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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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Are mutations random?

The following claim Mutations are random or just the use of the expression Random mutations are very common among lay people. The claim is very common among lay people. The claim is often ...
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Is a DNA molecule a single strand of polynucleotide or two of them linked together?

I'm so embarrassed to ask such a question here, but our molecular biology teacher told us that a double helix of DNA was composed of two DNA molecules linked together by hydrogen bonds. The thing is, ...
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1answer
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What is the difference between the cellular affix -cyte and -blast?

The affix -blast means an immature cell, and -cyte indicates any cell. So how do we define if a cell is mature (-cyte) or immature (-blast)? How does this apply to odontoblasts and ameloblasts? Why ...
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How does ecology differ from biology?

What precisely is ecology? How does it differ from biology? Because I never studied biology after high school, please explain as if I were 10 years old. I only know that ecology is a subset of biology ...
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2answers
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Is there a name for the evolutionary loss of vestigial structures?

Consider a biological structure which no longer benefits an organism, such as the eyes of an organism whose population now lives in total darkness. I can think of three reasons why such a structure ...
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5answers
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Can the third sex be categorized as Male or Female?

Hijra are people who have a penis (not sure if sexually active) but look much like a female (perhaps for some feminine biological property). Wikipedia says they are "physiological males who have ...
2
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1answer
4k views

What do the names of Immunoglobulin subtypes mean?

What is the exact meaning and full form of IgM, IgG, IgA, etc? What is the rationale behind the names of the isotypes, if there is one? For example, what does "M" mean in IgM?
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2answers
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Why should a tumor look like a crab?

Origin of the word "cancer" The disease was first called cancer by Greek physician Hippocrates (460-370 BC). He is considered the “Father of Medicine”. Hippocrates used the terms carcinos and ...
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What are the functions and differences between axons and dendrites?

My textbook doesn't do a very good job of pointing out what the differences between the two are. It basically mentions axons only in the same breath as the synapse (that synapses are the endings/tips ...
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2answers
779 views

Why is the prefrontal cortex called such?

Pre means before. Frontal means front. What does cortex means? Brain? Is it the front most part of the brain? Is it located at the most frontal part of the brain and that's why it's called ...
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2answers
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Definitions of hermaphroditism, dioecious and monoecious?

What is the difference between these terms "monoecious","Hermaphrodite". my lecturer says hermaphrodite is a zoological term and monoecious is botanical term, but in contrary to it, in my textbook ...
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1answer
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Dorsal vs Posterior and Ventral vs Anterior

From prior reading, I thought that Dorsal is the same as Posterior and Ventral is the same as Anterior. However, when I checked in google images for these anatomical terms for a horse (just to ...
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2answers
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Are 'homeothermic' and 'endothermic' synonymous?

I got this question from the comments below this answer. So, do homeothermic and poikilothermic have the same meaning as endothermic and ectothermic, respectively? A user also suggested that the ...
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2answers
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Using anatomical terms for human organs and parts of plants

I know how to apply anatomical directional terms (e.g., dorsal/ventral, anterior/posterior, etc.) for animals as a whole (bipeds and quadrupeds). Recently, I've been studying plant physiology, and I ...
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5answers
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Why is the opposite of plantar flexion called “dorsiflexion”?

Why is the action of flexing the foot so that the toes move anteriorly/superiorly (i.e. in the direction opposite that which they move during plantar flexion) described as "dorsiflexion?" In the same ...
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3answers
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What is the distinction between chemokines, cytokines, interferons and interleukins?

They all seem to describe molecules of similar function and many people seem to use them interchangeably. Also please include any other similar molecules if I've forgotten any in the list above.
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2answers
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What is the anatomical term for a two jointed leg?

Allow me to apologize in advance for the layman's terminology. I'm wondering what the anatomical term for a cat- or a goat-style hind leg is. Cats, goats, t-rexes, and many many other animals don't ...
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3answers
2k views

Is vermiform appendix no more a vestigial organ?

The appendix has a role in the immune response. So is it therefore recently removed from the list of vestigial organs?
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2answers
385 views

Which DNA elements belong to the definition of a gene?

I see a lot of different DNA elements mentioned as part of a gene (talking about eukaryotes): The length of DNA following the promoter is a gene and it contains the recipe for a protein. (video) ...
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1answer
7k views

What is heteroduplex?

