Glossary

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

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

This sample can then be analysed by karyotype to look for changes in the chromosomes. There are 20 different amino acids used in the human body. Aneuploid A cell where the total number of chromosomes is not an exact multiple of 23. donor insemination and intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). it will start an immune response to rid the body of the antigen. The diploid number is 46. Assay A method for determining the presence or quantity of a component. The messenger RNA tells the cell what amino acids are needed and what order they must be arranged in to build a particular protein. 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. The triploid state of 69 chromosomes rarely occurs and is not compatible with life. which results from the joining of the egg and sperm. 7 Antibody A protein made by the immune system that is specific to an antigen. which means one in 200 women will miscarry following this procedure. When an antibody detects this antigen in the body. 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. The most common aneuploid numbers are 45 (one chromosome is missing) and 47 (one chromosome is added). Antibiotic resistance The ability of bacteria to tolerate an antibiotic and survive being exposed to it. The haploid number of chromosomes is 23. There is a 0. 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. Examples include in vitro fertilization. Antigen A foreign substance that binds to an antibody and starts an immune response in the body. Antibiotic A natural or synthetic chemical that is used to kill bacteria in order to treat diseases in humans and animals.5% risk of miscarriage associated with this procedure. chromosomes 1 through 22.Amino acid The building block of proteins. Amniocentesis A procedure used in prenatal diagnosis to look at the chromosomes of the developing fetus. 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). Bacteria may develop this resistance naturally after being exposed to it over many years. 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).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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