glossary for MBA biotechnology.docx | Genetics | Gene


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

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.

There are 20 different amino acids used in the human body. The procedure can be done after 15 weeks of pregnancy. 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. Antibiotic resistance The ability of bacteria to tolerate an antibiotic and survive being exposed to it. The most common aneuploid numbers are 45 (one chromosome is missing) and 47 (one chromosome is added). which results from the joining of the egg and sperm. There is a 0. 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. 7 Antibody A protein made by the immune system that is specific to an antigen. The triploid state of 69 chromosomes rarely occurs and is not compatible with life. Antigen A foreign substance that binds to an antibody and starts an immune response in the body. 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). The haploid number of chromosomes is 23.5% risk of miscarriage associated with this procedure. This sample can then be analysed by karyotype to look for changes in the chromosomes. which means one in 200 women will miscarry following this procedure. donor insemination and intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). which is found in the egg and sperm cells. 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. 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. chromosomes 1 through 22. Assay A method for determining the presence or quantity of a component. Examples include in vitro fertilization. The diploid number is 46. it will start an immune response to rid the body of the antigen. The gene for this endotoxin has been incorporated into corn to produce a genetically modified corn plant that can defend itself against the . Assisted human reproduction (AHR) Any activity undertaken for the purpose of facilitating human reproduction. Antibiotic A natural or synthetic chemical that is used to kill bacteria in order to treat diseases in humans and animals. When an antibody detects this antigen in the body. Bacteria may develop this resistance naturally after being exposed to it over many years.Amino acid The building block of proteins. Autosome A chromosome that is not a sex chromosome (X or Y).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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