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
764 views

Do lower animals have instinctive behaviors?

Can an organism such as C. elegans, with only 302 neurons, exhibit "instinctive or innate behavior"? If not, then at what basic minimal structure is instinct manifest?
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Is there a term for a procedure in which the chromatography column is washed with 20% alcohol

From a method description in a Russian document: After the chromatographic analysis is complete, the column is flushed with at least 2-3 volumes of water at a rate of 0.4 ml/min. The column is then ...
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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 ...
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Transcript(omics) terminology: cDNAs, ESTs, RNA-seq, etc

I've worked pretty frequently with genome and transcriptome data for several years now, but I'm still not 100% sure I understand the proper usage for certain terminology related to transcripts and ...
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Is there an acceptable term for 'male fox' other than 'dog'?

I'm writing a lab on sexual dimorphism in Arctic foxes. As such, I use the words 'dog' and 'vixen' fairly often. In the discussion section, I compare the results from the lab with the results from ...
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139 views

Comprehensive biology or anatomy wordbank

I teach A&P for bio non majors. I have a special needs student whose accommodation requires a word bank for any anatomy identification questions I have on the exam. I would like to present the ...
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1answer
297 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 small ...
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How different are these terms: Phylloclade, Phyllode, Cladophyll and Cladode?

We started with Plant Morphology in class (specifically, the morphology of angiosperms). My teacher's provided us with the following terms and their definitions. Phylloclade A modified ...
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Do mutant alleles result from mutation of the wild type?

The allele that encodes for the most common form of a phenotype in natural population is called a wild type allele and all the rest of the alleles encoding forms other than the wild type are called ...
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3answers
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Is PCR a DNA cloning technique?

According to Genomes PCR is A technique that results in exponential amplification of a selected region of a DNA molecule [in test tube]. DNA cloning is Insertion of a fragment of DNA into a ...
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3answers
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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 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 is the difference between silent and synonymous mutations?

Several sources all caution that silent mutations and synonymous substitutions are not the same thing and should not be confused. But they seem to draw different actual distinctions between the terms: ...
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What is an 'ex vivo' experiment?

Simple terminology question: Is there a hard boundary between in vitro and ex vivo? Is there a hard boundary between in vivo and ex vivo? Suppose a sensory neuron is electrically recorded in the ...
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1answer
952 views

In the NCBI Taxonomy tree what does “no rank” mean?

NCBI publish their taxonomy browser at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Taxonomy/Browser/wwwtax.cgi While many taxa have a well defined rank (Order, Family, Genus etc..), some of them have "no rank". ...
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3answers
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What does the 'V' stand for in ECG electrode names?

In electrocardiography, electrodes have the typical names of: RA (Right Arm) LA (Left Arm) RL (Right Leg) LL (Left Leg) V1, V2, V3, V4, V5 and V6 What does the V stand for? Is it perhaps from vector,...
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584 views

How do communities relate to food webs?

I am a biology student who has just completed drawing a food web for class. As I was making it, I learned that a food web is the sum of all feeding interactions. My teacher associated food webs with ...
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Why are the sex chromosomes called X and Y?

Is there a specific reason that the letter Y is used as the symbol for the male chromosome and X is used for the female chromosome?
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What does the root “phyllum” mean used botanical binomial nomenclature

I often encounter the root "phyllum" in binomial names in botany, but I've had trouble finding an actual definition for this root in any Latin dictionary outside of its taxonomic meaning. From context ...
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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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1answer
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“selective pressure” or “selection pressure”?

Editing a manuscript of mine, a co-author changes "selection pressure" to "selective pressure". Are those two terms interchangeable? Or are there subtle differences that I'm not aware of? The ...
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1answer
9k views

What is immunopanning (vs. immunoprecipitation and FACS)?

I had never heard the term before today. From what I can tell, it's using antibodies to purify a cell population of interest. I would appreciate more details, especially in how it differs from "...
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1answer
71 views

What is the meaning of “leukemic cell recovery” in an abstract?

An article abstract: Significant predictors of treatment outcome are poorly defined for patients with T-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). A high WBC at diagnosis, which has ...
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267 views

Names of different cyclins

Different types of cell cyclins are designated as a to y Why are some letters like m, n, p, q.. etc. skipped? Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclin
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What are “primary amino acids and secondary amino acids”? Context: analysis of amino acid content using reversed-phase HPLC

In a Russian document I'm translating, an HPLC system is used to analyse the amino acid content of a substance. The detector wavelength is set at 262 nm for "secondary amino acids" and 338 nm ...
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1answer
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What is the difference between Reservoir and paratenic hosts?

