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Glossary of Technical
Terms - A to C

Many words and phrases used within the MoreLife and SelfSIP websites are technical scientific terms not commonly understood, are ones which have had their meanings distorted or usurped by persons biased towards certain philosophical viewpoints or are ones that we have not found to be used in English, again at least partly because of the incomplete or inconsistent philosophical basis for much of the vernacular language. Our definitions for the distorted and usurped words and phrases are an attempt to return to their consistent and unambiguous root meanings. We have coined and used those of the third class because we think they are highly descriptive and valuable to illustrate a more complete and consistent approach to the reality of human relationships.
Within any paragraph or section of text, the first usage of either type of word or phrase (technical, distorted or coined) is linked to its definition/explanation within this glossary or elsewhere.

Most of the locally defined terms in this glossary are ones that have significant and particular application to human life expansion. Many of them have one or more technical meanings within the sciences related to life expansion that are different from that of the common usage, or even within other sciences. In such cases, we have chosen to include only the meaning(s) relevant to the subject(s) covered within MoreLife. In constructing our definitions we wish to acknowledge the value of these references.

In order to prevent unnecessary duplication, we have selected several excellent sources for external definitions. However, since our usage of some terms is quite specialized and we wish to emphasize certain parts of their meanings, we often locally define terms from these dictionaries within this glossary. In addition, because many anatomical parts and various specific diseases may be of interest to the reader, links to well presented glossary information on other websites have been provided.

Term Index

Browse: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


acetic acid
The acyl group ethanol, CH3CO-, derived from acetic (ethanoic) acid, CH3COOH, one of the class of carboxylic acids.
Acetylation is the process of introduction of an acetyl group into an organic compound by substitution for a hydrogen atom.
acute (of a disease) Beginning abruptly with marked intensity or sharpness, then subsiding after a relatively short period of time. Compare chronic.
acute-phase protein Any of the non-antibody proteins that show raised plasma concentrations soon after the onset of infection or tissue injury in homoiothermic animals. They include complement proteins, C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, and other coagulation proteins, and interferon.
acyl group Generic name for any group formally derived by removal of a hydroxyl group from a carboxylic acid.

Any new chemical species, AB, formed by direct combination of two separate chemical species, A and B, in such a way that there is no change in connectivity of atoms within the moieties A and B. This term is preferred to complex which is less explicit and often employed where the explicit nature of the interaction between A and B is uncertain, or the binding of A and B is weaker than that of covalent bonds.
adrenal gland

adrenal medulla
adrenal cortex
Either of two secretory organs perched atop the kidneys, each of which consists of two parts having independent functions:
1) the adrenal medulla secretes epinephrine and norepinephrine produced through several conversion steps from the amino acid tyrosine;
2) the adrenal cortex secretes 3 classes of steroid hormones (glucocorticoids, mineralocorticoids, androgens) produced through various pathways from cholesterol

Describing a nerve or other cell, or cell receptor (adrenoreceptor) that is activated by epinephrine, norepinephrine, or an epinephrine-like substance. Also describes a nerve which releases such substances from its nerve ending. Compare cholinergic.
1) an (adrenergic) nerve cell that itself liberates noradrenaline (ie. norepinephrine);
2) a cell or receptor that is stimulated preferentially by norepinephrine.

ageing (Br.)
Describes the entire set of changes to a physical object or organism which take place during a period of time which is significant to human lives. Some changes which occur during human aging can be positive (partly depending on one's values), but many of them are debilitating of health parameters, and lessening of abilities. We at MoreLife view these last as being objectively negative with respect to the functionality of the whole human organism. Moreover, we consider all such negative changes to be symptoms of a disease which we also call aging, recognizing that this is a separate meaning. We think this reasonably can, and should, be included within the currently accepted definition of disease by including the "passage of time" as one of the current causal factors of "environmental" disease.
Aging should be clearly distinguished from merely "becoming older". While at the current state of science, the disease of aging appears to be an inexorable result of the passage of time, there is no logical reason why this must forever be the case. We look forward to a time in the future when "becoming older" means, at the least, increasing one's knowledge, wisdom, total life experience and happiness, with no concomitant decrease in any functions of the body or mind.
agonist Any ligand, especially a drug or hormone, that binds to receptors and thereby alters the proportion of them that are in an active form, resulting in a biological response.
alcohol Any of a subclass of alkyl compounds containing a hydroxyl group.
aliphatic Describing organic compounds in which the carbon atoms form open (noncyclic) chains.
alkaloid Any member of a broad group of nitrogen-containing organic compounds with a basic (alkaline) pH which are produced by plants. Alkaloids include many pharmacologically active substances such as atropine, caffeine, cocaine, morphine, nicotine, and quinine. The term also may be applied to synthetic chemicals, such as procaine, that are similar to their respective alkaloid substances found in plants.
alkane Any saturated aliphatic hydrocarbon compound.

