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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1answer
127 views

Is sonic hedgehog a gene or a protein or both?

Is sonic hedgehog a gene or a protein or both? I think sonic hedgehog is okay as a name for a chemical. Having said that, I am a little bit concerned about the way sonic hedgehog seems to mean the ...
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Why are the knob-like projections on coronaviruses usually referred to in biology as “spikes” when they are not spike-shaped?

Why are the knob-like projections on coronaviruses usually referred to in biology as "spikes" (without quotation marks) when they are not spike-shaped? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peplomer ...
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Direction of translation/transcription

Perhaps it would not be wrong to say that "translation/transcription goes in the direction of 3' to 5'" or "in the direction of 5' to 3'";that's because these statements are ...
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23 views

Difference between tissue compression and compaction

I often see these two terms used when studying models of cell dynamics. Is there a technical difference between the terms "compression" and "compaction" of a cell tissue?
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1answer
67 views

What is the difference between effective and efficient selection?

I always thought of the efficiency of natural selection in the context of molecular evolution. I.e. that linked selection and smaller population size cause less efficient selection. It took me a while ...
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1answer
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Is there a term for the entire system of moving oxygen around?

The respiratory system brings oxygen to the blood, and also can include stuff like nicotine from smoking. The circulatory system brings oxygenated blood (and all its little friends) to wherever they'...
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Is an ephemeral stream in an unflowing state considered a lentic or lotic environment?

I ask this question because I would like to discuss attributes of streams, rivers, bayous, and etc. in a text I'm writing and would like to simply refer to them as "lotic" environments. ...
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1answer
71 views

How to convert a genus name to a noun or adjective

Consider the crayfish family Cambaridae. As I understand it, this familial name can be turned into an English noun or adjective by changing the first letter to lower case and dropping the "ae.&...
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Brain centers vs areas (and how they relate to nuclei)

I'm looking for a reputable source that can provide succinct definitions differentiating the following terms in the central nervous system (CNS; particularly in the brain): Area Center Nucleus ...
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1answer
55 views

What is intracellular retention?

On the wiki page for proto-cadherins, they write, "The cytoplasmic domain also mediates intracellular retention, a property which distinguishes the clustered protocadherins from the related ...
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1answer
38 views

Is there a difference between ISH and ISHH? (In Situ Hybridization, In Situ Hybridization Histochemistry)

I came across the term ISHH in my document and discovered that it stands for In Situ Hybridization Histochemistry. I's translating to Russian a document that uses this abbreviation. Example from the ...
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Why do animal cells “mistake” rubidium ions for potassium ions?

So, I was browsing the Wikipedia article for rubidium, and came across this interesting tidbit: Rubidium is not a known nutrient for any living organisms. However, rubidium ions have the same charge ...
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1answer
64 views

When does one decide to refer to a virus as a new variant?

I've read that SARS-Cov-2 has several variants, e.g.: Can the U.S. keep Covid variants in check? Here's what it takes. Novavax’s Vaccine Works Well — Except on Variant First Found in South Africa ...
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1answer
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Difference between a phototroph and a photosynthetic organism?

A quick search on google about the topic and the page on wikipedia did not help understanding the difference between these two related terms.
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1answer
69 views

What would be a single elegant-sounding word denoting controlled increase or decrease?

I am a biologist and frequently encounter the words 'upregulated' and 'downregulated' in the literature. Appropriately, these words are flagged by my browser spell-checker; they don't seem to be very ...
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1answer
81 views

Understanding the use of English tenses in biological journal articles

My colleague and I (second language speakers) got in an argument in understanding the sentence: " however, how this complexity and diversification have been achieved remains rather poorly ...
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2answers
47 views

Cancer: what does it mean “at presentation”?

Unclear to me what this means: "Objective The biological heterogeneity of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) makes prognosis difficult. We translate the results of a genome-wide high-throughput ...
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1answer
105 views

A word that includes plants and fungi, but not animals [closed]

Hello biologists and biology enthusiasts! I am working on a project which includes information about plants and fungi. It would be very helpful for me if there a word that means plants-and-fungi, but ...
4
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1answer
61 views

Structure and reactions of the cofactors of oxidoreductases such as ferredoxin

I have seen the word flavoprotein being used in place of ferredoxin in few places and vice-versa. I have not found any source that mentions them both together and explains the relation between them. ...
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1answer
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Meaning of the word “targeted” in a description of chromatin immunoprecipitation

From a research paper: The ChIP assay demonstrated that CIC physically binds to the promoter region of FOLR1, PCFT and RFC1. Compared with IgG control antibody, CIC antibody enriched 4.1-fold more ...
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1answer
98 views

Is there a term for the opposite of intergenic?

I am looking for a term that describes DNA regions that overlap genes, i.e., non-intergenic DNA regions. For example, say I am writing a paper about DNA-binding sites (i.e., DNA sequences that ...
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2answers
43 views

Meaning of “stripped” in “stripped antibody-depleted sera”

From a research paper: FOLR1 autoantibody detection The assay for identification of the presence and relative quantification of FOLR1 autoantibodies in serum samples was performed as previously ...
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Why is the “mango fly” called a “mango fly”?

Cordylobia anthropophaga, the mango fly, tumbu fly, tumba fly, putzi fly, or skin maggot fly, is a species of blow-fly common in East and Central Africa. Wiki page Why is Cordylobia anthropophaga ...
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1answer
35 views

What does 21q21.1-q21.2 mean?

