Biotechnology Dictionary

If you are in the business of biotech, the alphabet soup of similar-sounding or re-purposed terms can be quite confusing. Principle Point offers our biotech and medical dictionary of more than 1,000 terms, which will be updated periodically as needed. Please let us know if you think we should add a term or if an existing definition needs clarification.


Thoracentesis is the removal of pleural fluid using a needle. The pleuron is the membrane enveloping the lungs.


Thrombin is an enzyme that presides over the conversion of a substance called fibrinogen to fibrin in the promotion of blood clotting.


Thrombocytopenia is a decrease in the number of platelets in the blood, resulting in the potential for increased bleeding and decreased ability for clotting.


Thrombosis is a medical condition involving the formation or presence of thrombus (a fibrinous clot formed in the blood vessel or in a chamber of the heart).


The thyroid is a gland located in the lower part of the neck below the Adam's apple. It is wrapped around the windpipe (the trachea) and has the shape of a butterfly. It is formed by two wings (lobes) attached by a middle part.

Tissue engineering

Tissue engineering is a field of study including a group of procedures for replacement of damaged or nonfunctional cells or organs with homologously or heterologously transplanted cells.


Tomography is a series of X-ray pictures of structures within the body that represents the data from multiple images.


Totipotency is the capacity of stem cells to develop into fully differentiated and specialized cells. This property is lost once the stem cells have committed to particular lines of development.


Toxicity is a condition that results from exposure to a substance at levels causing deleterious side effects that may be harmful to an organism.


Toxicology is a subdivision of pharmacology dealing with the effects of poisons on the body. In any drug treatment the desired action against the disease is likely to be accompanied by other effects. These may be merely inconvenient in some cases, but highly undesirable or absolutely... [ read more ]


Transcription is the biological process of making an RNA copy from a sequence of DNA (a gene). Transcription is the first step in gene expression.


Transfection is the process by which viral or bacteriophage DNA is introduced into a cell or bacterium.


A transgene is a recombinant gene to be introduced Into animals by standard molecular biology techniques.


A transgenic animal has developed in a surrogate mother from a fertilized ovum that has been injected with a recombinant DNA gene different from its own genetic material. In contrast, congenic means of the same genetic origin.


Translation is the process of making a protein from a sequence of RNA. The genetic code carried by messenger RNA directs the production of proteins from amino acids.

Transmembrane protein

A transmembrane protein is a protein subunit in which the polypeptide chain is exposed on both sides of the membrane. The term does not apply when different subunits of protein complex are exposed at opposite surfaces. Most integral membrane proteins are also transmembrane proteins.


Transplantation is a type of surgery where tissues are taken from a patient's body and implanted into a new patient.

Triglycerides (TG)

Triglycerides (TGs) are the major form of lipid (fat) found in the body. A triglyceride consists of three molecules of fatty acid combined with a molecule of the alcohol glycerol. Triglycerides serve as the backbone of many types of lipids. TGs are found in the bloodstream with normal blood... [ read more ]

Trinucleotide repeat

A trinucleotide repeat is a genetic mutation in which a sequence of 3 nucleotides is repeated as much as thousands of times. This repeated sequence is characteristic of several degenerative diseases, including fragile X syndrome and Huntington's disease.

Triplex DNA

Triplex DNA is triple-stranded DNA in which the third oligonucleotide strand lies in the major groove of duplex DNA. Triplex DNA is a synthetic oligonucleotide with an sequence designed to target a specific sequence of a duplex; triplex DNA can block transcription or, if it bears a covalently... [ read more ]


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