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

A
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.

Examples include in vitro fertilization. There are 20 different amino acids used in the human body. Bacteria may develop this resistance naturally after being exposed to it over many years. 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. This sample can then be analysed by karyotype to look for changes in the chromosomes. 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). When an antibody detects this antigen in the body. Antibiotic A natural or synthetic chemical that is used to kill bacteria in order to treat diseases in humans and animals. 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. Autosome A chromosome that is not a sex chromosome (X or Y). donor insemination and intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). The procedure can be done after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Assisted human reproduction (AHR) Any activity undertaken for the purpose of facilitating human reproduction. Antigen A foreign substance that binds to an antibody and starts an immune response in the body. chromosomes 1 through 22. which means one in 200 women will miscarry following this procedure.Amino acid The building block of proteins. The gene for this endotoxin has been incorporated into corn to produce a genetically modified corn plant that can defend itself against the .5% risk of miscarriage associated with this procedure. The diploid number is 46. There is a 0. Antibiotic resistance The ability of bacteria to tolerate an antibiotic and survive being exposed to it. 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. The haploid number of chromosomes is 23. it will start an immune response to rid the body of the antigen. The triploid state of 69 chromosomes rarely occurs and is not compatible with life. Amniocentesis A procedure used in prenatal diagnosis to look at the chromosomes of the developing fetus. 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). which is found in the egg and sperm cells. which results from the joining of the egg and sperm. Assay A method for determining the presence or quantity of a component. 7 Antibody A protein made by the immune system that is specific to an antigen. The most common aneuploid numbers are 45 (one chromosome is missing) and 47 (one chromosome is added).

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

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

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

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

or a change in the chromosomes. Gene expression See Expression. Top of Page G Gamete A mature reproductive cell (sperm or egg cell) that contributes to fertilization. carcinogenesis. infectious disease. to test the efficacy and developmental malformations caused by new pharmaceutical products. Human fetal tissue in culture is used by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to develop vaccines. The Human Genome Project estimates that humans have over 30.000 genes in their genome. tobacco and substances used only as drugs. etc. Genetic disease A disease or condition caused by a change or mutation in a gene. It excludes cosmetics. and ending at birth. genetic anomalies. It includes drinks. Genetic marker A DNA sequence at a unique physical location in the genome. manipulating or supplementing non-functional genes with healthy genes so that they can function normally. modifying or adding genes to a DNA molecule to change the information it contains. excluding any time during which its development has been suspended. 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. By changing this information. Emerging medical practices use fetal tissue to treat neurological conditions such as Parkinson's disease. Genetic mapping A research method that collects genetic information to determine the relative position of a gene or a phenotype in the genome. which is intended for human consumption. Also known as nutraceutical. Every human being (except identical twins) has a unique set of genes. whether processed. Genetic engineering The technique of removing. There are also other potential medical uses for fetal tissue. and to conduct research into viruses. The medical procedure involves replacing. 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. Food Any substance. genetic engineering changes the type or amount of proteins an organism is capable of producing. Food biotechnology The application of biotechnology to the production of food. Genetic engineering allows scientists to isolate a specific gene for a particular trait . and transfer it into another plant. Functional food Ordinary food that has components or ingredients added to give it a specific medical or physiological benefit. other than a purely nutritional effect. Gene The basic unit of heredity. It is made up of DNA that acts as a blueprint to make a particular protein. prepare or treat "food". half of which came from their mother and the other half from their father.tissue research is conducted using fetal tissue from cadavers to study birth anomalies. located on a chromosome. semi-processed or raw. A marker may or may not be part of a .in a plant or animal. Each one is responsible for a different part of our biology. Gene therapy An evolving technique used to treat genetic diseases.such as resistance to insect attack . chewing gum and any substance which has been used to manufacture.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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