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.

Autosome A chromosome that is not a sex chromosome (X or Y).Amino acid The building block of proteins. When an antibody detects this antigen in the body. The most common aneuploid numbers are 45 (one chromosome is missing) and 47 (one chromosome is added). 7 Antibody A protein made by the immune system that is specific to an antigen. which results from the joining of the egg and sperm. The gene for this endotoxin has been incorporated into corn to produce a genetically modified corn plant that can defend itself against the . 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). 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. which means one in 200 women will miscarry following this procedure. The diploid number is 46. There are 20 different amino acids used in the human body. Amniocentesis A procedure used in prenatal diagnosis to look at the chromosomes of the developing fetus. which is found in the egg and sperm cells. Bacteria may develop this resistance naturally after being exposed to it over many years. Antibiotic A natural or synthetic chemical that is used to kill bacteria in order to treat diseases in humans and animals. it will start an immune response to rid the body of the antigen. donor insemination and intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Antibiotic resistance The ability of bacteria to tolerate an antibiotic and survive being exposed to it. Antigen A foreign substance that binds to an antibody and starts an immune response in the body. The haploid number of chromosomes is 23. 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. The triploid state of 69 chromosomes rarely occurs and is not compatible with life. Assisted human reproduction (AHR) Any activity undertaken for the purpose of facilitating human reproduction. This sample can then be analysed by karyotype to look for changes in the chromosomes. There is a 0. The procedure can be done after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Examples include in vitro fertilization. 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). The messenger RNA tells the cell what amino acids are needed and what order they must be arranged in to build a particular protein. Aneuploid A cell where the total number of chromosomes is not an exact multiple of 23. chromosomes 1 through 22.5% risk of miscarriage associated with this procedure. Assay A method for determining the presence or quantity of a component.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

this would result in a total of 47 chromosomes. See Genetically modified organisms and Living modified organisms. Another possibility is the transfer of genetically controlled properties between different animal species.T Template A strand of DNA or RNA (mRNA) that specifies the base sequence of a newly synthesized strand of DNA or RNA. the two strands being complementary. or organs which have been retrieved from a living or deceased donor into a recipient. bringing them inside these stem cells and thus causing the maturation and differentiation into red and white blood cells. Trait A characteristic of an organism. protein. This may be viewed as a more precise form of hybridization or plant/animal breeding. solar radiation and water). Receptors on the surface of totipotent stem cells "grasp" passing blood cell growth factors (for example. which is also known as Down syndrome. Tumour An abnormal benign or malignant mass of tissue that is not inflammatory. Therapeutic cloning The cloning of an embryo for the purpose of deriving stem cells for use in research and treatment of disease. quality of air. Transcription A process in the cell where the DNA is used as a template to make the messenger RNA. Trisomy The presence of an extra chromosome. incipient and overt adverse (toxic) effects on genome structure and expression levels (RNA. 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. classify and manage the latent (inherent susceptibility). and possesses no physiological function. Transplantation The implanting of cells. with the added consideration that genetic material from species significantly different from one another is involved (for example. climate. such as the breeding of goats whose milk yields spider silk for possible development of new structural materials. drugs and micro/multicellular organisms and/or components) and stressors (for example. soil. Transformation A process by which the genetic information of an organism is changed by the addition of foreign DNA. arises without obvious cause from cells of pre-existent tissue. cell/tissue/organ type) as a consequence of an organism's exposure to environmental substances (contaminants such as chemicals.7. tissues. Interleukin. Transfer RNA (tRNA) RNA molecules that bind to amino acids and carry them to the ribosomes where proteins are made. These receptors are called FLK-Z receptors. Stem Cell Growth Factor). In humans. Top of Page . the insertion of genetic material from an animal into a plant or vice versa). in addition to the normal pair. An example of trisomy is trisomy 21. Totipotent Stem Cells Bone marrow cells that (when signalled) mature into both red blood cells and white blood cells. Toxicogenomics A fusion of genomics and toxicology disciplines intended to identify.

The term is usually used to describe animal-to-human transplants. liveattenuated (weakened) or artificially manufactured.V Vaccine A preparation that contains an agent or its components. Xenosis (xenozoonoses) A term coined from the word "xenozoonoses". Xenografts A type of tissue graft in which the donor and recipient are of different species. 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 principal reason for medical and scientific inquiry in this area is to find alternatives to human organs and tissue transplants. 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. Virus A submicroscopic particle that can infect other organisms. cellular grafts. particularly viruses. Xenotransplantation The transplantation of living cells. administered to stimulate an immune response that will protect a person from illness due to that agent. It describes the transfer of infections by transplantation of xenogeneic tissues or organs. Also called heterographs. Modified viruses are used as vectors for gene therapy. Agents used in vaccines may be whole-killed (inactive). . tissues and organs from one species to another. with viable. It can be created using the recombinant DNA process. It usually consists of a DNA or RNA genome enclosed in a protective protein coat. Top of Page X Xenogeneic organs Xenogeneic literally means "strange genes". It potentially poses unique epidemiological hazards due to the efficiency of transmission of pathogens. A preventive (prophylactic) vaccine is intended to prevent disease from starting. "humanized") organs that have been grown within an animal of another species. An example is the transplant of a kidney from a pig to a human. Refers to genetically engineered (for example.

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