Paratenic host 'In parasitology, the term paratenic describes a host that is not necessary for the development of a particular species of parasite, but nonetheless may happen to serve to maintain the ...
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Is “aggregate percentage” still a valid term in ecology?

Martin et al. 1946 define "aggregate percentage" as a metric that describes the mean percentage contribution of a group to the total mass/abundance of all samples. The metric is useful in datasets ...
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1answer
183 views

Sexually homologous traits

When papers refer to traits as being sexually homologous do they refer to traits which are: a) present in both sexes but can be dimorphic (e.g. body size is sexually homologous because both sexes ...
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1answer
135 views

How are Raunkiær's plant life forms viewed today?

At the beginning of the 20th century, Raunkiær proposed a typology of plant life-forms based on where they bear their buds, roughly as: cryptophytes: belowground hemicryptophytes: at the surface ...
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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 ...
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Why the “cfr.” in 'Cirrhipathes cfr. anguina' and not “cf.”?

Recently I stumbled upon the species name Cirrhipathes anguina. In the literature it is often mentioned as Cirrhipathes cfr. anguina. What does cfr. mean? Does it carry the same meaning as ...
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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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330 views

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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Calculating Protein Concentration from Kilo Units (KU)

I am looking to purchase Pyruvate Kinase from the Sigma Website, they state the volume in Kilo Units (KU) i.e. 1, 5 or 25 KU. It also states there are 350-600 units / mg protein. Does this mean one ...
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1answer
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What is a tuckahoe?

I'm working on a book about names and nicknames of the fifty states of USA. I came across the following in an older reference: The name Tuckoes is a corruption of the common term Tuckahoe, or ...
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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
114 views

What's the correct name for the war of sexes in evolution?

I'm searching for the correct term for the part of the selfish gene evolution regarding sexes. In nature, this means the evolution of the traits such as the ducks' adaptation to "trap" the drakes' ...
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1answer
255 views

What is “multiple” myeloma?

Multiple myeloma, commonly referred to as myeloma, is a cancer of the plasma cells found in the bone marrow.(source) Is there any significance in calling myeloma as "MULTIPLE" myeloma?
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1answer
7k views

Coracoid vs. Coronoid - Etymology/Naming Choice?

The word coracoid (e.g., coracoid process of scapula) literally means "resembling a crow/raven" or "of the form of a crow/raven." In this case, I assume, resembling the hooked characteristic of a ...
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Where does the term “cos site” come from?

The word cosmid is derived from cos sites of lambda phages. Why are cos sites called cos sites? What does this "cos" refer to?
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How does species diversity vs Earth total biomass relate?

Are there any laws/theoretical foundations about how diversity of species relate with total biomass on Earth? While there is a lot of esoteric sort of talk "humanity dis-balances the live on the ...
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140 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 ...
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1answer
248 views

Is there a specific suffix for “within a cell”? i.e. in a similar manner to how -aemia refers to within the blood

Words like hyperglycemia and hyponatremia refer to the relative level of each component in the blood, not in the cell. Is there a suffix for within the cell? For reference I would like one word as an ...
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1answer
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What is the difference between the mitotic spindle and microtubules?

In mitosis, I understand that the centromeres line up on the spindle. I also know that the centrioles form microtubles between the centromeres during mitosis in the metaphase. But, are microtubles ...
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463 views

Are Gram negative bacteria classified as such because of their negative membrane potential?

Does the membrane potential usually quoted for Gram negative bacteria (e.g., E. coli) refer to the potential across both membranes? - If yes, then does the potential fall more over the inner or outer ...
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Do swarms show intelligence?

Can you think of collective and swarm behaviors as "intelligence"? Would such a concept apply to a) ant colonies and b) fish swarms?
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1answer
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What do rs id, allele coded 0 and allele coded 1 mean?

So, for a project I've been working on (different story), I've been looking at the HapMap Project, and their free online files. In their README file, they talk about how for each legend file for each ...
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1answer
223 views

What are an internal and external exons?

I read the book: Essential Genetics and Genomics It has a table summarizing the properties of the "typical" human gene: It has a gene feature Size of internal exon,...
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1answer
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Is studying chemical and physical properties of chemical substances that make up organisms really a task of molecular biology?

I have read in a high school textbook that (translated into English by myself): "Branch of science that concerns itself with studying chemical and physical properties of substances that make up ...
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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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