I fail to understand the what exactly is heteroduplex due to unavailability of a suitable diagram. According to wikipidea: A heteroduplex is a double-stranded (duplex) molecule of nucleic acid ...
2
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1answer
404 views

Is apparent competition a suitable term in situations where one species is not negatively affected?

When two prey (or resource) species share a common predator (consumer), they can be in apparent competition. An increase in one prey species can increase the common predator density, which negatively ...
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2answers
865 views

What defines a microbial species?

I know that microbes are not capable of sexual reproduction, thus sorting them into species according to "groups that can interbreed and generate fertile offspring" should not apply.
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2answers
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What does confluency mean?

Since as long as I have been doing cell culture, the word confluency is used to describe the % growth of cells or area covered by them. However, no dictionary that I have found uses this word. I was ...
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1answer
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Was Darwin aware of the difficulties behind the concept of species?

Introduction The concept of species is a very old concept that suffers from not being a natural category. There exists no single definition that would categorize living beings into groups and that ...
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2answers
701 views

What is the difference between neurotransmitters acting as neurotransmitters and hormones?

My main confusion is what differentiates the action of a transmitter substance as a neurotransmitter and as a hormone. For example, when norepinephrine is being talked about as transmitter substance ...
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2answers
289 views

What could I call such nucleic-acid-Sequence? A sort of palindromic sequence? is there any term called mirror repeat?

5'... ATGCC|CCGTA ...3' 3'... TACGG|GGCAT ...5' or say 5'... AAGT|TGAA ...3' 3'... TTCA|ACTT ...5' or in generalised way; on each strand; ABCDEF|FEDCBA Is there any terminology for such-sort ...
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2answers
163 views

Does the term “Biophysics” have two different meanings?

1. Some sources (including the current Tag-info at biology SE) state; biophysics is the adoption of techniques / methodologies from physics to study biological systems. The use of methods from ...
2
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1answer
184 views

Does gross production (P) and biomass (B) mean the same?

From fundamentals of ecology, Odum 2005: ... autogenic succession usually begins with an unbalanced community metabolism, where gross production, P, is either greater than or less than community ...
2
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1answer
705 views

What is a cognate enhancer sequence?

What is a cognate enhancer sequence? While reading a paper (1) presented at a journal class in graduate school, I encountered this sentence: HIF-1 binds to its cognate enhancer sequence, the ...
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2answers
412 views

What is the difference between these two depictions of chromosome?

I understand that this is a single chromatid, but would this be considered a chromosome? Also before mitosis, the chromosomes appear as single chromatids but during interphase they replicate to form ...
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0answers
250 views

What is the difference between muscle tension and muscle tightness?

Is there any difference between muscle tension and muscle tightness? I want to study the relation between forearm muscles tightness/tension and tendinopathy (specifically, medial and lateral ...
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3answers
3k views

What does 'direction' mean in the statement “mutations are non-directional”?

I was reading the Mutation theory of De Vries; there I encountered this following statements Mutations are discontinuous, random & non-directional.This is in contrast to Darwinism where ...
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3answers
355 views

Abbreviations for molecules: What are CheW, CheA, CheY?

I've encountered the abbreviations such as "CheW" and "CheA" for certain organic molecules. For example: Proteins associating with the Tar complex include the autophosphorylating protein kinase ...
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1answer
108 views

Is there a word for the assumption that a sufficiently complex and refined organ must be the result of natural selection on a large time scale?

Is there a term for the valid assumption that a sufficiently complex and refined organ must be the result of natural selection on a large time scale? Example: A biologist exists in a world where ...
2
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1answer
100 views

Confusion related to a term probe-by-background interaction

I was reading a paper related to bioinformatics where it uses the drug response on the cancer cells and the gene expression of the individual cells are studied to find any useful insights. Specially, ...
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1answer
357 views

What does min mean?

I read that "trp operon is located at 27 min on E.coli chromosome." What does "min" mean ?
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2answers
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What is the name of the bond between phosphate and the sugar in a nucleotide?

I am slightly confused about what the name of the bond is between the phosphate and sugar within a nucleotide. All my research comes up with is a phosphodiester bond being the backbone of DNA. But ...
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1answer
44 views

Can action potential generating ion channels only be understood as assemblies of membrane proteins (and not as single proteins)?

I always believed to have roughly understood how voltage-gated ion channels and the creation of action potentials work: as and by single (or non-interacting groups of) membrane proteins, that behave ...