosomes. painted in another colour. Spectral karyotyping. trisomy or monosomy) or the structure. The karyotype is a test sometimes requested by a physician to look for major changes in the chromosomes.

so they are inherited from the mother. Molecular Pharming The application of biotechnology to produce selected pharmaceutical compounds or other health or industrial compounds within a living organism (for example. which allows researchers to study how many genes act and interact in different conditions. bacteria. which is different from the cell's DNA in the nucleus. mainly intracellular metabolite concentrations. mainly animal biochemistry and microbial/plant biochemistry. pollutant levels (rates) and effects on species in the environment. Microorganism An organism that is visible only under a microscope. Microbial genetics The study of genetics in microorganisms. microbe. including communicating extracellular environments. One cell gives rise to four new daughter cells. Monoclonal antibodies Antibodies derived from a single source (a group of cloned cells) and recognize only one kind of antigen. such as protozoa. multicellular and biological systems. Pharming: The manufacture of medical products from genetically modified plants or animals. Although both involve the multiparametric measurement of metabolites. concentrations or quantities of material and the use of these measurement results to evaluate potential exposures and doses. Mitochondria The cell organelles responsible for energy production. which each has 23 chromosomes (it is haploid). Metabolome The quantitative complement of all the low molecular weight molecules present in cells in a particular physiological or developmental state. They are made in the laboratory from hybridoma cells. Microbiology The study of microorganisms and how they interact with the environment and other organisms. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) The genetic material found in the mitochondria. Metabonomics deals with integrated. at least in terms of published data. agricultural crop. they are not identical. Mitosis The process of cell division in most cells in the human body. Monitoring Activities conducted to measure levels. Messenger RNA (mRNA) RNA that is complementary to the DNA of a gene and acts as a template to make the protein. Monosomy . and to determine existing environmental conditions. Metabonomics and metabolomics These very similar terms have arisen at about the same time in different areas of bioscience research. Microarray A glass or plastic slide with many DNA spots attached to it. Metabolomics deals with simple cell systems and. hybrids of antibody-producing cells and immortal cancer cells. Molecular genetics The study of the molecular structure and function of genes. livestock). Mitochondria are passed on from one generation to the next in the cytoplasm of the egg. fungi and viruses. respectively. Mitosis results in two daughter cells that are genetically identical to each other and to the original cell.The process of cell division in human sperm and egg cells during their development.

Mutation A change in the DNA sequence that can interfere with protein production. mutation. An example of monosomy is 45. Mutagenisis The formation or development of a mutation. prepared. this would result in a total of 45 chromosomes. Novel food a) a substance. or c) a food that is derived from a plant. Moratorium A temporary prohibition or suspension of an activity. and causes the food to undergo a major change. etc. Mutations like these can lead to cancer if they interrupt the cell cycle. b) a food that has been manufactured. it is possible that in the future a variety of human-made "nano-assemblers" (that is. A mutation can arise in a germ cell and be passed on to an individual's children. Richard Feynman and K. but still microscopic functional structures and machines. biosensors and manipulating atoms and molecules in order to form (build) bigger. Health Canada concludes that the benefits of the health product outweigh the risks and that the risks can be mitigated and/or managed. to refer to high precision machining. that does not have a history of safe use as a food. X. In humans. Health Canada provides the manufacturer with a market authorization to sell the product in Canada. From the Latin nanus = "dwarf". transformation. Novel trait in a plant A plant with characteristics not normally found in that species in which the new characteristic has been created through specific genetic manipulation. such as a skin or heart cell. A mutation can also arise in one cell in the body. who will then carry it in every cell of their body. Theoretically. The technology also encompasses biochips. Multifactorial Describes a trait that is determined by the interaction of multiple genetic and environmental factors. enzyme molecules function essentially as jigs and machine tools to shape large molecules as they are formed in biochemical reactions. Top of Page N Nanotechnology A precise molecule-by-molecule control of products and byproducts in the development of functional structures. However. Notice of Compliance Once a product submission has been reviewed. assessed and deemed by Health Canada to meet the Food and Drug Regulations it is given a Notice of Compliance. also known as Turner syndrome. Mosaicism The presence of two or more cell populations that have a different genetic or chromosomal makeup in a single individual or tissue. tiny [molecular] machines smaller than a grain of sand) could manufacture those things that are produced in factories today. Nucleotides . The word was originally coined by Norio Taniguchi in 1974. For example. so it literally means "dwarf technology". Eric Drexler later popularized the concept of nanotechnology as a new and developing technology in which humans manipulate objects whose dimensions are approximately 1 to 100 nanometers. including a microorganism. preserved or packaged by a process that has not been applied before to that food. animal or microorganism that has been genetically modified.One chromosome of a pair is missing.

