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Questions tagged [terminology]

How terms are used or the meaning of words as used in scientific literature. Questions should ideally include a link or quote as context for where the term was encountered.

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12
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2answers
2k views

Are all carcinogens mutagens?

I assume that all carcinogens must be mutagens, but I've read that this is not the case. However, I can't find any good examples or an explanation of why it is not the case. How can a non-mutagenic ...
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1answer
38 views

Why are Excavata called “Excavata”?

The explanation given in my textbook is: Some members of this diverse group also have an “excavated” feeding groove on one side of the cell body. (Campbell Biology) This still isn't clear, ...
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1answer
40 views

What is the etymology for Pinus halepensis?

I have a problem of figuring out the etymology of Pinus halepnesis. An etymonline search with halepensis brought no result. It is unclear to me from the English wikipedia article and from the ...
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2answers
77 views

Functional unit

What is meant by functional unit of a system? like when we say that the neuron is the basic unit of neural system do we mean that all those things that are performed by neural system can be performed ...
1
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1answer
29 views

Can the word phalanx also be used to describe the finger bone plus the soft parts around the bone?

I was talking in an SE chatroom about fingers, and not being a native English speaker, I had to look up the word used for the part of a finger from the tip to the closest knuckle. I came across the ...
1
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1answer
51 views

What is the difference between sieve cells and sieve-tube elements?

I looked it up and I'm still confused. Apparently, sieve cells lack sieve plates? What does that really mean? It's difficult to find a good picture of either.
0
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1answer
42 views

What are the appendeges behind a crane fly's wings?

I noticed that crane flies have strange appendages behind their wings. The appendages look like a pair of antenna or a pair of vestigial wings. In the following picture I marked these appendages with ...
3
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0answers
24 views

Name for fluid that leaks out of phyllid (non-vascular) plants?

As Wikipedia says (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-vascular_plant): Consequently, phyllids are unable to control the rate of water loss from their tissues and are said to be poikilohydric. And ...
2
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2answers
64 views

Are neurotransmitters part of the endocrine system?

I was speaking with a substitute teacher of mine, and we were discussing whether neurotransmitters are part of the endocrine system or not. My class just spent an entire semester on the topic of the ...
3
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1answer
50 views

What's it called when a male seahorse gets “inseminated”?

I am looking for the scientific term for the process where a male seahorse receives eggs from the female. For example, we usually say, "the male inseminates the female with sperm." What is the correct ...
2
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0answers
44 views

Medical terminology for asymmetrically-shaped paired body parts?

Some people have different sized feet [source], a limb that is slightly longer than the contralateral (on other side of the body) limb [source], or other instances of paired body parts being different ...
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0answers
23 views

“Straight” or “linear” helix

If an alpha helix is discontinued for a short while and then continues in a different direction, I prefer to call in "kinked". If the helix is simply uniformly following one direction, I prefer to ...
3
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2answers
58 views

What is a “Valid Species”?

I read in a reference book on Google Books (Biology of Termites: a Modern Synthesis, eds. Bignell, Roisin, and Lo) that the termite Heterotermes perfidus found on the South Atlantic island of St ...
1
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1answer
68 views

In the context of heterotrophic theory of abiogenesis, what is an organism that eats other organisms called?

In the heterotrophic theory for the origin of life, we imagine a primordial soup that is rich in organic compounds and the first organisms emerge eating those compounds. Since these organic compounds ...
2
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2answers
141 views

Why don't we speak of medial and lateral rotation of the forearm? And pronation and supination of the upper arm?

Why don't we speak of medial and lateral rotation of the forearm? I notice we speak of forearm supination and forearm pronation, but why not medial and lateral rotation. It seems to me that if we ...
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0answers
10 views

Can PGPM include pathogenic growth promoters?

I am extremely confused with definition of P.G.P.M. (plant growth promoting microbes/microbiota)such as P.G.P.F (plant growth promoting fungi) and P.G.P.B. (plant growth promoting bacteria). In many ...
6
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3answers
810 views

Is the genetic term “polycistronic” still used in modern biology?