I am reading a journal paper about the association between NCAM2 and autism, and I have come across the following: We performed microarray analysis and identified a 1.6-Mb deletion of 21q21.1-q21.2, ...
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What is the thinnest spot on the ilium called?

Is there a specific name for the spot on the human iliac fossa where the bone is the thinnest? (Or, is there a name for the thickness measurement of that spot, e.g. the left/right _________ is 2.1mm?) ...
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2answers
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What are the stretch of amino acids?

I found the words "stretch of amino acids" in a newspaper article. "This lipopeptide matches the stretch of amino acids in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 exactly." What is the &...
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1answer
54 views

What does allelomorph mean?

Is there any difference between allele and allelomorph since most websites call them the same. If they are same then why two different term?
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When there is incomplete dominance of one allele, is one allele still considered recessive?

When you have incomplete dominance between two alleles of a gene (say, on two different tail lengths blending into an intermediate tail length or two rose colours blending together), can you still ...
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47 views

What does it mean for an enzyme to be “constitutively partially active”?

I am reading a paper* about the link between the enzyme GSK3 and autism, and I have come across the following statement: Unlike many kinases that require a signal to be activated, GSK3 is ...
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31 views

Could be misleading using some terms to describe certain phenomena?

I am implementing a series of comparative analyses related to Low Complexity Regions in some organisms. Given that these regions show a wide range of length (measured in amino acids) and different ...
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1answer
37 views

What is meant by [protein name]+/- (ie “Myod+” and “Myod-”)

I have read a paper where this notation for protein names is used: Myod+ and Myod- (or another example, Myog+, Myog-). What does this indicate? In the paper I'm reading, and some brief googling, it ...
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Clarification for the anatomical terminology of the cerebellum

I've been trying to find descriptions for some of the fissures found on the inferior surface of the cerebellum, and so far the only source I've been able to find that provides an adequate description ...
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1answer
59 views

What exactly is “lateral septum”?

I came across the phrase lateral septum and I can't seem to find the precise definition online. Is it "the areas roughly to the right and the left of the septum pellucidum"? Or is it the ...
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1answer
35 views

What are “intrinsic hypothalamic fibers”? (From an article on neuronal mechanisms of sexual desire)

I came across the phrase intrinsic hypothalamic fibers which I cannot understand. What is meant by intrinsic - that these fibers (long myelinated axons?) start in the hypothalamus? Or that they start ...
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1answer
119 views

RNA polymerase Sigma subunit: transcription factor, coenzyme, or what?

Studying prokaryotic transcription, it seems that the α2ββ′ω core enzyme + the sigma (σ) subunit comprise the ‘holoenzyme’ required for prokaryotic transcription. In traditional enzyme nomenclature, ...
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3answers
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Can 'human' become a genus due to space colonization?

I have read that during the Second World War, some mosquitoes got trapped in the London underground railway system. The mosquitoes never got out and eventually they became a new species by themselves. ...
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1answer
54 views

Are “tremors” and “ tetanic contractions” the same thing?

Do these two expressions have the same meaning? 1- Tetanic contractions in the skeletal muscles 2- Rythmic shaking of the hands (These two expressions are supposed to be two symptoms of Parkinson’s ...
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2answers
54 views

What is the defining characteristics of a Gap Species?

For the following competitive exam question: A road is constructed through a tropical rain forest, following which a population of a species of butterflies declines. Which of the following is NOT a ...
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2answers
66 views

Meaning of “standard reactions” in a DNA extraction procedure description

From a DNA extraction procedure description (an in-house pharma document I'm translating into Russian): Preparation of Standards All the standard reactions should be prepared at least in duplicates. ...
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1answer
53 views

Meaning of “optical” in “Optical cap, 8X Strip” (used in qPCR)

I'm translating an English document that lists equipment used in a qPCR procedure: Reagents/Materials Optical cap, 8X Strip I googled and found that the meaning of this line is "a strip of 8 ...
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1answer
104 views

What is a “fairy smile”?

From Hrdy and Burkart (2020): At birth, both chimpanzee and human newborns seek out eyes, are capable of mutual gazing, and caught just right, may imitate someone else’s outstretched tongue or other ...
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What's the difference between the terms “muscle” and “muscle organ”?

Foundational Model of Anatomy distinguishes between Muscle organ and Muscle. What's the difference between the two?
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119 views

What is the difference between floral primordia and floral buds?

As we know an axillary bud differentiates to form a floral bud, but what is a floral primodium?
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31 views

Difference between stem cell “expansion”, “repopulation”, and “self-renewal”?

From this paper (link:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4130805/), I read "Thus G-CSF results in the expansion of phenotypic HSCs in the bone marrow with reduced repopulating activity and ...
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umbrella term for microtiter plate, petri dish, cell culture flask etc

I'm looking for a term I can use in a software user interface that includes anything that may carry cell cultures or similar biological imaging samples (ie that may conceivably go into an automated ...
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1answer
89 views

Technical term for a mutation that only occurs after a preceding one

Consider a hypothetical population of 1000 organisms. (a) 300 of these 1000 have a T to G substitution at a specific position 1. (b) 200 of these 1000 have an A to T substitution at a second ...
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1answer
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Why is an intron (or exon) still called intron (exon) if retained in (excluded from) mRNA?

In most explanations, the sections of RNA removed during splicing are called introns, and the remaining segments that are stitched together are called exons. That is, introns and exons are defined in ...

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