Engineering Trouble: Biotechnology and Its Discontents

By Rachel A. Schurman; Dennis Doyle Takahashi Kelso | Go to book overview

GLOSSARY

We use most terms in their common, dictionary senses. However, some issues require a more specialized vocabulary. This glossary provides basic definitions of terms that are used in this book's chapters or that may be useful in understanding the concepts presented. Except as otherwise indicated, the definitions are taken or adapted from the Scientists' Working Group on Biosafety's Manual for Assessing Ecological and Human Health Effects of Genetically Engineered Organisms (Part I) (1998) and from The Language of Biotechnology: A Dictionary of Terms, by John M. Walker and Michael Cox (1995).

Antibody A protein that is synthesized by plasma cells in response to invasion by an antigen and that confers immunity against subsequent invasions by the same antigen.

Antigen A molecule that stimulates production of neutralizing antibody proteins when introduced into a vertebrate animal.

Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) A bacterium that occurs naturally on plants and in soil (“Bacteria” 2002). Different Bt varieties produce proteins that are toxic to specific insect groups.

Diploid (see Ploidy).

DNA sequencing Determination of the order of nucleotides in a sample of DNA.

Gene flow The exchange and movement of genes within and between populations and species.

Gene introgression Incorporation of a gene into the gene pool of a population.

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