Any group derived from an alkane by the removal of one hydrogen atom. Alkyl groups are often designated by the symbol R.
Alkylation is the process of replacing a hydrogen atom in a compound by an alkyl group.
alopecia Partial or complete lack of hair resulting from aging, endocrine disorder (Some examples include diabetes, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, hyperparathyroidism, Cushing's Disease, Cushing's Syndrome, and acromegaly.), drug reaction, anticancer medication, or skin disease.
Amadori rearrangement

An acid- or base-catalyzed chemical rearrangement reaction in which an N-substituted aldosylamine (an unstable initial reaction product in the condensation of an amino acid) is converted into the corresponding N-substituted 1-amino-1-deoxy-2-ketose. It occurs, e.g., in the Maillard reaction, in the reaction of carbohydrates with phenylhydrazine, in the formation of hemoglobin A1C, and in a step in tryptophan biosynthesis.

Any compound containing one, two, or three acyl groups attached to a nitrogen atom. An amide may be derived formally or actually by condensation of an oxy acid with ammonia or a primary or secondary amine. Amides derived from carbon may be termed carboxamides.
amine Any organic compound that is weakly basic in character and contains an amino or substituted amino group. Amines are called primary, secondary, or tertiary according to whether one, two, or three carbons atoms are attached to the nitrogen atom.
amino acid An organic compound composed of one or more amino groups and one or more carboxyl groups. Only 20 of the more than 300 amino acids that occur in nature are specifiable by the genetic code and are, therefore, the building blocks of all peptides, polypeptides, and proteins which are produced by lifeforms. All of these 20 have a specialized structure referred to as L-. Only 9 of them (histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine) are essential in the human diet, but several others are conditionally essential. There are single and three letter codes for the 20 L- amino acids which occur in nature. Finally, there are other amino acids in the human body which are not L- amino acids, and which are not essential, but are conditionally essential. Taurine and carnitine are examples of these.
(Amino acid structure diagrams) (Amino Acid Repository)
amino group

The chemical group -NH2 in an organic molecule. It is basic (alkaline) in character and formally derived by the removal of a hydrogen atom from ammonia (NH3).
Pertaining to, involving, or exhibiting anabolism, that part of metabolism in which less complex molecules are transformed into more complex ones, as in growth and other biosynthetic processes. Such processes almost always require energy input. Compare with catabolic.
analog (analogue, Br.) A drug or other compound that resembles another in structure or constituents but has different effects.
androgen Any substance, natural or synthetic, that is able to stimulate the development of male sexual characteristics.
anecdotal Pertaining to knowledge based on isolated, single-subject, uncontrolled observations and not yet verified by scientific studies.
anemia Any condition in which the blood has an abnormally low number of red cells (ie erythrocytes) or hemoglobin content, or is deficient in total volume.
angiogenesis The formation of blood vessels, whether during embryogenesis, tissue repair, or invasive growth of tumors.
angiotensin A polypeptide occurring in the blood causing vasoconstriction, increased blood pressure, and the release of aldosterone from the adrenal cortex.
anhydride A derivative of a substance that yields the substance when combined chemically with water.
anorexia Lack or loss of appetite, resulting in the inability to eat. The condition may result from poorly prepared or unattractive food or surroundings, unfavorable company, or various psychologic causes. - anorexic, anorectic, adj.
antagonist Any agent, especially a drug or hormone, that reduces the action of another agent, the agonist. Many act at the same receptor as the agonist.
anthocyanidin Any member of a group of water-insoluble red, blue, or violet polyhydroxylated flavan compounds that occur as glycosides - anthocyanins - in plants. They comprise one class of the widespread group of flavonoids.
anthocyanin Any member of a group of intensely coloured soluble glycosides of anthocyanidins that occur in plants. They are responsible for most of the scarlet, purple, mauve, and blue coloring in higher plants, especially of flowers.

Any glycoprotein of the immunoglobulin family, essential to the immune system, produced by lymphoid tissue in response to bacteria, viruses, or other antigenic substances. An antibody is specific to an antigen. Each class of antibody is named for its action. Among the many antibodies are agglutinins, bacteriolysins (any antibody that with complement, kills bacteria against which it is active), opsonins, and precipitin.
anticoagulant Of or pertaining to a substance that prevents or delays coagulation of the blood.

antigen-presenting cell
A substance, usually a protein, that causes the formation of an antibody and reacts specifically with that antibody. - antigenic, adj.
antigen-presenting cell, a cell, especially a macrophage or dendritic cell, that recognizes an antigen to get targeted for neutralization. It takes up the antigen and processes it, incorporating antigen fragments into its own membrane and presenting them in association with class II major histocompatibility complex molecules to T-lymphocytes, which are then stimulated to mount a response.
antiinflammatory Of or pertaining to a substance or procedure that counteracts or reduces inflammation.