Top of Page P Patent A government grant giving exclusive rights to the inventor to make. medical.the access to and use of which would be protected through trademark. A related area is bioprospecting. fungi and other "pests" on plants. Pharmaceutical A medical drug. soil fumigants and insecticides are all pesticides. plants or animals beyond the level of a microorganism. weeds.The substances that make up the chromosomes and the genes. A nutraceutical has been demonstrated to have a physiological benefit or provide protection against chronic disease. and in buildings. Nucleus The structure in eukaryotic cells (cells with a true nucleus) that contains the cellular DNA. sanitizers. useful and inventive .or for useful improvements to some existing invention. Patents are granted for products and processes that are considered new. rodenticides. The Canadian Patent Office has a policy of not granting patents on "higher life forms". patent or copyright. animals or humans that may have the potential to be sold as scientific. growth regulators. . The issue the courts are considering is whether or not a particular. diseases. Top of Page O Oncogene A gene that has the potential to make a normal cell become cancerous. use or sell an invention for a period of 20 years from the date when a patent application is filed. One still unresolved court case involves a claim that a life form that has been genetically modified (the so-called "oncomouse. industrial or consumer products. a type of research in which investigators look for biological and genetic information about plants. Fungicides. workable and ingenious . Pathogen An agent that causes disease. Organism A living thing that can function independently.that is." which has been modified to make it more genetically susceptible to cancer) should be able to hold a patent. vegetables and animals. novel. especially a living microorganism such as a bacterium or fungus. Patenting life See also Patent. Pesticide A broad term that defines all chemical substances used to control insects. Pharmacodynamics The study of how drugs achieve their therapeutic effect. Nutraceutical A product isolated or purified from food that is generally sold in medicinal forms not usually associated with food. modified life form may be considered intellectual property -. fruits. Oncology The study of tumours. herbicides.

potentially replacing pills and syringe injections. such as 2D protein databases. protein-protein interactions and protein subcellular localization. Prokaryotes Organisms whose genetic material is not enclosed by a nucleus. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) A laboratory method used to make many copies of a DNA fragment in minutes using an enzyme called polymerase. Pharmacogenomics is the study of variability in the expression of individual genes that relate to disease susceptibility and drug response at the cellular. tissue. A related area is biopharmaceuticals. such as industrial compounds or therapeutics Plasmid A DNA structure that is separate from the cell's genome and can replicate independently of the host cell. Pharmacokinetics The study of how drugs are absorbed. Plant Molecular Farming (PMF) This technique involves using genetically modified plants to produce substances that the plants typically do not produce naturally. individual and population level. such as Creutzfeld-Jakob disease in humans. It states that where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage. A major objective of pharmacogenomics is the development of innovative classes of targeted drugs and vaccines designed to affect highly specific processes in the body while minimizing side effects. Changes in its structure appear to be related to infectious diseases of the nervous system. Platform technology Technology that has a common starting point but diverges once it is put into actual practice. human blood stem cells have been shown to differentiate into liver cells. into foods. and sheep scrapie. such as high-density capillaries or high throughput mass spectrometers. distributed and cleared from the body. Plasticity The ability of adult-derived stem cells to be capable of developing into cells types outside of the tissue of origin (for example. including vaccines. Plant genetics The study of genetics in plants.Pharmacogenetics and Pharmacogenomics These two terms. Examples could include engineering of new systems to sequence proteins or study protein interactions with other proteins or DNA. Protein . Proteomics The study of the protein products of genes. lack of scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation. Prenatal Existing or occurring before birth: prenatal medical care Prion A protein particle found in brain cell membranes. Precautionary principle A principle associated with risk management. which relate to the role of genetics in pharmaceutical research. The most common examples are bacteria. Pharmacogenetics is the study of genetic differences among individuals that relate to drug response. and developing centres with expertise and accountability for protein analysis. whereby transgenic techniques are used to insert therapeutic properties. bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cows. are often used interchangeably. developing faster and cheaper detectors. Plasmids are used in the laboratory to deliver specific DNA sequences into a cell. Phenotype A set of observable physical characteristics of an organism.

