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An alphabetical glossary of technical terms used on the site.


To use a vaccine to provide immunity and prevent a disease from occurring.


A substance that provides immunity to disease. Vaccines stimulate the immune system to recognise and destroy disease-causing agents, like bacteria or viruses.


Scientifically accurate.


A variant is different in some way from others of the same kind.


Relating to blood vessels, for example veins and arteries.


A carrier, for example, a mosquito is a vector for malaria. In the context of biocontrol, a vector carries the control agent to the target organisms, for example, blowflies spread calicivirus amongst rabbits – the blowflies are the vectors. In genetic engineering, a vector is a tool used to carry a gene of interest. Vectors are small pieces of DNA, often a plasmid, and are used to carry foreign DNA into a cell.


Animal with a back-bone.


Whether something is likely to work or not.


1. Whether something is likely to work or not. 2. The ability to live, grow and develop.


Ability to cause disease.


A microscopic particle that can only multiply inside the cells of living organisms; they are totally inactive outside of a living host cell.


Having a thick, sticky consistency between solid and liquid.

Vitamin C

An antioxidant found in fruits and vegetables, such as oranges, kiwifruit, berries, tomatoes and leafy greens.


Vaporises readily at normal temperatures.


Mixing a sample in a tube by holding it on a vortex machine in a lab.

Voucher specimen

Representative specimens are collected in biological field surveys and research that are preserved to permit independent verification of results and to allow further study.

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