Any substance which inhibits or retards oxidation or reactions brought about by dioxygen or peroxides, of a substance to which it is added. Usually the antioxidant is effective because it can itself be more easily oxidized that the substance protected. The term is often applied to molecules which can trap free radicals, such as -tocopherol, thereby breaking the chain reaction that normally leads to extensive biological damage. The method by which the free radical scavenger is discharged of its free radical (becomes recycled and again available to scavenge), or itself becomes a potent free radical varies greatly both with respect to the antioxidant involved and even its biochemical environment. Examples include butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), which are added to foods containing fats or oils to prevent oxygen from combining with the fat molecules, thereby causing them to become rancid.
apolipoprotein The protein component of any lipoprotein, but especially of plasma lipoproteins. Their nomenclature include a classification into types and sub-types, for example ApoA-I - the major protein of plasma high-density lipoprotein (HDL), also found in chylomicrons.
apoptosis A term used broadly to encompass all forms of cell death. Such cell death may be pathological or normal and desirable even including those processes involving morphological changes such as occur in normal development.
aromatic Describing any organic compound characterized by one or more planar rings, each of which contains (usually) three conjugated double bonds and (4n+2) delocalized pi-electrons, where n is the number of conjugated rings, usually a small integer. The conjugated rings undergo substitution reactions more readily than addition reactions. The simplest member of the class is benzene. The term was originally used to distinguish fragrant compounds from aliphatic compounds.
Any deviation from the normal, optimally healthy pattern of the heartbeat.
+ase Combining suffix denoting an enzyme; it is generally attached to a root indicating the substrate and/or the nature of the reaction catalysed.
assay The determination of the activity, potency, strength, etc. of a substance either on an absolute basis or in comparison with that of a standard preparation.
assimilation The process of incorporating nutrients into living tissue; the end stage of the nutrition process, after digestion and absorption or occurring simultaneously with absorption, all of which are part of metabolism.

A common arterial disease characterized by yellowish plaques composed of cholesterol, lipids, and cellular debris in the inner layers of the walls of large and medium-sized arteries. With the formation of the plaques, the vessel walls become thick, fibrotic, and calcified, and the lumen narrows, resulting in reduced circulation in organs and areas normally supplied by the artery.

Abbreviation for adenosine 5'-triphosphate, the energy "currency" of the cell. ATP is converted to ADP (andenosine 5'-diphosphate) in releasing its energy and then ADP is recycled back to ATP mostly in the mitochondria.
atrial fibrillation

The cardiac atrium is the upper chamber of each half of the heart, and atrial fibrillation is a heart condition marked by rapid and arrhythmic contractions of the atria, which causes the lower chambers (ventricles) to beat irregularly at a rate of 130 to 150 per minute.
A wasting (unhealthy loss) or diminution of size or physiologic activity of a part of the body because of disease or other influences.
Attention Deficit Disorder
A syndrome affecting children, adolescents, and rarely, adults characterized by learning and behavior disabilities. ADD is classified by the American Psychiatric Association as a mental disorder (i.e., a psychological problem or syndrome), not a medical disease, but there may be instances of it where neurotransmitter deficiencies are partially causal. A psychological syndrome results from deeply held but mistaken beliefs or habits. Although a genuine problem, it is potentially under one's control by actively identifying and changing these beliefs or habits. A medical disease is curable by medication, surgery, or other external treatments including nutrition, exercise, and rest. Since the mind and the body are inseparable interactive parts, such a distinction is always artificial and a unified approach is often useful for both psychological syndromes and medical diseases. Because of the great increase of ADD in modern times there is much contention about whether it is predominantly psychological or medical, however, ADD may be one disease where elements of both treatments are sometimes necessary. Here is more on the psychological approach to ADD.
autocrine Describing an agent that acts on the cell in which it is produced.
autoimmune Pertaining to the development of an immune response (autoantibodies or cellular immune response) to one's own tissues.


Benign Prostatic
Hypertrophy (BPH)
Enlargement of the prostate gland, common among men after the age of 50. The condition is not malignant or inflammatory, but is usually progressive and may lead to obstruction of the urethra and to interference with the flow of urine.
benzene Benzene is the simplest of the aromatic compounds. It consists of a hexagonal carbocyclic ring, C6H6, having delocalized pi-electrons.


