mRNA (Messenger RNA): a ribonucleic acid molecule that
transmits genetic information from DNA to the protein synthesis
machinery in cells, where it directs protein synthesis.
Mutant: a cell or organism harboring one or more mutated
Mutation: a change in the base sequence of a gene that results
in it not performing its normal task in a cell.
Nucleotide: one of the structural components, or building
blocks, of DNA and RNA. A nucleotide consists of a base plus one
molecule of sugar and phosphoric acid.
Oncogenic: viruses, chemicals, genes, proteins, etc. that
cause the formation of tumors.
Pathogen: a disease-causing organism.
Pharmacogenomics: examination of the genetic basis for
variation in response to therapeutics by different individuals.
Pharming: the process of farming genetically engineered
animals and plants to produce drugs.
Placebo: a mock-treatment used in single-blind or double-blind
experiments to eliminate bias from experiment subjects or
Platform technology: a technique or tool that enables a range
of scientific investigations. Examples include combinatorial chemistry
for producing novel compounds, microarrays for gene expression analysis,
and bioinformatics programs for data assembly and analysis.
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR): a method to produce
sufficient DNA for analysis from a very small amount of DNA.
Prion: a naturally occurring protein that can be converted
into a disease-causing form. Prion diseases can be transmitted in the
absence of DNA or RNA.
Promoter: a DNA sequence preceding a gene that contains
regulatory sequences influencing the expression of the gene.
Proof of principle: demonstration of the commercial potential
of a discovery or invention.
Protein: a long-chain molecule consisting of amino acids that
folds into a complex three-dimensional structure. The type and order of
the amino acids in a protein is specified by the nucleotide sequence of
the gene that codes for the protein. The structure of a protein
determines its function.
Proteomics: the study of the protein profile of each cell
type, protein differences between healthy and diseased states, and the
function of and interaction among proteins.