Regulation A law made by a person or body that has been granted (delegated) law-making authority. Reproductive cloning The cloning of an embryo for transplantation into a uterus with the intention of producing offspring genetically identical to the donor. The resulting fragments can then be spliced together to form recombinant DNA.Required for the structure. Ribonucleic acid (RNA) Like DNA. Reproductive materials Human male or female reproductive cells (sperm or egg). When their fragments are run on a gel. More broadly. they produce different lengths of fragments when the restriction enzyme is used to cut up the DNA. The Department of Justice issues a special number to indicate that it is a regulation. its own enzyme reverse transcriptase makes viral DNA from the RNA template. A good public system means fewer people become sick or injured. Examples are hormones. enzymes and antibodies. Top of Page R Radiopharmaceuticals A radioactive compound used in radiotherapy or diagnosis Recessive inheritance See Autosomal recessive. All are involved in the synthesis of proteins from the . Proto-oncogene A normal gene that has the potential to become an oncogene. If the organisms have different spaces between their restriction enzyme sites. When the retrovirus infects a cell. and more people can live longer. healthier lives. Two or more organisms can be compared based on the pattern of their DNA fragments when they are run on a gel (by electrophoresis). Reproductive technology See Assisted human reproduction. Each protein has unique functions. Recombinant DNA The DNA formed when DNA fragments from more than one organism are spliced together in vitro. they produce different patterns because the shorter fragments will move further than the longer ones. Retrovirus A virus with RNA as its genetic material. A large molecule is made up of one or more chains of amino acids in a specific order. and ribosomal RNA. This viral DNA can then be integrated into the host cell's genome to produce more viral particles. The order is determined by the base sequence of nucleotides in the gene coding for the protein. A regulation is used both to indicate a specific type of delegated legislation as well as to refer generically to all forms of delegated legislation. Public health The public health system in Canada is responsible for helping to protect Canadians from injury and disease and for helping them to stay healthy. There are three major types: messenger RNA. and human embryos and their derivatives. transfer RNA. which can be separated out on a gel or inserted into a plasmid. tissues and organs. Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP) A change in the DNA of an organism that changes how a restriction enzyme cuts the DNA into pieces. Restriction enzyme An enzyme used to cut DNA at specific sites. a type of nucleic acid. regulation may refer to all government intervention in the lives of citizens. function and regulation of body cells.

Multipotent stem cells can become only a certain type of cell.whether physiological or experimental. Totipotent stem cells can become any cell in the human body. Human life begins with stem cells. cytosine and thymine) that make up a DNA or RNA fragment. analysis. Sex chromosome The 23rd pair of chromosomes in humans are the sex chromosomes. but to different degrees. This genotypic difference can cause a phenotypic difference in hair colour. Top of Page . which divide again and again and branch off into special roles.information contained in the DNA molecule. This is how Dolly the cloned sheep was produced. Somatic cell Any cell in the body except the germ cells (egg and sperm). Surveillance Systematic collection. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) Individual differences at a single nucleotide of DNA. Pluripotent stem cells can become almost any cell in the human body. This technique can be used both for reproductive cloning and therapeutic cloning. genetic engineering. The resulting egg will carry the full complement of genetic material of the host organism. Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) A cloning technique where the nucleus from an unfertilized egg is removed and replaced with the nucleus from a somatic cell. Stem cell differentiation begins when they are exposed to certain biochemical cues . but they cannot become placental tissue needed for development in the human uterus. Females have two X chromosomes and males have an X and a Y chromosome. evaluation and management of risks and public health interventions and programs (if needed). she was genetically identical to her "mother". Top of Page S Sequencing of DNA Molecules The process of finding the order of nucleotides (guanine. such as blood cells. Stem cell A fundamental cell that has the potential to develop into any of the 210 different cell types found in the human body. height or response to a drug. All stem cells have the capacity to differentiate. They are an important resource for disease research and for the development of new ways to treat disease. and that the federal government has an effective regulatory regime and the science capacity to protect human and animal health and the environment. depending on the gene. Biochemical cues in different parts of the body stimulate stem cells to grow into the specific cells needed in that location. adenine. interpretation and dissemination of data (generated by the laboratory and private and public domain literature) related to the biotechnology field to assist in the planning and implementation of research. Stem cell differentiation The process by which a stem cell can become a specific cell type. Synonyms: gene splicing. Stewardship The preservation of public good by ensuring that the social and the ethical issues related to biotechnology are addressed. like becoming liver or heart cells.