1) combining form meaning two, twice, or double; also bis+ and di+.
2) prefix (in organic chemical nomenclature) indicating two identical groups or rings joined by a link; eg. biacetyl, biphenyl.
3) prefix (in inorganic chemical nomenclature) signifying an acid salt of a dibasic acid; eg. sodium bicarbonate (though now more correctly termed sodium hydrogencarbonate).
4) (in enzymology) denoting two kinetically important substrates and/or products of an enzymic reaction.
Additional bis+: (in chemical nomenclature)
a) indicating the presence in a molecule of two identical organic groups each substituted in the same way, eg. bis(2-chloroethyl)sulfide; (distinguish from) di+ indicating the presence in a molecule of two identical unsubstituted groups, eg. diethylsulfide, 1,3-dihydroxyacetone.
b) indicating the presence in a molecule of two separate inorganic oxoacid residues, eg. fructose 1,6-bisphosphate (formerly known as fructose 1,6-diphosphate); (distinguish from) di+ indicating the presence in a molecule of two identical oxoacid residues in anhydride linkage, eg. adenosine 5'-diphosphate.

biliary tract
A bitter, yellow-green secretion of the liver. Stored in the gallbladder, bile receives its color from the presence of bile pigments, such as bilirubin. Bile passes through the biliary tract (the gallbladder and the common bile duct) into the duodenum in response to the presence of a fatty meal. Bile emulsifies these fats, preparing them for further digestion and absorption in the small intestine. Any interference in the flow of bile will result in the presence of unabsorbed fat in the feces and in jaundice (due to the retention of the bile pigments). Since cholesterol is a major component of the bile, the binding of bile acids to dietary fiber in the duodenum and its elimination via the feces can have major benefit in lowering blood cholesterol.
bio+ Comb. form denoting life or living organisms, or systems derived from them.
bioavailability 1) The proportion of the dose of a drug or nutrient reaching the systemic circulation;
2) the rate and extent to which the putatively effective moiety of a drug or nutrient is absorbed and becomes available to the site under consideration.
biological chemistry
Or biological chemistry; the branch of science dealing with the chemical compounds, reactions, and other processes that occur in living organisms.
bioflavonoid A generic term for any of a group of colored flavones found in many fruits and essential for the absorption and metabolism of ascorbic acid. The bioflavonoids are needed for the maintenance of collagen and of the capillary walls, and may aid in protection against infection.

A major affective (related to outward manifestation of a person's feelings or emotions) disorder characterized by episodes of mania (mood disorder characterized by expansive emotional state and extreme excitation) and depression (an abnormal emotional state characterized by exaggerated feelings of sadness, melancholy, dejection etc. inappropriate and out of proportion to reality). One or the other phase may be predominant at any given time, one phase may appear alternately with the other, or elements of both phases may be present simultaneously. Causes of the disorder are multiple and complex, often involving biologic, psychologic, interpersonal, and social and cultural factors.
blood-brain barrier
The semipermeable membranous barrier that regulates the passage of dissolved materials from the blood into the cerebrospinal fluid that bathes the brain and spinal cord. In a similar manner to that of the cell membrane, the transport of chemicals through this barrier is active, passive or largely forbidden depending on the chemical involved.
blood pressure (B/P)

systole, systolic
diastole, diastolic
The pressure exerted by the circulating volume of blood on the walls of the arteries, the veins, and the chambers of the heart. Overall blood pressure is maintained by the complex interaction of the homeostatic mechanisms of the body, moderated by the volume of the blood, the lumen (diameter) of the arteries and arterioles, and the force of the cardiac contractions. Systolic blood pressure is the higher of the two measurements and is the blood pressure measured during the period of ventricular contraction (systole); normal value is below 140 mmHg (mercury). Diastolic blood pressure is the lower of the two measurements and is the blood pressure at the instant of maximum cardiac relaxation (diastole); normal value is below 85 mmHg.
The alkyl group, CH3[CH2]2CH2-, derived from butane, CH3[CH2]2CH3.
butyric acid
The acyl group, CH3[CH2]2CO-, derived from butyric (butanoic) acid, CH3[CH2]2COOH.



kilogram calorie
The calorie used in physics is the Gram Calorie: the unit of heat or energy in the CGS system. One gramcalorie is the quantity of heat required to raise one gram of water through one degree centigrade (i.e. Celsius) at standard temperature and pressure (atmospheric). However, this unit is far too small to be of value in much of biology (especially nutrition). Therefore, so that typical calorie amounts can be expressed by smaller numbers, the term calorie, in nutrition, has become equal to the kilogram calorie (kilocalorie) of physics (the heat needed to raise 1 kg by one degree Celsius). This can sometimes cause confusion, but because of the difference of three orders of magnitude, it should usually be clear from the context of an article which calorie is meant. Normally, on this website calorie is used to mean kilocalorie.
Calorie Restriction (CR) Significant reduction of calorie intake, typically 15-30%, while maintaining adequate or optimal nutrition for purposes of improved health and extended life. More; (However, Important Note: As of Dec 18, 2002, the CR Society has become a 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt organization; therefore we no longer encourage individuals to join and support it.)
candida A genus of yeast-like fungi including the common pathogen, Candida albicans.
capillary (blood)
Any of the very fine blood vessels that form a network between the arterioles and the venules (minute arteries and veins leading to and from the capillaries from the arteries and to the veins respectively) throughout the body.
carbohydrate Any of a group of organic compounds based on the general formula Cx(H2O)y; the most important being sugar, starch, cellulose, and gum. They are classified according to molecular structure as mono-, di-, tri-, poly-, hetero-saccharides and usually are extended to include their derivatives and sometimes, the cyclitols. Diets in the Western world consist approximately half of calories from carbohydrates; those in the developing countries derive most of their calories from carbohydrates. In the USDA Food Pyramid, carbohydrates constitute the main source of energy for all body functions but it is questionable that dietary inclusion of carbohydrates is essential for humans.
Note: MoreLife presents a great deal of evidence to the effect that a large intake of carbohydrates (especially in forms that are quickly absorbed, such as pure sugars and refined grains) is not only unessential but is harmful for human health and longevity.
carbonyl group

