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Glossary


Terms in glossary: 42.

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antibiotic
Etymology: anti = against, biotic = life. A drug used to treat infections caused by bacteria and other microorganisms. Originally, an antibiotic was a substance produced by one microorganism that selectively inhibits the growth of another. Synthetic antibiotics, usually chemically related to natural antibiotics, have since been produced that accomplish comparable tasks. In 1926, Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, a substance produced by fungi that appeared able to inhibit bacterial growth. In 1939, Edward Chain and Howard Florey further studied penicillin and later carried out trials of penicillin on humans (with what were deemed fatal bacterial infections). Fleming, Florey and Chain shared the Nobel Prize in 1945 for their work which ushered in the era of antibiotics. Another antibiotic, for example, is tetracycline (brand names: Achromycin and Sumycin), a broad-spectrum agent effective against a wide variety of bacteria including Hemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydia psittaci, Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoea, and many others. The first drug of the tetracycline family, chlortetracycline, was introduced in 1948.
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arthritis
Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints, which results in pain, swelling, stiffness, and limited movement. There are over 100 different types of arthritis. Arthritis involves the breakdown of cartilage. Cartilage normally protects the joint, allowing for smooth movement. Cartilage also absorbs shock when pressure is placed on the joint, like when you walk. Without the usual amount of cartilage, the bones rub together, causing pain, swelling (inflammation), and stiffness.
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bile salt
Bile acids are steroid acids found predominantly in the bile of mammals. Bile salts are bile acids conjugated to glycine or taurine. In humans, taurocholic acid and glycocholic acid (derivatives of cholic acid) represent approximately eighty percent of all bile salts. The two major bile acids are cholic acid, and chenodeoxycholic acid. Bile acids, glycine and taurine conjugates, and 7-alpha-dehydroxylated derivatives (deoxycholic acid and lithocholic acid) are all found in human intestinal bile. An increase in bile flow is exhibited with an increased secretion of bile acids. The main function of bile acid is to facilitate the formation of micelles, which promotes processing of dietary fat.
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Celiac disease
Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disease that damages the villi of the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. To learn more about celiac disease, symptoms and diagnosis, visit: http://www.celiaccentral.org/Celiac-Disease/21/
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colitis
Colitis is inflammation of the inner lining of the colon and is associated with diarrhea, pain, and blood in the stool. There are numerous reasons for the colon to become inflamed including: infection, loss of blood supply to the colon, inflammatory bowel disease, invasion of the colon wall with collagen or lymphocytic white blood cells.
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commensal organisms
Living in a relationship in which one organism derives food or other benefits from another organism without hurting or helping it. For example, commensal bacteria are part of the normal flora in the mouth, and digestive system.
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Cytokine
From Medterms.com: A small protein released by cells that has a specific effect on the interactions between cells, on communications between cells or on the behavior of cells. The cytokines includes the interleukins, lymphokines and cell signal molecules, such as tumor necrosis factor and the interferons, which trigger inflammation and respond to infections.
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Dysentery
From Wikipedia.org: Dysentery (formerly known as flux or the bloody flux) is an inflammatory disorder of the intestine, especially of the colon, that results in severe diarrhea containing mucus and/or blood in the feces with fever and abdominal pain. If left untreated, dysentery can be fatal.
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ergosterol
Ergosterol is a sterol present in the cell membrane of fungi, where it serves a role similar to cholesterol in animal cells.
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eukaryote
Any of the single-celled or multicellular organisms whose cell contains a distinct, membrane-bound nucleus. Organisms such as animals, plants, fungi, and protists are examples of eukaryotes because their cells are organized into compartmentalized structures called organelles, the nucleus in particular. The presence of a distinct nucleus encased within membranes differentiates the eukaryotes from the prokaryotes. The eukaryotes are also known for having cytoplasmic organelles apart from nucleus, such as mitochondria, chloroplasts and Golgi bodies. Eukaryotes often have unique flagella made of microtubules in a 9+2 arrangement. Word origin: Greek eu- (good-, well-, true) + káry(on) (nut, kernel).
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fungus
Any of numerous eukaryotic organisms of the kingdom Fungi, which lack chlorophyll and vascular tissue and range in form from a single cell to a body mass of branched filamentous hyphae that often produce specialized fruiting bodies. The kingdom includes the yeasts, molds, smuts, and mushrooms.
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germ tube
A young hypha growing out of a yeast cell or spore, the beginning of a mycelium; also used as a rapid test for differentiating Candida albicans from other Candida species.
