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abdomen

Overview page. Subjects: Medicine and Health — Zoology and Animal Sciences.

That part of the body cavity below the chest and separated from it by the diaphragm. It contains a number of organs including the stomach, liver, kidneys, spleen, pancreas, and intestines.

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abductor

Overview page. Subjects: Medicine and Health — Biological Sciences.

A type of muscle whose function is to move a limb away from the body. Abductors work antagonistically with adductors.

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Abelson leukaemia virus

Overview page. Subjects: Genetics and Genomics — Medicine and Health.

A replication-defective murine leukaemia virus (A-MuLV), a retrovirus, that requires coinfection of cells with a ‘helper’ virus to proliferate and to cause a rapidly progressive...

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abortus

Overview page. Subjects: Medicine and Health — Genetics and Genomics.

A dead fetus born prematurely, whether the abortion was artificially induced or spontaneous. Over 20% of human spontaneous abortions show chromosomal abnormalities. See Chronology, 1965,...

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acellular

Overview page. Subjects: Medicine and Health — Biological Sciences.

Describing tissues or organisms that are not made up of separate cells but often have more than one nucleus (see syncytium). Examples of acellular structures are muscle fibres. Compare...

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Acetobacter

Overview page. Subjects: Medicine and Health — Plant Sciences and Forestry.

(family Acetobacteraceae)

A genus of Gram-negative, aerobic bacteria. Cells are ovoid or rod-shaped, motile or non-motile. Most strains can oxidize ethanol (ethyl alcohol) to...

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achene

Overview page. Subjects: Biological Sciences — Medicine and Health.

A dry indehiscent fruit formed from a single carpel and containing a single seed. An example is the feathery achene of clematis. Variants of the achene include the caryopsis, cypsela, nut,...

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acid precipitation

Overview page. Subjects: Ecology and Conservation — Public Health and Epidemiology.

(mist, fog, rain) Syn: acid deposition. Atmospheric acid aerosols are removed by wet deposition (rain, snow, mist, fog) or dry deposition of particles on vegetation. This is harmful to...

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acid protease

Overview page. Subjects: Biological Sciences — Medicine and Health.

A protein-digesting enzyme (see protease) that exhibits maximum activity and stability in acid conditions (pH 2.0–5.0) and is inactivated at pH values above 6.0. Acid proteases have a low...

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acid-base balance

Overview page. Subjects: Medicine and Health — Biological Sciences.

The regulation of the concentrations of acids and bases in blood and other body fluids so that the pH remains within a physiologically acceptable range (see pH scale). This is achieved by...

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