aldehyde, ketone
The chemical group C=O (often written CO) in an organic molecule. It is the characteristic group of aldehydes (H-CO-R) and ketones (R-CO-R'), and a subgroup of carboxylic acids.
carboxyl group

carboxylic acid


The chemical group COOH (CO-OH) in an organic molecule. One oxygen atom is double bonded to the carbon (ie forming a carbonyl group) while the other is single bonded (forming a hydroxyl group). This group is acidic in character and compounds of the general form R-COOH, are called carboxylic acids.
Carboxylation - the process of adding carbon dioxide (CO2) to an organic compound by the formation of a carboxyl group from a hydrogen atom. Any catalytic enzyme involved is called a carboxylase.
Any agent that directly or indirectly induces the transformation of a normal cell into a neoplastic cell. Such agents include various substances of small relative molecular weight (often termed chemical carcinogens), oncogenic viruses, ionizing radiations, and ultraviolet light.
Carcinogenicity - The measure or extent of the potency of a carcinogen.

Any disease that affects the myocardium (heart muscle), such as alcoholic cardiomyopathy.
cardiovascular Of or pertaining to the heart and blood vessels.
carnosine A non-alpha carbon dipeptide composed of beta-alanine and L-histidine. It, as well as others such as anserine, is found in several tissues most notably in muscle where together they represent an appreciable fraction of the total water-soluble nitrogen-containing compounds. The biological role of these dipeptides are conjectural but they are believed to act as cytosolic buffering agents (ie. promote pH constancy of the fluid portion of the cytoplasm). Carnosine is also thought to be important as a storage form of the important amino acid L-histidine. Here is an abstract of one of the early review papers that prompted much later research.

isoprene residue
Any of a group of naturally occuring tetraterpenes that are widely distributed in plants and animals but only synthesized by higher plants, algae, fungi, and bacteria. They may be represented formally as consisting of eight isoprene (ip) residues (-CH2-C(CH3)=CH-CH2-) and formed by joining tail to tail, two units each comprising four ip residues joined head to tail: ip-ip-ip-ip-pi-pi-pi-pi. There are two groups of carotenoids: carotenes, which are hydrocarbons, and xanthophylls, which contain oxygen in various forms. They occur in all photosynthetic tissues, where they function as protectors against photosensitization and as antenna pigments in photosynthesis.
cartilage A tough, elastic type of connective tissue, found in most vertebrates. It is a major component of the embryonic skeleton, but in higher vertebrates it is mostly converted to bone during development. In adult humans, it is largely confined to the ears, nose, trachea, the anterior ends of the ribs, and the articular surfaces of bones. Cartilage consist of a firm resilient matrix, formed by chondroblasts, and composed of glycosaminoglycans including chondroitin sulfate A and C, hyaluronic acid, and keratosulfate II, together with varying amounts of collagen.
CAS Registry Number

CA Index Name
The Chemical Abstracts Service is an organizational subdivision of the American Chemical Society which has assigned unique well-formed names and registry numbers to all known physically distinct pure chemicals. These numbers take the form of three numbers each containing 1-4 digits, with each set of numbers separated by a dash, as: nnnn-nn-nnn. The CAS thus functions as a (non-governmental) chemical standards organization with many data base services available for which it charges fees.
Pertaining to, involving, or exhibiting catabolism - any metabolic process involving the breakdown of complex substances into smaller products, including the breakdown of organic compounds with the liberation of energy for use by the cell or organism. Carbon dioxide and water are produced, as well as energy. Compare with anabolic.

catalyze (catalyse, Br)
Any substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction but is itself unchanged at the end of the reaction. Catalysts are usually present in very low concentrations relative to those of the substances whose reaction they are catalysing. Catalytic, pertaining to a catalyst. Catalysis, an increase in the rate of a chemical reaction brought about by a catalyst. Catalyze (or catalyse) to influence a reaction through catalysis.