Is the term "cistronic", meaning an ORF on a mRNA, still commonly used in modern genetics? I´ve seen "polycistronic" being applied to prokaryotic mRNA in old textbooks, but I´ve rarely stumbled upon ...
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2answers
75 views

Is 'disorientation event' a common term among biologists?

On the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources web page about the marine turtle conservation program it says, "When a hatchling sea turtle is attracted away from the ocean towards a direct or ...
3
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0answers
60 views

What does “dissection-based microscopy” mean as described here, and how can it give genetic information?

The Phys.org article 'DNA microscopy' offers entirely new way to image cells references the new Open Access paper in Cell DNA Microscopy: Optics-free Spatio-genetic Imaging by a Stand-Alone Chemical ...
4
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2answers
137 views

What is it called when a dead flower is rotted away and only the veins remain?

I've spotted a flower that is dead: It looks like most of the tissue has rotted away and only the veins remain. (Sorry, I don't know the proper name for flower veins). What is the technical term ...
1
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1answer
96 views

Does a cell suspend or exit cell cycle at G0?

In an exam, there was one question which asked whether the cell exits or suspends cell cycle at G0 phase. I answered that it exits cell cycle but the official answer key says it suspends cell cycle. ...
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1answer
93 views

Difference between cerebroside and globoside

I have a general idea about their difference that cerebrosides have a single sugar while globosides have more than one sugars. This is the structure of a ceramide (syphingosine and a fatty acid ...
1
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1answer
72 views

What's the subpatellar tendon?

I read in Thomas Myers book Anatomy Trains: Although the muscles themselves have attachments within the anterior compartment to the tibia, fibula, and interosseous membrane, the next station ...
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2answers
45 views

What's the difference between reaction norms and phenotypic plasticity?

I'm trying to understand better these two concepts, but I cannot see a clear difference yet. Reaction norm: "set of phenotypes that can be produced by an individual genotype when exposed to different ...
2
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1answer
90 views

What does substrate mean?

I have been reading some literature on measurements related to biofilms. In some articles the word "substrate" seems to stand for the material on which a biofilm is growing. In other articles, it ...
1
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1answer
29 views

Is “muscular attachment” synonymous to tendon? (when talking about the insertion of glutei medius and minimus to greater trochanter of the femur)

I have read the following two terms in an MRI report (both points refer to the insertion of gluteus medius/minimus to greater trochanter of the femur): mild degeneration of the muscular attachment ...
4
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2answers
446 views

What is a myotube?

If I understand correctly, the following images show the main components in a human skeletal muscle: From Life: The Science of Biology: From Human Physiology/The Muscular System in wikibooks: ...
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0answers
139 views

‘Inoculum’ vs ‘inoculant’ – which one is it?

I’m currently writing the report of a study which looked at commercial soil inoculants (Rhizobium sp.). However, I’m confused about the differences between the words inoculum and inoculant and when to ...
0
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1answer
77 views

Spatially Encoded GPCRs?

I'm reading this paper, and I'm already lost in terms of what they mean by GPCR signaling is spatially encoded. The trafficking of G protein coupled‐receptors (GPCRs) is one of the most exciting ...
1
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2answers
857 views

What is a “pan-specific” antibody?

I am new to biology. I searched a lot to find an article that explains what "pan-specific" antibody is but I could not find anything substantial that would help me understand what it is. An example ...
2
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1answer
56 views

What do we call these containers used in biotechnology?

I'm translating an autoclave instruction from Russian, and it says that these containers (ванночки) (see the black circle on the below photo) are to be sterilized in the autoclave. I'm not sure what ...
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1answer
103 views

Is this model of understanding of what's natural selection and what's not, correct? [closed]

Here in this account I just want to make sure, that I've grasped the concept of natural selection as is usually spoken by evolutionary biologists, truly the wording here are non standard and in some ...
2
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1answer
110 views

What is meant by “heads” and “tails” in the context of gene orientation?

