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Biotechnology glossary.

Antibody A protein produced by cells in response to an antigen molecule. An antibody can cause an antigen to undergo change; this is the basis of the immune response.

Biocatalyst A catalyst derived from a life form that can cause chemical reactions without undergoing permanent change. Enzymes and fixed bacteria, in some cases, are biocatalysts.

Bioreactor A vessel used for biology based reactions. Examples are, fermentation tanks, enzyme columns, cell culture equipment.

Biosensor An analytical tool using either organisms or their products to detect specific analytes, such as, Salmonella, lactose, citric acid.

Biotechnology The use of living organisms, their parts, or their systems to manufacture useful products. Depending on context, more restrictive use of biotechnology may mean either:

a) the new biotechnology, characterized by DNA manipulation and cell culture, or

b) traditional biotechnology with a focus on fermentation, microorganisms, and enzymes.

Broth Contents of a fermenter, composed of a fluid, usually water, nutrients, substrate, and microorganisms.

Cell culture See Tissue culture.

Clone A cell or group of cells derived asexually from a single ancestral organism and therefore genetically identical.

DNA Deoxyribonucleic acid, a biopolymer molecule consisting of amino acid sequences and present in all living cells. The pattern of sequences contains hereditary information, genes. DNA acts as a blueprint and, through a complex set of known chemical steps, can reproduce itself.

DNA polymerases Enzymes that synthesize a new strand of DNA complimentary to an existing RNA molecule or DNA template.

DNA sequencing Determining the order of nucleotides in DNA.

Eukaryotic cell A cell with genetic material inside a well defined nucleus. Animals, plants, and yeasts are eukaryotic.

Expression The process of transmitting a gene and showing desired characteristics.

Fermentation The process of mass culture of microorganisms to produce useful products.

Gene A DNA segment that codes a specific functional characteristic.

Gene splicing The process of inserting a gene into a DNA molecule.

Gene cloning The process of inserting a gene into a vector which transports the gene into a host cell. Once within the host, the vector replicates itself and the transported gene. When the host cell reproduces, progeny cells contain vector molecules with the inserted gene.

Genetic engineering The process of manipulating genes and reproducing recombinant DNA.

Genome A complete set of genetic instructions for an organism.

Human growth A hormone needed for longitudinal skeletal hormone growth, a deficiency of which results in stunted development. Now in widespread use, the hormone is produced via recombinant DNA technology.

Hybridization The process of exchanging nuclear material between similar, but genetically different cells to produce offspring genetically distinct from either parent.

Hybridoma cell An antibody secreting cell line created by fusing an antibody secreting cell, lymphocyte plasma cell, with a malignant myeloma cell. The fusion results in an immortal hybridoma cell line secreting a single desired antibody.

Immortalized cells Malignant or hybridoma cells that can be subcultured indefinitely.

Ligases Enzymes that join DNA molecules together.

Messenger RNA m-RNA, an RNA molecule synthesized from DNA by the enzyme, RNA polymerase. Used in the process of DNA replication.

Monoclonal antibody A Mab, an antibody produced by a single clone of lymphocytes. Monoclonal antibodies respond to only one site on an antigert and do not cross-link causing precipitation. Mabs are produced by hybridomas.

Mutation A change in the DNA of an organism which changes inherited characteristics. The mutation can usually be propagated to future generations which are then mutants of the original strain.

Nucleic acids Refers to DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (ribonucleic acid) and related fragments.

Nucleotides Important building blocks of nucleic acids. Made up of three components: 1-phosphoric acid, 2-five carbon sugars (ribose or deoxyribose), and 3-a nitrogenous base, typically a derivative of either purine or pyridimine.

Procaryotic A cell whose genetic material is distributed throughout and not collected inside a nucleus. All bacteria are procaryotic.

RNA Ribonucleic acid. One of several nucleic acids normally present in cells. These acids perform various cell functions, including reading and transferring genetic instructions from DNA.

Recombinant cell A cell containing recombinant DNA.

Recombinant DNA r-DNA, a DNA molecule that has been opened and recombined with altered genetic instructions.

Site-directed Technique for producing a single change in amutagenesis DNA sequence to replace one amino acid by another in a gene product.

Tissue culture The process of aseptically growing living tissue isolated from a living organism, plant or animal, on a nutrient medium. Includes both organ culture, in which a chunk of organ is grown, and cell culture in which cells are dispersed or deposited as a monolayer on a surface.

Transgenic Describes the transfer of genetic material between different species, other than those used in traditional breeding. For example, a mule is not transgenic, but a horse with r-DNA containing donkey genes is transgenic.

Vector A DNA molecule used to introduce a fragment of ONA into a host cell. The vector can cause replication of the inserted DNA molecule.
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Title Annotation:Foods of Tomorrow
Publication:Food Processing
Article Type:Glossary
Date:Jan 1, 1993
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