The basic structural unit of all living organisms; it typically comprises a small, usually microscopic, discrete mass of organelle-containing cytoplasm, bounded externally by a membrane. Each cell is capable of interacting with other cells and performing all the fundamental functions of life. A eukaryote is a cell which contains one or more nucleus. Within the nucleus are the nucleolus (containing RNA and protein whose purpose is transcription of DNA into ribonucleoprotein precursors) and chromatin granules (containing protein and DNA) that develop during mitosis or meiosis into chromosomes, the determinants of hereditary characteristics. Organelles within the cytoplasm include the endoplasmic reticulum, ribosomes, Golgi complex (apparatus), mitochondria, lysosomes, and centrosome. The cytosol is the liquid medium within the cellular membrane and outside of the nucleus and organelles. Prokaryotes are cells in which the genomic DNA is not enclosed in a nucleus. Erythrocytes (red blood cells) are cells lacking mitochondria and any components of the nucleus. The specialized nature of body tissue reflects the specialized structure and function of its constituent cells. (For visualizations)
(More basic cell details.)
cell-mediated immunity

Specific immunity that depends on the presence of T-lymphocytes. It is responsible for, eg. allograft (between two humans who are not identical twins) rejection, delayed hypersensitivity, and tuberculin test reactions, and is important in the organism's defense against viral and some bacterial infections.
cellular immunity The increased ability of phagocytic cells to destroy parasitic organisms, ie macrophage immunity. Sometimes (incorrectly) used as an alternative name for cell-mediated immunity
central nervous system (CNS) One of the two main divisions of the nervous system of the body, consisting of the brain and the spinal cord. The CNS processes information to and from the peripheral nervous system and is the main network of coordination and control for the entire body. The brain controls many functions and sensations, such as sleep, sexual activity, muscular movement, hunger, thirst, memory, and the emotions. The spinal cord extends various types of nerve fibers from the brain and acts as a switching and relay terminal for the peripheral nervous system.

Of or pertaining to the cerebrum - The largest and uppermost section of the brain, divided by a central sulcus (furrow) into the left and the right cerebral hemispheres. At the bottom of the groove, the hemispheres are connected by the corpus callosum. The surface of the cerebrum is convoluted and lobed, each lobe bearing the name of the bone under which it lies. The cerebrum performs sensory functions, motor functions, and less easily defined integration functions associated with various mental activities. It generates a variety of electric waves that may be recorded on an electroencephalogram to localize areas of brain dysfunction, to identify altered states of consciousness, or to establish brain death. Some of the other processes that are controlled or affected by the cerebrum are memory, speech, writing, and emotional response.

chelate compound
To form a chelate compound - a chemical compound in which a metal ion is combined with a substance which contains two or more electron donor groups so that the resulting structure contains one or more rings.

Any substance produced by or used in chemistry - the science that systematically studies the composition, properties, and activity of substances and various elementary forms of matter.
cholesterol The principal sterol of vertebrates and the precursor of many steroids, including bile acids, and steroid hormones. It is found in all animal tissues, especially brain and spinal cord, in the bile, and in gallstones, being a component of the plasma lipoproteins and excessive levels in the plasma may be associated with the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis.
Incorrectly, plasma lipoproteins themselves are also often referred to by the general term "cholesterol".

Describing nerve fibers that, when activated, release acetylcholine or an acetylcholine-like substance from their endings, and receptors (cholinoreceptors) which respond to acetylcholine-like substances. Compare adrenergic.

Any one of the polymorphic cells that form the cartilage of the body. Each contains a nucleus, a relatively large amount of clear cytoplasm, and the common organelles.
Chondro- is a combining form meaning 'pertaining to cartilage'.
chromatin The material within the cell nucleus from which the chromosomes are formed. It consists of fine, threadlike strands of DNA attached to a protein base, usually histone. During cell division, portions of the chromatin condense and coil to form the chromosomes.
chronic (of a disease) Developing slowly and persisting for a long period of time, often for the remainder of the lifetime of the individual. Compare acute.


short and medium chain fatty acids
A large lipoprotein particle of molecular mass up to 107 kDa, measuring up to 100 nm in diameter, and of density < 1.006. Their approximate composition (% by weight) is: 2% cholesterol, unesterfied; 5% cholesterol, esterfied; 7% phospholipid; 84% triacylglycerol; 2% protein. Chylomicrons are formed in the mucosa of the small intestine, and contain mostly triacylglycerols (reesterfied in the mucosal cells from dietary long-chain fatty acids) associated with apolipoproteins. They then enter the lymphatic capillaries (lacteals) of the intestinal villi, and thence the bloodstream. They are the major vehicle by which fat is absorbed into the body. Also called chyle.
Fatty acids with carbon chain length less than 12 (short and medium chain fatty acids) do not require chylomicrons for their absorption but may enter the body directly through the intestinal mucosa.