I have a hard time understanding what this paper is talking about when it says: We observed maximal cleavage at sites oriented tail-to-tail and separated by -10 bp to +30 bp (Fig. 2d). Finally, ...
3
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2answers
345 views

Is spiders building webs on plants an example of mutualism or commensalism?

In one section of the GED study book I'm looking through to prepare myself for exams, they define parasitism, mutualism, and commensalism, and give examples. One of the examples they give for ...
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4answers
2k views

What is the definition of “Natural Selection”?

Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype. Natural selection, a process that results in the adaptation of an organism to its ...
5
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1answer
263 views

What's a “constitutionally small penis”?

I'm reading some urology papers and came across one involving penis growth (Kim & Song, 2008); here's an intro passage that I'm confused about: A total of 58 patients with constitutionally ...
2
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1answer
164 views

What is the reason behind the subphylum name “Urochordata” for tunicates?

There are two major invertebrate subphyla of the chordates (phylum Chordata): Cephalochordata (the lancelets) Urochordata, aka Tunicata (the tunicates) My understanding is that the cephalochordates ...
0
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0answers
14 views

What soft tissue separates bones of toes?

I need to know a little about the "knuckles" of toes; specifically the 4 areas that separate the 5 proximal/metatarsal joins. I'd like to know the terms for areas that might be damaged if the width ...
0
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1answer
65 views

What does the number after Vitamin B signify?

Does the number after Vitamin B signify anything? For example what is the significance of 12 in Vitamin B12?
6
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1answer
83 views

Branch taking over a tree trunk

I stumbled upon a birch growing in sandy soil in a coniferous forest in central Russia. It looks like over time the tree trunk got bent towards the trail and one of the branches became the new trunk ...
6
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2answers
155 views

Why is ATP synthase sometimes referred to as ATPase?

Quite a few times I have seen the term ‘ATPase’ used for what I would consider ATP synthase. For example, my text has: “The phosphorylation of ADP to ATP is also catalysed by the enzyme ATPase.” I ...
2
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1answer
618 views

Why is xylem a tissue and not an organ?

My textbook "CGP AS-Level Biology Exam Board: Edexcel Complete Revision & Practice" says xylem is a tissue. Then I read from this website that "[Xylem's] major components include xylem parenchyma,...
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2answers
117 views

GEN file format, SNPs and alleles

I have a few questions I can't seem to get a straight answer to, regarding the .gen file format and also biology in general. The ...
4
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0answers
164 views

What's inside the perinuclear space?

The cell proper contains the cytoplasm in general and the cytosol in particular when referring to the fluid/gel without notable organelle. Once we move inside the nucleus there is the nucleoplasm and ...
0
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1answer
55 views

Notation for repetitive nucleic acids

With regard to nucleic acids with repeating residues, could anyone provide a description of what the following sequences are, and the key differences between them: Poly(dA) Oligo(dA) Poly(A)
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2answers
286 views

Why is photosynthesis described as a “physico-chemical” process? [closed]

In my textbook it is given that photosynthesis is a physico-chemical process. How can it be a physical process?
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1answer
96 views

Is there an adjective I can use to describe body parts like hands, feet, eyes, and ears that exist on both sides of the body's sagittal plane?

Body parts like human hands, feet, ears, eyes, etc. exist on either side of the human body's sagittal plane and can therefore be specified with the adjectives left and right. Is there a special ...
1
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1answer
24 views

Is there a word for the length of time an animal stays with parents before going off on their own?

Gestation is a word describing the pregnancy for animals, and you can use 'gestation period' to describe how long a pregnancy generally takes for a species. I'd like to know if there's a corollary ...
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2answers
76 views

More general term than “adaptation”

The Wikipedia article about adaptation states: Adaptation differs from flexibility, acclimatization, and learning. What is a more general term than adaptation? For example, is there an umbrella ...
0
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1answer
82 views

What do the acronyms in C.elegans neuron names stand for? [closed]

In this site, I see a variety of acronymic names for C.elegans neurons but what do these names mean (for example AVAL, AVAR)?