Click on a letter: A | B | C | D | E | F | G

Adenine:
A chemical that is one of the 4 base building blocks of all living things - DNA. Adenine (A) always joins up with Thymine (T) to form a DNA base pair.
Amino Acid:
These are the building blocks for proteins and there are around 20 different types. The quality of a protein source is based on the mix of amino acids it has. Amino acids can be made by the body or ingested through protein rich food we eat.
Antibiotics:
Drugs used to fight infections caused by bacteria.
Bacteria:Ugene looking smart
Tiny single-celled organisms that can reproduce very quickly. Around 2500 bacteria could fit on a grain of sand. Some bacteria are good and make vitamins in our body such as Vitamin K. Less friendly bacteria can cause such illnesses such as strep throat and ear infections.
Carbon Dioxide:
A colourless, odourless and tasteless gas found in the air. This gas is caused when the cells use oxygen to burn fat and release energy. Carbon Dioxide is released from the body by the lungs when we breathe out. The chemical symbol for Carbon Dioxide is CO2.
Cell:
A structural and functional unit of all living organisms. Some organisms, like bacteria, are made up of one single cell. Others are made up of many many more. An adult human is made up of approximately 150,000,000,000 cells.
Cell Membrane:
A very thin covering which surrounds and protects every cell by deciding what goes in and out of the cell. Food comes in and waste goes out through openings in the cell membrane wall called pores. The cell membrane can change shape very easily and is always open to receiving signals and messages from the outside environment.
Chemicals:
Substances used in or found by a chemical process.
Chromosome:
Rod shaped structures found inside a cell's nucleus. These contain all the hereditary genetic information (DNA) received by a baby from both its parents. Humans have 46 chromosomes (23 pairs).
Cytoplasm:
The substance inside the cell membrane excluding the nucleus. Organelles are situated in the cytoplasm of a cell. It is mainly composed of water and chemicals and it is here that a lot of the cell's chemical activity takes place.
Cytosine:
A chemical that is one of the 4 base building blocks of all living things - DNA. Cytosine (C) always joins up with Guanine (G) to form a DNA base pair.
Deoxyribonucleic Acid:
A chemical found inside the nucleus of a cell, Deoxyribonucleic Acid (or DNA for short), carries the instructions for making all the structures and materials the body needs to function. It is the substance of heredity which is also responsible for every living thing's unique characteristics.
Differentiation:
Process in which unspecialised (stem) cells or tissues mature to achieve specialized functions and properties. Scientists and researchers in the area of regenerative medicine, aim to differentiate these unspecialised cells into specialised cells by inserting different gene types into them and growing them in specific conditions in a laboratory.
DNA:
Full name is Deoxyribonucleic Acid. A chemical found inside the nucleus of a cell, Deoxyribonucleic Acid (or DNA for short), carries the instructions for making all the structures and materials the body needs to function. It is the substance of heredity which is also responsible for every living thing's unique characteristics. DNA is made of 2 individual strands wrapped tightly around each other in a shape called a double helix.
DNA Profiling:
Geena looking through a microscopeGenetic fingerprinting or DNA profiling is a technique used to distinguish between individuals of the same species using only samples of their DNA. In Forensic Science, this process is used by police forces to test patterns in a suspect's DNA against DNA in tissues or bodily fluids found at the scene of a crime. DNA profiling is becoming more and more important to help identify criminals.
Dominant:
In genetics, this refers to the extent to which a gene is expressed. Dominant indicates that it is expressed a lot. The opposite term is Recessive. A dominant gene almost always results in a specific characteristic and wins out over its recessive counterpart e.g. the gene for black hair is dominant to the gene for blond hair. Where a person inherits 1 black hair and 1 blond hair gene, the dominant black hair gene wins out over its recessive blond hair counterpart and the individual in question inherits black hair (exceptions excluded).
Double Helix:
The twisted-ladder shape that the 2 individual DNA strands make when the complementary DNA base pairs join up.
Envelope:
The outer covering of a virus, which is sometimes called a coat. Not all viruses have an envelope covering.
Enzyme:
A protein found in cells which can stimulate different chemical reactions in the body.
Fingerprint:
A fingerprint is an imprint made by the pattern of ridges on the tip of a human finger. These prints are often left on objects at a crime scene and are then used in forensic science to identify suspects. No two humans have identical fingerprints - not even identical twins.
Flagellum:
A long tail like structure used by certain cells (including bacteria) to aid movement.
Fungi:
Fungi are neither animals nor plants and are classified in a kingdom of their own. Fungi include molds and yeasts. Most fungi need warm, damp, food rich environments in which to reproduce. Athlete's foot is an example of a fungal infection.
Gene:
A functional unit of heredity that is a segment of DNA located in a specific site on a chromosome. All along the DNA code there are different sections which spell out different genes. A human is estimated to have approximately 30,000 genes .
Gene Therapy:
A therapy in which non functioning cell genes are altered, manipulated or replaced with functioning genes. Gene therapists aim to treat or prevent certain diseases by inserting a healthy gene into a cell to replace a function that is missing because of a defective gene.
Guanine:
A chemical that is one of the 4 base building blocks of all living things - DNA. Guanine (G) always joins up with Cytosine (C) to form a DNA base pair.

