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Antibodies A protein made by white blood cells in response to a foreign substance known as antigen (see the definition of antigen below). Each antibody binds to a specific antigen which is later destroyed. 

Antigen is a molecule that belongs to a foreign body or invader, such as harmful virus, bacteria or cancer cells.

Allele is one of several alternate forms of a gene occupying a given location on the chromosome.

Amino acids a group of compounds that serve as units of structure of the proteins. They all contain all the essential elements of life, such as oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, and hydrogen.

Amniocentesis is a surgical procedure of inserting a hollow needle through the abdominal wall into the uterus of a pregnant woman and extracting amniotic fluid for analysis.

Amniotic Fluid  is a watery fluid found in the innermost membrane of the sac enclosing the embryo of a pregnant woman, or animal.

Cystic Fibrosis  

Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disease resulting from the inheritance of a defective autosomal recessive gene. Cystic Fibrosis patients inherit the defective gene from both parents. A person who has only one copy of the gene is known as a "carrier" for Cystic Fibrosis.

The defective gene that causes Cystic Fibrosis codes for a protein responsible for the salt, sodium chloride, transport by the epithelial cells. There are many possible mutations that can lead to symptoms. 

Symptoms of the disease is clogging up the lungs and other organs with a sticky mucus that interferes with breathing and digestion. Most patients die before reaching the age 30.

As many as 10 million Americans of northern European descent carry a gene with a cystic fibrosis-defective gene. 

Recently, scientists have identified a specific mutation involved in most cases of cystic fibrosis.

Dominant determines the phenotype displayed in an offspring.

D1S80 is a VNTR (see below) locus found in all human genome. The D1S80 allelic ladder that is always run next to the samples contains a representative of each allele from 14 through 41, except for 15 (since it is very rare in humans).

Gamete a reproductive cell that can unite with another cell to form the cell that develops into a new organism.

Heterozygous when a plant or animal has two different genes at a single point on a chromosome.

Homozygous when a plant or animal have two identical genes at a single position on a chromosome.

Phenotype the appearance or other characteristics of an organism. A trait.

SNP- Single Nucleotide Polymorphism - A variant in the DNA coding sequence (A,T,C or G) at a single location. Each individual has many SNPs that create a unique pattern (polymorphism) for that individual.

Pollinating transfer of pollen (plant sex cells), from one part of a plant to another.

Protein a large molecule consisting of amino acids (see above)- it is essential to the diet of all animals.

Recessive when the gene is obscured in the phenotype of an offspring. A recessive gene is one that is expressed only when both copies of the gene are present.

RNA (ribonucleic acid) a single-stranded polynucleotide with four bases that are identical to those in DNA, except that the base uracil is substituted for thymine.

Trait characterisitc, feature.

Ultrasound are ultrasonic waves (a frequency of mechanical vibrations above the range audible to the human ear), used in medical diagnosis and therapy.

VNTR is Variable Number Tandem Repeat. It a small piece of DNA sequence that is repeated many times within the genome. The number of repeat units vary between individuals. 


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