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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2answers
29 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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1answer
379 views

Difference between dysentery and bloody diarrhea

The difference between diarrhoea and dysentery is quite clear; but the appearance of blood in stool or bloody diarrhoea is a very confusing term when compared with dysentery. Are they different in the ...
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1answer
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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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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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1answer
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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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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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3answers
4k views

Is a DNA molecule a single strand of polynucleotide or two of them linked together?

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, until now, I always thought a DNA molecule was ...
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1answer
38 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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What is the difference between an antibiotic and an antibacterial?

Concerning medicine, what are the differences between antibiotics and antibacterials?
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Explanation of the ‘cherry red spot' in Tay Sachs disease

In Tay Sachs disease, a hallmark symptom is a cherry red spot in the macula of the eye surrounded by a halo of white. I understand that the ganglion cells, which are higher in numbers around the ...
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1answer
96 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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1answer
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Is there term for thermophilic-halophilic plants and if so, what is it?

I know that in botany there is a wide classification for plants that can survive in hot deserts (semi-arid or arid) and harsh climates such as 4-season countries with a tendency to droughts each year (...
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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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“Higher plants” or “vascular plants”?

What is the difference — if any — between "higher plants" and "vascular plants"? On Wikipedia, "higher plants" redirects to "vascular plants", which seems like an indication that both ...
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2answers
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Are “sympathetic nerves” the same as “cardiopulmonary splanchnic” nerves?

I've gathered from a number of sources (e.g., Patel (2015), Wikipedia, and here) that the sympathetic nerves leaving the sympathetic trunk to innervate the heart and lungs are called "cardiopulmonary ...
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1answer
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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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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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1answer
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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
90 views

an umbrella term for homeolog and ohnolog?

Is there a word that refer to homologous chromosomes within a polyploid species? If I have AABB species, what is A to B? The words "homeolog" and "ohnolog" are reserved for the cases if the ...
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Confluency or confluence, which term is correct to describe the % area covered by cells?

I noticed that both of them are used in many scientific papers. Are these two terms, or can they be used interchangeably?
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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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What do repopulation and expansion mean in stem cell biology?

I was studying a lecture on the effects of cytokines on hematopoiesis, and it uses these two terms often in the context of the effects of regulators on hematopoietic stem cells: All repopulating bone ...
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2answers
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Stem and Branch of plants

What is the difference between the stem of a plant and the branch of a plant. Is the branch part of the stem?
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Meaning of “Domain with function to find” (FIIND)

From NALPs: a novel protein family involved in inflammation. FIIND - Domain with Function to Find. What is the meaning of this name? Does it mean "Domain with an unknown function"? I'm ...
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1answer
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What does the point in the middle between two numbers mean? [closed]

[...] cells were removed to a cover glass and treated with plasma for 2 min, then returned to TS broth and centrifuged for 10 min. Cells were harvested and washed twice with PBS, then mixed with ...
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Origin of term ‘confluency’ in cell culture

Since as long as I have been doing cell culture, the word confluency has been used to describe the percentage growth of cells or area covered by them. However, no dictionary that I have found uses ...
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1answer
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What is the name of this part in plants, fruits, vegetables?

What is the name of this part of the plant, fruit, vegetable? The thing that the plant is connected with the tree and gets nutrients with? The part we usually cut out when eat fruit. Examples below ...
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1answer
228 views

What’s the Difference Between Grass and Sedge?

What’s the difference between grasses and sedges? in terms of anatomy and classification.
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1answer
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What does 'stereotype' mean for a disease? [closed]

I see no definition relevant to vaccination for 'stereotype' on the OED. What does it mean below? Here’s why we can’t rush a COVID-19 vaccine | AAMC Dengue fever: The Philippines halted a school-...
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What is a synonym of the word design that can be used in context of evolution?

For example let's take two sentences; "engineer made a design for camera", "evolution made an X for eye". What is the best X that could be used? I need it for an essay about evolution.
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Special visceral efferent

Why are special visceral efferent nerves are named as such? They are supplying motor impulses to muscles of pharyngeal arch, which are both skeletal(facial) and visceral(laryngeal) 1, so why only ...
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1answer
272 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 ...
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270 views

What is 'noise'?

In both my psychology, biology and neuroscience classes, professors are constantly talking about 'noise'. For instance, our perception is limited due to 'sensory noise' in our neurons. I am utterly ...
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117 views

Fever vs Inflammation

What's the difference between inflammation and fever? And why is fever called an inflammatory response? Does the word inflammation have both a general and a specific meaning?
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1k views

What is a “pure odorant”?

This article about testing for Alzheimer's, via changes in the ability to smell, said: She thought of peanut butter because, she said, it is a “pure odorant” that is only detected by the ...
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2answers
416 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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2answers
3k views

What does “delineate” mean in this context?

I was reading a Scientific American story, “Controversial Spewed Iron Experiment Succeeds as Carbon Sink” (by David Biello), when I came across this sentence: “The problem for scientists is that ...
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What does “molecular” mean in the context of anatomy, for example the molecular layer of cerebral cortex

The first apical layer of the cerebral cortex is also called as the molecular layer, I could not find the exact reason of the naming. What I found: Molecular alongside its primary meaning in ...
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1answer
1k views

What is the difference between disruptive, divergent and diversifying selection?

In our lab meeting we were chatting about divergent selection. I was confused at some point because I wasn't sure what was the meaning of this work in comparison to diversifying/disruptive and other ...
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1answer
132 views

What does the word “refractory” in “refractory period” refer to? [closed]

What does the word "refractory" in "refractory period" refer to? I know what it means "refractory period" (both, absolute and relative) in the action potential graph, but I don't understand what the ...
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What is the meaning of multicellularity?

I can't understand what multicellularity is. Wikipedia states that any organism having many cells is multicellular. By this definition bacteria can also be multicellular. For example, cyanobacteria ...
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2answers
332 views

Exact meaning of the term “clutch”

When reading a Wikipedia article to do with chickens, I have come across the term "clutch", but I was not able to entirely figure out what this word means. I was wondering whether the term clutch can ...
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1answer
2k views

Meaning of “auto” in trans autophosphorylation?

Why this process called "auto"? Is it because each tyrosine kinase receptor subunit of the RTK dimer has the ability to phosphorylate tyrosine or other amino acid residue present in other subunit of ...
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1answer
262 views

What is the meaning of pygo and pagus in the word pygopagus? [closed]

I know definition of the disease pygopagus but I want to know the meaning of separate parts of it, in fact what's the meaning of pygo- and -pagus in terminology?
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1answer
481 views

What is the meaning of “gap” in G1 phase?

The full form of G1 phase is Gap one phase. G1 os also called first gap phase. Is there any specific meaning of " gap" here ?
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1answer
520 views

What's the meaning of 'plasma' in 'plasma membrane'?

I wonder why is it called plasma membrane - what's the biological meaning of the word 'plasma'?
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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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1answer
902 views

Understanding the concept of a “Place Field” and the difference between place cells and grid cells

I have 3 questions that are interrelated: After reading the proper literature on the subject, my understanding of the place field is that it's a place in space to which an animal's place cell reacts ...
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3answers
579 views

Rhizosphere vs. Endorhiza?

In relation to microbiology and the naming of the various areas of the plant as it relates to microbial inhabitance, I am confused as to the difference between the terms endorhiza and rhizosphere. In ...

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