Click on a letter: H | I | L | M | N | O | P | R | S | T | U | V

Heredity:
The handing down of certain traits from parents to their children through genes.
Inheritance:
In genetics, the handing down of certain traits from parents to their children through genes.
Lymphocyte:
A type of white blood cell that helps to fight infection in the body. They are the smartest of all white cells as they don't attack every germ they meet. There is a different group of lymphocytes for each different type of germ. When your body is invaded by a certain germ, they lymphocyte squad programmed to fight that particular germ, recognizes the germ and attacks.
Lysosome:
Shaped like small sacks and filled with enzymes, lysosomes are organelles found within a cell whose main job is to break down old DNA molecules and proteins which can then be reused to make new molecules.
Macrophage:
A type of white blood cell that helps to fight infection in the body. Macrophages patrol the bloodstream and clean up wherever germs or dirt collect. Millions of macrophages collect in your lungs where they are busy eating the dust and germs you breathe every day.
Microbe:
A general word used to describe a micro-organism. A micro-organism is an organism (any living thing) that is too small to be seen clearly with the naked eye. Bacteria, viruses and fungi are all microbes.
Mitochondria:
A rod-shaped organelle found in cells which turn nutrients into the energy necessary for the body to function. Mitochondria are like a cell's power plant.
Mitosis:
The process through which cells replicate by cell division. When a cell divides into 2 identical cells during mitosis, all genetic information is copied across into the new cell.
Molecule:
The smallest physical unit of a substance that can exist while retaining the characteristics of that substance.
Neutrophil:
A white blood cell that travels through the bloodstream on the look out for germs that invade your body. Neutrophils attack germs with deadly chemicals but sometimes the neutrophil is also destroyed in the fight.
Nucleus:
Geena pointingLocated in the cells of all living things, the nucleus is sometimes called the cell's brain as it is responsible for all of the cell's activity. Chromosomes, genes and DNA are located within a cell's nucleus. All human cells have a nucleus except for blood cells.
Organelle:
Any structure which occurs in cells which has a specialised function - mitochondria, lysosomes and vacuoles are examples of organelles.
Organism:
Any living thing which has the ability to function independently.
Oxygen:
A colorless, odourless and tasteless chemical element. Oxygen is essential for life as it is used for the chemical reactions which occur in the cells of the body. It makes up approximately 20% of the air that we breathe.
Pore:
The openings in a cell's membrane through which all things enter and exit the cell.
Protein:
Proteins are large molecules made of strings of amino acids required for the structure, function, and regulation of the body's cells, tissues, and organs. Each protein has unique functions specified by a gene's DNA sequence for that protein. Proteins are essential components of muscles, skin, bones and the body as a whole. Protein is also one of the three types of nutrients used as energy sources by the body.
Recessive:
In genetics, this refers to the extent to which a gene is expressed. Recessive genes are usually only result in a specific characteristic where 2 copies exist. The opposite term is Dominant. The gene for black hair is dominant to the gene for blond hair. Where a person inherits 1 black hair and 1 blond hair gene, the dominant black hair gene wins out over its recessive blond hair counterpart and the individual in question inherits black hair. Where a person inherits 2 recessive blond hair genes, he/she will inherit blond hair (exceptions excluded).
Regenerative Medicine:
Regenerative medicine refers to technologies that repair diseased or defective tissues or organs rather than replacing them.
Ribosome:
An organelle located in the cytoplasm of a cell where proteins are manufactured.
Self Renewal:
The process by which cells make identical copies of themselves.
Specialised Cell:
A cell with a very specific job to do in the human body. Examples of specialised cells are bone cells, muscle cells, heart cells, brain cells etc. There are over 200 types of specialised cells in the human body.
Stem Cell:
An unspecialized cell that can give rise to a specific specialised cell. These are the earliest embryonic cells from which all other specialised cells develop. Adult stem cells can be found in human bone marrow.
Thymine:
A chemical that is one of the 4 base building blocks of all living things - DNA. Thymine (T) always joins up with Adenine (A) to form a DNA base pair.
Trait:
A genetically inherited feature or distinguishing characteristic.
Unspecialised Cell:
An unspecialized cell is a cell that can give rise to a specific specialised cell. These are the earliest embryonic cells from which all other specialised cells develop. They are also called stem cells. Adult stem cells can be found in human bone marrow.
Vaccine:
A substance that produces immunity from a specific disease therefore protecting the body against that disease. Vaccines are normally administered through needle injections.
Vacuole:
An organelle within the cell which stores liquid and waste products inside the cell until they are needed or disposed of.
Virus:
A tiny organism that multiples within cells and causes disease such as chickenpox, measles, and mumps.
Ugene and Geena reading
Visit the REMEDI web site... Visit the NCBES web site... Visit the NUIG web site... Visit the SFI web site... Visit the NDP web site... Visit the Discover Science & Engineering web site...