Glossary of Biological Research Terminology

Biological Research Protocol Books >> Glossary of Biological Research Terminology (in alphabetical order)

Agricultural & food science - the study of food and and the disciplines related to its production and consumption

Animal science - the study of organisms from the animal kingdom

Bacteria - prokaryotic organisms, which are primitive, single-cells organisms lacking many features found in eukaryotic cells

Biochemistry - the study of the chemical reactions that occur in biological systems

Bioinformatics - combines computer science, mathematics, statistics, and various biological disciplines to gain understanding of biological systems

Biology - the study of life

Biophysics - applies the principles from physics and uses it to understand biology or to engineer devices that will further biological understanding

Biostatistics - uses statistical principles to aid biological research and understanding

Biotechnology - the use of biology to engineer goods for the benefit of humans

C. elegans - a popular worm used in biological studies as a model organism

Carbohydrates - one of four basic macromolecules in living organisms; carbohydrates have carbon plus water in the structural formula; also known as sugars

Cardiovascular biology - the study of how the heart and blood vessels and the molecules within them (the cardiovascular system) works

Cell biology - the study of the behavior, function, and mechanism of action of various cell types

Cell differentiation - the changing of a cell to a more specialized type of cell that is often accompanied by a loss of ability to divide

Cell growth - the enlargement and maintainence of a cell in the cell cycle

Cell senescence - the aging, maintainence, and dying of a cell

Classical genetics - the study of genetic traits from a whole organism's perspective

Developmental biology - the study of how an organism develops from the first stages of its life

Clinical trials - research studies performed on humans that may affect how the discipline of medicine is conducted

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) - one of the two forms of nucleic acids that comprises the genetic makeup of an organism

DNA sequencing - determining the order of the nucleotides in a strand of DNA

DNA transfer - the method of transferring DNA into some type of biological system

Drosophila - a fly that is often used as a model organism in biological research

Drug discovery - the discovery of drugs, which will heal organisms

- the study of organisms in relation to their macroscopic environment

Electron microscopy - the viewing of specimens with the microscope based on electron beams, which is the most powerful type of microscope, magnifying up to several million times

Environmental biology - the study of the environment in relation to how it affects living organisms

Enzymes - proteins that catalyze and speed up biological reactions by acting on a substrate

Evolution - the study of how and why organisms change over time

Extracellular matrix - the material between cells in a multicellular organism

Fish - aquatic organisms that form the staple of many diets across the world

Flow cytometry - uses a stream of cells that flows through the flow cytometer machine, which sorts those cells according to some difference in the properties of those cells

Fluorescence microscopy - uses the emission of ultraviolet light, after excitation of the specimen with ultraviolet light, to detect specimens

Fungi - plant-like organisms that range from one-celled yeast to more complicated multicellular fungi

Genetics - the study of the gene and its properties

Genomics - the large-scale analysis of whole genomes of an organism

High-throughput research - uses quick and batch processes to carry out research

Immunology - the study of the immune system, and use of immunological tools to understand biology

Immunocytochemistry - the labeling of molecules with an antibody followed by detection with a fluorescent microscope

In-situ hybridization - uses a nucleic acid probe to hybridize, or bind, to complementary strands to messenger RNA to see what proteins are expressed in which cells

Intracellular organelles - lipid-membrane enclosed compartments within a cell that serve various functions

Intracellular trafficking - the movement of various molecules within a cell, which serves various purposes

Knockout animals - animals that lack a certain protein in them

Light microscopy - uses the light beam to generate a magnified image

Lipids - one of four types of macromolecules; they comprise the material that envelopes cells and their organelles

Mass spectrometry - uses the information from a mass spectrometer, which measures the mass of a particular molecule, to deduce various types of information such as post-translational modifications, disulfide bonds, or interacting surfaces, about the molecule

Medicine - applying biological principles to treat diseases

Medicinal chemistry - the use of synthetic organic chemistry to make medicines

Mice and rats - rodents that are used as a popular research model organism for humans

Microbiology - the study of organisms too small to detect with the naked eye

Molecular biology - the function, structure, and mechanism of action of individual molecules in an organism

Molecular cloning - the replication of a molecule in the form of deoxyribonucleic acid using genetic, microbiological, and biochemical techniques

Molecular genetics - the study of genetic traits from the perspective of the hereditary molecule

Molecular physiology and pathology - the study of the health and disease at the level of individual biological molecules

Neuroscience - the study of neurons and the nervous system

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) - uses the principles of nuclear magnetic resonance, which uses information from a spectrum that measures of the nuclear positions of different elements, to determine the three-dimensional structure of molecules

Nucleic acids - one of four types of macromolecules in organisms; they are responsible for maintaining and allowing the expression of inidividual proteins and genetic traits

Organism - a separate, living entity

Pharmacology - the study of the effect of a pharmacological agent on an organism

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) - uses a DNA polymerase enzyme and a series of amplification steps to amplify the amount of a certain sequence of DNA

Population biology - studies biology at the level of the population of each species

Post-translational modifications - modifications that occur to amino acids after the synthesis and attachment of individual amino acids to a chain of amino acids in a protein

Proteins - one of four types of macromolecules found in organisms; they are comprised of a long chain of amino acids strung together and which eventually fold into a discrete structure

Protein expression - the production of proteins by biological systems

Protein primary structure - the order of amino acids in a protein

Protein purification - the isolation of a single protein from a mixture of heterogeneous substances

Proteomics - the study of the entire set of proteins in an organism

Recombinant proteins - proteins made in an exogenous system and not in its native environment by molecular biology methods

Reproductive biology - the study of how an organism reproduces to produce the next generation

Ribonucleic acid (RNA) - one of two forms of nucleic acids and it is responsible for transferring information from the hereditary DNA into a form that is used and expressed by an organism

Second messengers - the molecules that are involved in signal transduction

Signal transduction - the propagation of a signal from the one side of the cell to the other side of the cell that triggers a series of biological events

Stem cells - cells that have the potential of dividing and differentiating into different types of cells

Structural biology - seeks to determine the three-dimensional structure of a macromolecule

Systems biology - the study of biology using a body systems approach

Tissue culture or cell culture - the continued maintenance of cells in an artificial environment

- the study of how toxins and poisons affect an organism

Transgenic animals - animals have an additional protein or modified protein inserted into them

Viruses - non-living particles that can replicate if they exist in a suitable host

Wildtype - the native form of an organism, cell, protein, or other biological sample

X-ray crystallography
- involves forming crystals with proteins so that they can result in high-resolution protein structures where the individual position of each amino acid in a protein can be determined via X-rays