drugs and micro/multicellular organisms and/or components) and stressors (for example. Trait A characteristic of an organism. this would result in a total of 47 chromosomes. Transformation A process by which the genetic information of an organism is changed by the addition of foreign DNA. These receptors are called FLK-Z receptors. In humans. Receptors on the surface of totipotent stem cells "grasp" passing blood cell growth factors (for example. See Genetically modified organisms and Living modified organisms. Interleukin. This may be viewed as a more precise form of hybridization or plant/animal breeding. classify and manage the latent (inherent susceptibility). Top of Page . arises without obvious cause from cells of pre-existent tissue. incipient and overt adverse (toxic) effects on genome structure and expression levels (RNA. soil. tissues.T Template A strand of DNA or RNA (mRNA) that specifies the base sequence of a newly synthesized strand of DNA or RNA. in addition to the normal pair. Trisomy The presence of an extra chromosome. solar radiation and water). Transgenics The insertion or splicing of specific genetic sequences from one species into the functioning genome of an unrelated species to transfer desired properties for human purposes. Transplantation The implanting of cells. Tumour An abnormal benign or malignant mass of tissue that is not inflammatory. such as the breeding of goats whose milk yields spider silk for possible development of new structural materials. Totipotent Stem Cells Bone marrow cells that (when signalled) mature into both red blood cells and white blood cells. climate. or organs which have been retrieved from a living or deceased donor into a recipient. Transfer RNA (tRNA) RNA molecules that bind to amino acids and carry them to the ribosomes where proteins are made. Another possibility is the transfer of genetically controlled properties between different animal species. Therapeutic cloning The cloning of an embryo for the purpose of deriving stem cells for use in research and treatment of disease. An example of trisomy is trisomy 21.7. the insertion of genetic material from an animal into a plant or vice versa). Stem Cell Growth Factor). the two strands being complementary. Transcription A process in the cell where the DNA is used as a template to make the messenger RNA. which is also known as Down syndrome. Toxicogenomics A fusion of genomics and toxicology disciplines intended to identify. with the added consideration that genetic material from species significantly different from one another is involved (for example. and possesses no physiological function. cell/tissue/organ type) as a consequence of an organism's exposure to environmental substances (contaminants such as chemicals. bringing them inside these stem cells and thus causing the maturation and differentiation into red and white blood cells. quality of air. protein.

It cannot reproduce on its own but infects an organism's cell in order to use that cell's reproductive machinery to create more viruses. The term is usually used to describe animal-to-human transplants. Agents used in vaccines may be whole-killed (inactive). Refers to genetically engineered (for example. Modified viruses are used as vectors for gene therapy. It describes the transfer of infections by transplantation of xenogeneic tissues or organs. administered to stimulate an immune response that will protect a person from illness due to that agent. It can be created using the recombinant DNA process. liveattenuated (weakened) or artificially manufactured.V Vaccine A preparation that contains an agent or its components. cellular grafts. Xenosis (xenozoonoses) A term coined from the word "xenozoonoses". An example is the transplant of a kidney from a pig to a human. Also called heterographs. A preventive (prophylactic) vaccine is intended to prevent disease from starting. with viable. Xenotransplantation The transplantation of living cells. Virus A submicroscopic particle that can infect other organisms. A therapeutic (treatment) vaccine is given after disease has started and is intended to reduce or arrest the progress of the disease. Vector A vehicle that carries foreign genes into an organism and inserts them into the organism's genome. The principal reason for medical and scientific inquiry in this area is to find alternatives to human organs and tissue transplants. particularly viruses. Xenografts A type of tissue graft in which the donor and recipient are of different species. "humanized") organs that have been grown within an animal of another species. It usually consists of a DNA or RNA genome enclosed in a protective protein coat. . It potentially poses unique epidemiological hazards due to the efficiency of transmission of pathogens. Top of Page X Xenogeneic organs Xenogeneic literally means "strange genes". tissues and organs from one species to another.

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