A chronic degenerative disease of the liver in which the lobes are covered with fibrous tissue, the parenchyma (organ tissue) degenerates, and the lobules are infiltrated with fat. Gluconeogenesis, detoxification of drugs and alcohol, bilirubin metabolism, vitamin absorption, GI function, hormonal metabolism, and other functions of the liver then deteriorate.
cis Denoting that two specified substituents lie on the same side of a reference plane in the molecule. Most commonly used to specify the isomeric configuration of a double bond connection in a mono or polyunsaturated fatty acid carbon chain where both hydrogen atoms connected to the double bonded carbons lie on the same side of the chain. The effect of this is to cause a sharp bend in the chain. In systematic names it is denoted by the symbol "Z". Compare trans.
A type of process which transforms a liquid into a solid, especially of the blood.
Coagulant - Any substance that produces, or aids the production of, coagulation.
coenzyme Any of various nonprotein organic cofactors that are required, in addition to an enzyme and a substrate for an enzymic reaction to proceed. The term 'coenzyme' has frequently been used imprecisely, although it is now possible to give more informative chemical names to such substances and to define their roles in specific enzymic reactions.
cofactor A compound which is necessary for the production of one compound from another. A cofactor may be slightly transformed during the production process, but it can generally be recycled back to its original state. Compare factor
cognitive therapy Any of the various methods of treating mental and emotional problematic behavior that help a person change attitudes, perceptions, and patterns of thinking.
colitis An inflammatory condition of the large intestine, either one of episodic, functional, irritable bowel syndromes or one of the more serious chronic, progressive, inflammatory bowel diseases. Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by bouts of sharp visceral (colicky) pain and diarrhea or constipation, often resulting from emotional stress.
collagen A group of fibrous proteins of very high tensile strength that form the main component of connective tissue in animals. Collagen is highly enriched in glycine (up to one-third of its amino-acid residues) and somewhat less so in proline plus 3- and 4-hydroxyproline (about 21%); prolines at the third position of the tripeptide repeating unit (G-X-P) are hydroxylated in some or all of the chains. Collagen of bones and skin is metabolically stable , but that of organs such as liver has a high metabolic turnover.
complement A system of plasma proteins, found in the blood of vertebrates (and freshly prepared serums), that acts as an effector mechanism in immune defense against infection by microorganisms; the activation products of complement components cause lysis of antigenic cells, attract phagocytic cells to the site of activation, and assist the uptake and destruction of antigenic cells by the phagocytes. Complement is also involved in immunological tissue injury.
compound A substance containing two or more identical or nonidentical atoms in fixed numerical proportions and held together by one or more kinds of chemical bond.
condensation Any chemical reaction in which two or more molecules, or two parts of one molecule, combine with the elimination of a molecule of water, ammonia, ethanol, hydrogen sulfide, or other simple substance. The combining molecules or parts each contribute a moiety to the molecule eliminated.
conditionally essential A dietary nutrient which becomes essential under conditions in which synthesis is lacking or inadequate. This may happen when adequate amounts of precursors are unavailable; in order to meet the needs of diseases or developmental phases including aging; or merely to optimize the health and functionality of the body.
1) An alternating sequence of multiple and single chemical bonds containing at least two multiple bonds with delocalization of pi electrons and resultant additional chemical stability.
2) The covalent or noncovalent joining together of one (larger) molecule, e.g. a protein or bile acid, with a second (smaller) molecule.
connective tissue

Any supporting tissue that lies between other tissues and consists of cells embedded in a relatively large amount of extracellular matrix or ground substance that may be liquid, gelatinous, or solid, such as in bone and cartilage. Connective tissue fibers may be collagenous or elastic. The matrix or ground material surrounding fibers and cells is not composed of living material, such as protoplasm, but is nonetheless a dynamic substance, varying with the general condition of the body, susceptible to its own special diseases, and transporting materials for metabolism, nutrition, and waste elimination. The most common cell in connective tissue is the histiocyte or microphage (a neutrophil capable of ingesting small things, such as bacteria). Mast cells, plasma cells, and white blood cells are also found in connective tissue throughout different parts of the body.
connectivity The information in any molecular formula or model which specifies only which atoms are linked to which, irrespective of the nature of the linkages. Compare structure.
control (in scientific studies) Any object, system, or animal group in an experiment which is a standard of comparison. A control is prepared, carried out, or treated exactly as the other parts or animal groups of the experiment, differing only by the variable(s) under study.
Note: During the latter half of the 20th century, science went through a stage of stringently requiring that only one variable at a time should be studied. This unreasonable restriction enormously slowed the progress of biomedical studies, wherein parameters are often necessarily interdependent. Hopefully, this harmful and illogical restriction is coming to an end. Compare experimental.
corticosteroid Any one of the natural or the synthetic hormones associated with the adrenal cortex, which influences or controls key processes of the body, such as carbohydrate and protein metabolism, electrolyte and water balance, and the functions of the cardiovascular system, the skeletal muscle, the kidneys, and other organs. The corticosteroids synthesized by the adrenal glands include the glucocorticoids and the mineralocorticoids. The principal glucocorticoids are cortisol and corticosterone. The only physiologically important mineralocorticoid in humans is aldosterone. The glucocorticoids tend to cause the cells of the body to shift from carbohydrate catabolism to fatty acid catabolism, to accelerate the breakdown of proteins to amino acids, and to help maintain normal blood pressure. Aldosterone is the most powerful of the natural mineralocorticoids in the regulation of electrolyte balance especially the balance of sodium and potassium.
covalent (bond)