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Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM)
GDM, or carbohydrate intolerance, is first diagnosed during pregnancy through an oral glucose tolerance test. Between 5.5 and 8.8% of pregnant women develop GDM in Australia. Risk factors for GDM include a family history of diabetes, increasing maternal age, obesity and being a member of a community or ethnic group with a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. While the carbohydrate intolerance usually returns to normal after the birth, the mother has a significant risk of developing permanent diabetes while the baby is more likely to develop obesity and impaired glucose tolerance and/or diabetes later in life. Self-care and dietary changes are essential in treatment.
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Granulocyte
Granulocytes are a category of white blood cells characterized by the presence of granules in their cytoplasm.[1] They are also called polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN or PML) because of the varying shapes of the nucleus, which is usually lobed into three segments. In common parlance, the term polymorphonuclear leukocyte often refers specifically to neutrophil granulocytes,[2] the most abundant of the granulocytes. Granulocytes or PMN are released from the bone marrow by the regulatory complement proteins. - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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gut flora
Gut flora consists of microorganisms that live in the digestive tracts of animals, and is the largest reservoir of human flora. "Gut" (the adjective) is synonymous with intestinal and "flora" with microbiota and microflora. The human body, consisting of about 10,000,000,000,000 or about ten trillion cells, carries about ten times as many microorganisms in the intestines. The metabolic activities performed by these bacteria resemble those of an organ, leading some to liken gut bacteria to a "forgotten" organ. Bacteria make up most of the flora in the colon and 60% of the dry mass of feces. Somewhere between 300 and 1000 different species live in the gut, with most estimates at about 500. Fungi and protozoa also make up a part of the gut flora, but less is known about their activities. Research suggests that the relationship between gut flora and humans is not merely commensal (a non-harmful coexistence), but rather is a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship.
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Homeostasis
is the property of a system, either open or closed, that regulates its internal environment and tends to maintain a stable, constant condition. Much disease results from disturbance of homeostasis, a condition known as homeostatic imbalance.
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Hospital-Acquired Infection
Nosocomial infections are infections which are a result of treatment in a hospital or a healthcare service unit, but secondary to the patient's original condition. Infections are considered nosocomial if they first appear 48 hours or more after hospital admission or within 30 days after discharge. Nosocomial comes from the Greek word nosokomeion meaning hospital (nosos = disease, komeo = to take care of). This type of infection is also known as a hospital-acquired infection (or more generically healthcare-associated infection). Nosocomial infections are estimated to more than double the mortality and morbidity risks of any admitted patient and probably result in as many as 70,000 deaths per year in the United States. This is the equivalent of 350,000 years of life lost in the United States.
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hypertension
Hypertension is the term used to describe high blood pressure. Blood pressure measurements are the result of the force of the blood produced by the heart and the size and condition of the arteries. Many factors can affect blood pressure, including: * How much water and salt you have in your body * The condition of your kidneys, nervous system, or blood vessels * The levels of different body hormones High blood pressure can affect all types of people. You have a higher risk of high blood pressure if you have a family history of the disease. High blood pressure is more common in African Americans than Caucasians. Smoking, obesity, and diabetes are all risk factors for hypertension.
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hypha
A long, slender, usually branched filament of fungal mycelium. Branching filamentous outgrowths produced by some bacteria, sometimes forming a mycelium.
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immunocompromised
Incapable of developing a normal immune response, usually as a result of disease, malnutrition, or immunosuppressive therapy.
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immunosuppression
Suppression of the immune system. Immunosuppression may result from certain diseases such as AIDS or lymphoma or from certain drugs such as some of those used to treat cancer. Immunosuppression may also be deliberately induced with drugs, as in preparation for bone marrow or other organ transplantation to prevent the rejection of the transplant.
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In vitro
Literally in glass, as in a test tube. A test that is performed in vitro is one that is done in glass or plastic vessels in the laboratory. In vitro is the opposite of in vivo (in a living organism).
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In vivo
In vivo (Latin for "within the living") is experimentation using a whole, living organism as opposed to a partial or dead organism, or an in vitro controlled environment. Animal testing and clinical trials are two forms of in vivo research. In vivo testing is often employed over in vitro because it is better suited for observing the overall effects of an experiment on a living subject. This is often described by the maxim "in vivo veritas".
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lipase
This digestive enzyme is responsible for breaking down lipids (fats), in particular triglycerides, which come from fat in the diet. Once broken down into smaller components, triglycerides are more easily absorbed in the intestines. Lipase is primarily produced in the pancreas but is also produced in the mouth and stomach. Most people produce sufficient amounts of pancreatic lipase.
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macrophage
An immune cell found all over the body. Macrophages act as scavengers that engulf dead cells, foreign substances, and other debris.
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