Allele: one of any pair of alternative hereditary characters; many genes can exist in two (or sometimes more) forms at a locus (i.e. position on a chromosome), each of which is an allele. See also polymorphism.
Allergen: a substance that induces allergy.
Amniocentesis: procedure in which a sample of amniotic fluid is withdrawn from a pregnant woman's womb. Cells in the fluid are then tested for chromosomal or genetic abnormalities.
Amniocytes: cells in the amniotic fluid.
Androgynous: having sex organs of both female and male.
Andrology: the study of male reproduction.
Annelids: invertebrate phylum of segmented worms.
Antihelminthic (drugs): drugs toxic to parasitic flat worms.
Apomixis: the formation, without fertilisation, of seeds that contain viable embryos.
Arthropods: phylum of jointed legged invertebrates.
Asthenospermia: abnormally formed spermatozoa.
Autosome: typical, i.e. non-sex, chromosome.
Azoospermia: total lack of spermatozoa in the seminal fluid.
Back-cross: to mate a hybrid to one of the parental stocks; a hybrid resulting from such a mating.
Biodiversity: the range of living organisms in a particular habitat, community or biosphere.
Bioethics: the ethics related to biology and medicine and to medical and biological research, or the informing of ethics by biological knowledge.
Bioinformatics: study of biological systems using the tools of information technology.
Blastocyst: a mammalian embryo at around the time of implantation when it forms a hollow ball of cells.
Blastomere: undifferentiated cell of an embryo during the early cleavage stage.
Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, 'mad cow disease'): a degenerative disease of the central nervous system of cattle, which is thought to be transmissible to humans; related to Creutzfeldt–Jakob Disease.
Carbon dioxide sink: an organism, community or ecosystem that takes up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Carcinogen: substance that induces the formation of malignant tumours.
Cardiomyocytes: heart muscle cells.
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Publication information: Book title: Bioethics for Scientists. Contributors: John Bryant - Editor, Linda Baggott La Velle - Editor, John Searle - Editor. Publisher: Wiley. Place of publication: Chichester, England. Publication year: 2002. Page number: 331.
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