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Biology Definitions

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G0 PhaseA cell that has exited the Cell Cycle Phase of growth and division is said to be in G0. After a cell exits the Mitosis (M) phase, it will go into G1 phase if (enough) growth factors are present, or else go into G0 phase if Growth Factors are not present. If the cell is exposed to Growth Factors, it may re-enter the G1 phase. G0 is known as a quiescent or resting phase.Cell Cycle Phases, G1 Phase, G0 Phase, Growth Factor
G1 PhaseOne of two "Gap" or Growth phases of the cell cycle. This phase occurs before the Synthesis Phase (when a second copy of the cell's DNA is made). Interphase includes the G1 phase (and G2 and Synthesis, but not Mitosis).Cell Cycle Phases, G2 Phase, Synthesis Phase
G2 PhaseOne of two "Gap" or Growth phases of the cell cycle. This phase occurs after the Synthesis Phase (when a second copy of the cell's DNA is made). Interphase includes the G2 phase (and G1 and Synthesis, but not Mitosis).Cell Cycle Phases, G1 Phase, Synthesis Phase
Gel ElectrophoresisA technique used by biochemists to separate molecules of DNA, RNA, or protein molecules by applying an electric field to a gel matrix for a period of time. The molecules all start at a given position, and then move different distances under the force of the electric field, depending on their charge and weight. The molecules' positions in the gel can then be measured and compared to each other. Gel Electrophoresis generally only works on sequences < 1000 base pairs (the separation between two sequences of n and n+1 monomers is ~ logarithm (n/n+1))Molecular Weight Standards
Gene FusionA genetic engineering technique that involves splicing together genes using a ligation reaction. For example, if you fuse the LacZ gene with a gene that has the Signal Sequence, the protein produced will be transported to the cell membrane instead of remaining in the Cytoplasm (the normal behaviour of the protein produced by LacZ).Genetics, Ligase, LacZ, Signal Sequence
Gene RegulationThe mechanisms which cells use to turn genes on or off (i.e. turn production of proteins on or off), or to increase or decrease the number of proteins produced by particular genes. Levels of Regulation include DNA Rearrangement (which is rare), Transcriptional Regulation (the most common form of gene regulation), Translational Regulation, and Post-Translational RegulationDNA Rearrangement, Transcriptional Regulation, Regulation of Translation, Translational Regulation, Lac Operon
Genetic Linkage AnalysisSince genes that are close together on a chromosome are more likely to be inherited together (and not undergo recombination from homologous chromosomes, as discovered by Sturtevant), a geneticist studying a pedigree for an individual can sometimes determine if the phenotype of interest (e.g. inheritance of Huntington's disease) is inherited with another genetic "marker" (sequence of nucleic acids that appear to be inherited by all affected family members).DNA Cloning, Genetic Mapping
Genetic MapA linear map that shows the order in which genes appear on a chromosome. Geneticists often use observed Recombination Rates to determine the locations of genes on a Genetic Map. In particular, they use the Frequency of Non-Parental types as the Recombination Rate. A low recombination rate (near 0%) means that the two genes are right next to each other on the chromosome. A recombination rate above 50% means that the two genes are probably on different chromosomes.Gene, Chromosome, Recombination Rate, Genetics, Chromosomal Theory of Inheritance
Genetic MarkerA DNA sequence that has a known position on a chromosome. If a DNA marker can be shown to have a high inheritance rate with a particular disease (or other phenotype), a scientist can assume that the genetic marker is near the gene which causes the disease. DNA markers are used because they are easy to track across populations. For example, a scientist can use a restriction enzyme to cut DNA and use gel electrophoresis to find the lengths of the DNA segments. By comparing the results of these "gels" (e.g. comparing the gels of diseased and non-diseased individuals), the scientist can quickly find "markers" that correlate with the disease. Using "Chromosomal Walking" the scientist can then find the nearby gene which causes the disease.Chromosomal Walking, Cloning by Position
Genetic RecombinationAn individual receives a copy of a particular homologous chromosome from each parent. The individual will pass only one of these two homologous chromosomes on to a given offspring. Generally, these chromosomes are passed on unchanged to the children. Sometimes, the two homologous chromosomes will exchange genetic material in a "crossover", resulting in a child which has a Non-Parental Type (the child's chromosome is not an exact copy of one of its parent's chromosome, but is instead a combination of both). This crossover of genetic material is called "Genetic Recombination".Chromosome, Genetic Map, Recombination Rate
GeneticsThe study of heredity. In contrast to a biochemist, who may focus on studying proteins, a geneticist often focuses on studying mutants, comparing them to "wild-type", and trying to determine if a phenotype is dominant or recessive.Biochemistry, Phenotype, Mutant, Wild-Type, Chromosome, Allele
GenomicsThe study of genomes of organisms, including the study of sequences of nucleotides, mapping of genes and non-coding sequences, regulatory sequences, polymorphisms, and comparison of genomes, both between individuals of a species and also between species. The merging of biology with information science. 
GenotypeThe genetic makeup of an organism. Often used to refer to a specific genetic allele which is responsible for specific observable trait (phenotype). A set of alleles which is responsible for a particular phenotype.Phenotype, Allele
GlioblastomaA common type of brain tumor caused by a mutation in the EGF receptor. The "ectodomain" (part of the transmembrane protein that extends outside of the cell) is truncated. The mutated receptors fire "grow and divide" signals into the cell constitutively. That is, their signals are unregulated, causing the cell to endlessly grow and divide, forming a tumor.Growth Factor, Cancer
GlutaraldehydeOHC(CH2)3CHO; a water-soluble, oily liquid, which is used by biologists to "fix a cell in its tracks", stopping all cell activity so that the locations of radio-active labeled proteins can be measured. For example, this technique can be used to study the path of a protein from the Endoplasmic Reticulum to the Golgi Apparatus to secretory vesicles.Protein, Pulse Label
Golgi ApparatusAn organelle found in most eukaryotic cells. It processes proteins after they have been released by the Endoplasmic Reticulum. The Golgi Apparatus helps modify and package these proteins for cell secretion, for use as trans-membrane proteins, or for use in other parts of the cell.Organelle, Vesicle, Eukaryotic Cells, Proteins, Endoplasmic Reticulum
Growth FactorA protein which one cell sends to another cell to indicate whether or not the receiving cell should continue through the cell cycle, growing and dividing into two cells. The Growth Factor (protein) acts as a ligand for the Growth Factor Receptor (also a protein).Cell Signal Cycling, Growth Factor Receptor
Growth Factor ReceptorReceptor on the surface of a cell (specifically, a trans-membrane protein) which can detect Growth Factors (proteins excreted by other cells) in the inter-cellular space. When the Growth Factor Receptor binds to a Growth Factor (protein) in the extra-cellular space, it then emits "signals" in the cytoplasm of the cell, indicating that it has encountered a growth factor. Note that mutations in a Growth Factor Receptor may cause a cell to start growing and divding autonomously, resulting in cancer.Growth Factor, Cell Cycle Signaling

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