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BAC (Bacterial artificial chromosome)
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An artificial version of a bacterial chromosome that can carry inserts of 100,000 to 500,000 base pairs.
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terms list

BAC (Bacterial artificial chromosome)
An artificial version of a bacterial chromosome that can carry inserts of 100,000 to 500,000 base pairs.
The manipulation of living organisms or their components to produce useful products.
cDNA library
A limited gene library using complementary DNA. The library includes only the genes that were transcribed in the cells examined.
Cloning vector
An agent used to transfer DNA in genetic engineering. A plasmid that moves recombinant DNA from a test tube back into a cell is an example, as is a virus that transfers recombinant DNA by infection.
cDNA (complementary DNA)
A DNA molecule made in vitro using mRNA as a template and the enzyme reverse transcriptase. A cDNA molecule therefore corresponds to a gene, but lacks the introns present in the DNA of the genome.
In DNA, the separation of the 2 strands of the double helix. Denaturation occurs under extreme conditions of pH, salt concentration, and temperature.
DNA fingerprint
An individual's unique collection of DNA restriction fragments, detected by electrophoresis and nucleic acid probes.
DNA microarray assay
A method to detect and measure the expression of thousands of genes at one time. Tiny amounts of a large number of singe-stranded DNA fragments representing different genes are fixed to a glass slide. These fragments, ideally representing all the genes of an organism, are tested for hybridization with various samples of cDNA molecules.
A technique to introduce recombinant DNA into cells by applying a brief electrical pulse to a solution containing cells. The electricity creates temporary holes in the cells' plasma membranes, through which DNA can enter.
Expression vector
A cloning vector that contains the requisite prokaryotic promoter just upstream of a restriction site where a eukaryotic gene can be inserted.
Gel electrophoresis
The separation of nucleic acids or proteins, on the basis of their size and electrical charge, by measuring their rate of movement through an electrical field in a gel.
Gene therapy
The alteration of the genes of a person afflicted with a genetic disease.
Genetic engineering
The direct manipulation of genes for practical purposes.
Genetically modified organism
An organism that has acquired one or more genes by artificial means; also known as a transgenic organism.
Genomic library
A set of thousands of DNA segments from a genome, each carried by a plasmid, phage, or other cloning vector.
The study of whole sets of genes and their interactions.
Human Genome Project
An international collaborative effort to map and sequence the DNA of the entire human genome.
In vitro mutagenesis
A technique to discover the function of a gene by introducing specific changes into the sequence of a cloned gene, reinserting the mutated gene into a cell, and studying the phenotype of the mutant.
Nucleic acid hybridization
Base pairing between a gene and a complementary sequence on another nucleic acid molecule.
Nucleic acid probe
In DNA technology, a labeled single-stranded nucleic acid molecule used to tag a specific nucleotide sequence in a nucleic acid sample. Molecules of the probe hydrogen-bond to the complementary sequence wherever it occurs; radioactive or other labeling of the probe allows its location to be detected.
Physical map
A genetic map in which the actual physical distances between genes or other genetic markers are expressed, usually as the number of base pairs along the DNA.
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
A technique for amplifying DNA in vitro by incubating with special primers, DNA polymerase molecules, and nucleotides.
The systematic study of the full protein sets (proteomes) encoded by genomes.
Recombinant DNA
A DNA molecule made in vitro with segments from different sources.
Restriction enzyme
A degradative enzyme that recognizes and cuts up DNA (including that of certain phages) that is foreign to a bacterium.
Restriction fragment
DNA segment resulting from cutting of DNA by a restriction enzyme.
(Restriction fragment length polymorphisms) RFLPs
Differences in DNA sequence on homologous chromosomes that can result in different patterns of restriction fragment lengths (DNA segments resulting from treatment with restriction enzymes); useful as genetic markers for making linkage maps.
Restriction site
A specific sequence on a DNA strand that is recognized as a cut site by a restriction enzyme.
SNPs (Single nucleotide polymorphisms)
One base-pair variation in the genome sequence.
Southern blotting
A hybridization technique that enables researchers to determine the presence of certain nucleotides sequences in a sample DNA.
Sticky end
A single-stranded end of a double-stranded DNA restriction fragment.
Ti plasmid
A plasmid of a tumor-inducing bacterium that integrates a segment of its DNA into the host chromosome of a plant; frequently used as a carrier for genetic engineering plants.
YAC (yeast artificial chromosome)
A vector that combines the essentials of a eukaryotic chromosome-an origin for DNA replication, a centromere, and two telomeres- with foreign DNA.

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