coordination (covalent bond)
The chemical bond formed between two atoms in a molecule when valance electrons are shared by the bonded atoms. Single, double and triple organic bonds share 2, 4 and 6 electrons, respectively; as distinguished from a noncovalent or ionic bond, wherein one valence electron is transferred from one part of the molecule to the other, making the attractive force essentially that between negative and positive charges. Covalent bonds may additionally be categorized as sigma bonds and pi bonds depending on which electrons are forming the bonds.
Coordination is the formation or existence of a covalent bond whose pair of electrons is regarded as originating from only one of the two parts of the molecular entity linked by it; also linking by means of such a bond or bonds.
More basics on chemical bonds.
C-reactive protein An acidic, crystallizable, heat-sensitive protein that is detectable in human or monkey blood serum early in the course of various infections or when there is inflammation, tissue damage, or necrosis. One of the so-called acute phase proteins, it is normally undetectable. Its is not an immunoglobulin and is of unknown function.

A solid aggregate composed of repeating patterns of atoms or molecules in which the plane faces intersect at definite angles and in which there is a regular internal structure of the constituent chemical species. crystalline, adj.- having the nature of a crystal.



NOTE: The definitions given herein are how the creators of this website think these terms should be understood under any acceptable law standards.
Deserving to be and actually held responsible for the harm done to one or more individuals by one's actions in breaking the Non-Aggression Principle.
A violator is a person in a rights relationship who violates the other person in that rights relationship. Note: the word criminal has not been used because of its different usage by governments everywhere.
A victim is a person in a rights relationship who is violated by the other person in that rights relationship. Note: the word "victim" has been used here in spite of its different usage in many human institutions.
While censure and blame may be applied to a violator, the most important aspect of culpability is that the violator is responsible for full restitution to the victim(s).
cyclo- or cycl-


Of an organic compound containing one (i.e. monocyclic) or more (i.e. polycyclic) rings of atoms.
Homocyclic rings contain only atoms of a single element.
Carbocyclic are a subset of these containing only carbon.
Heterocyclic rings contain at least two different elements in the ring structure. Common additional elements contained in organic rings are nitrogen, oxygen and sulfur.
Acyclic describes an organic compound devoid of a ring of atoms.
cyclic AMP (cAMP) Adenosine 3',5'-phosphate. Formed from ATP by the enzyme adenylate cyclase in the inner surface of cell membranes whose activity is regulated by complex interactions generally involving hormone receptors. Thus, cAMP acts as a second messenger to participate in diverse cellular regulatory functions.
cyclitol Any cycloalkane containing one hydroxyl group on each of three or more ring atoms. Notable members are the inositols and their derivatives

prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase (PGHS)
An alternative and informal name for prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase (PGHS). This enzyme catalyzes two distinct sequential reactions, which convert the polyunsaturated fatty acids: dihomo-gamma-linolenate (DHGLA), arachidonate (AA) and eicosapentaenoate (EPA), to their corresponding prostanoid precursors (PGH1, PGH2, PGH3). Two isoenzymes, COX-1, constitutively expressed, and COX-2, inducible by inflammation by cytokines, are highly homologous membrane proteins, but selective inhibition of COX-2 is possible due to its larger inhibitor binding site. Aspirin acetylates an active-site serine residue in both, the IC50 being 10 to 100 times lower for COX-1 than for COX-2. Its inhibition of COX-1 is the basis for its antithrombotic effects (interference with formation of a thrombus).


Any of a varied group of proteins that are released by mammalian cells and have autocrine or paracrine activity. They elicit from the target cell a variety of responses depending on the cytokine and target cell. Cytokine actions include control of cell proliferation and differentiation, regulation of immune responses , hemopoiesis, and inflammatory response.
Lymphokine is a subgroup of cytokine; the term is becoming less common and cytokine, a more general term, is being used more often. Some specific types of lymphokines are: chemotactic factor for macrophages, lymphotoxin (ie. tumor necrosis factor ), macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF), and transfer factor. Lymphokines that can act between different populations of leukocytes as known also as interleukins.


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