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Glossary

An alphabetical glossary of technical terms used on the site.

Daughter cell

One of two (or more) new cells that is formed when a cell divides.

DDT

Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane. An insecticide used by farmers in the 1950's to kill pests like grass grubs. It is toxic to humans and other mammals when it is swallowed or absorbed through the skin.

Decant

To gently pour a liquid into a new container so that any sediment or solid material in the liquid is left behind.

Declaration

A written statement of facts.

Deforestation

The removal of forests, so the land can be used for other purposes.

Dendritic cells

A key part of the immune system; these cells present foreign substances to other immune system cells.

Deoxy-adenosine triphosphate (dATP)

One of four nucleotides used to make a DNA molecule, which include dATP, dTTP, dGTP and dCTP.

Deoxy-cytosine triphosphate (dCTP)

One of four nucleotides used to make a DNA molecule, which include dATP, dTTP, dGTP and dCTP.

Deoxy-guanine triphosphate (dGTP)

One of four nucleotides used to make a DNA molecule, which include dATP, dTTP, dGTP and dCTP.

Deoxy-thymine triphosphate (dTTP)

One of four nucleotides used to make a DNA molecule, which include dATP, dTTP, dGTP and dCTP.

Dermatitis

An inflammation of the skin making it red and sometimes dry, flaky or itchy.

Designer baby

A term used to describe children whose genetic make-up is selected by their parents before birth.

Detrimental

Harmful.

Diagnostics

The science and practice of diagnosis of disease.

Diarrhea

Frequent and watery bowel movements.

Dideoxynucleotide

A modified nucleotide used to make DNA during DNA sequencing. It contains one less oxygen atom, which prevents other nucleotides being added and ends the DNA strand.

Differentiate

To change into a cell type with a specialised function, such as a heart, muscle, or brain cell.

Differentiated cell

A specialised cell that performs a specific function in a multicellular organism.

Digestive system

The group of organs that are involved in the breakdown of food in the body, which includes the stomach and intestines.

Dimensional stability

The ability of a fabric to resist shrinking or stretching.

Diploid

Two sets of chromosomes are contained within the cell, one set inherited from each parent.

Diverge

Separate or become different.

DNA

The genetic material found in cells is called deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).

DNA barcode

A short DNA sequence that is unique to an organism. DNA barcodes can be used to distinguish closely related species.

DNA extraction

A routine procedure used to isolate DNA from the nucleus of cells.

DNA fingerprint

The unique sequence of DNA bases in the genome of an individual organism.

DNA methylation

The addition of a methyl group (-CH3) to DNA, which can prevent gene expression.

DNA polymorphism

A DNA sequence that is highly variable between individuals of a species.

DNA profile

A specific pattern of DNA attributes that is obtained in the laboratory and can be used to identify an individual.

DNA replication

The unwinding and copying of both strands of DNA prior to cell division.

DNA sequencing

A technique used to determine the exact sequence of nucleotides in a sample of DNA.

Dominant

Refers to a trait that appears in an organism even if only one copy of the gene is present.

Donor

A person or animal that gives something, for example, an organ or blood.

Double helix

The structure of DNA, made up of two spiraling strands of nucleotides wrapping around each other.

Double-blind

A type of clinical trial where neither the researcher or patient knows whether they are receiving the new drug or treatment. This is used to prevent the results from being influenced by peoples’ opinions.

Drape

Fall in smooth folds.

Drench

A technique used to deliver anti-parasite drugs to livestock, usually by injecting the drug into the animals' mouths.

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