CARTA Glossary

Displaying 101 - 200 of 281 defined words
Word Definition Related Vocabulary
Funeral

Intentional, ritualistic disposal of the deceased. May include behaviors such as placement of grave goods (artefacts and/or natural materials such as flowers) and positioning of interred body(ies).

Galago

A number of species of prosimians that are small, nocturnal, and native to continental Africa. Also known as bushbabies. Galagos often nest in tree hollows during the day. Chimpanzees have been observed hunting with “spears” for nested galagos, and they are also hunted by Hadza hunter-gatherers.

Gene

DNA whose information encodes a function.

Gene Flow

Movement of alleles between populations.

Gene Regulation

Alterations of gene expression/activity.

Gene-Culture Co-Evolution Theory

A branch of theoretical population genetics that models the transmission of genes and cultural traits from one generation to the next, exploring how they interact.

Genetic adaptation

A biological characteristic with a heritable basis that improves reproduction and/or survival and results from evolution by natural selection.

Genetic adaptation

A biological characteristic with a heritable basis that improves reproduction and/or survival and results from evolution by natural selection.

Genetic Drift

Loss of alleles by chance.

Genetics

The study of genes and their inheritance.

Genius

A person who is exceptionally intelligent or creative, either generally or in some particular respect.

Genome

All DNA in a cell. Also refers to the DNA sequence that typifies an individual or species.

Genome Wide Association Study (GWAS)

An approach for “gene mapping” in which hundreds of thousands of SNPs are tested statistically for genetic associations with a phenotype.

Genomic Imprinting

Modification of the genome at the level of DNA (e.g. methylation) or its packaging into chromatin (histone tail modification via phosphorylation, acetylation, ubiquitination or glycosylation).

Genomics

The study of genome structure/function.

Genotype

The two alleles at one or more diploid loci.

Genotyping

Characterizing genetic variants at one or more loci.

Germinal Zone A region where cell division and proliferation occurs during vertebrate central nervous system development consisting of 2 layers lining the ventricles (ventricular zone and subventricular zone).
Germinal Zone A region where cell division and proliferation occurs during vertebrate central nervous system development consisting of 2 layers lining the ventricles (ventricular zone and subventricular zone).
Great Apes

A taxonomic family that was once incorrectly used to denote chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orangutans, but not humans.

Handaxe

A prehistoric stone tool with two faces and is usually made from flint, basalt, sandstone, quartzite, or chert.

Haploid

One set of unpaired chromosomes.

Haplotype

A set of alleles at distinct positions in the genome which are inherited together.

Health Disparity

Differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence, and health care as experienced by socially disadvantaged populations.

Hemideletion

One of two paired chromosomes is affected by a deletion. The other chromosome is intact. 

Heterochromatin

Tightly wrapped and inactive chromatin.

Heterozygotes

Have two different alleles at a locus.

Hippocampus

The elongated ridges on the floor of each lateral ventricle of the brain, thought to be a center of emotion, memory, and the autonomic nervous system.

Histones

Chief protein components of chromatin and can be chemically modified as part of epigenetics.

Homeostasis

A relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements, especially as maintained by physiological processes.

Hominid

A classification comprising all modern and extinct “Great Apes”and humans.

Hominin

A classification of species comprising human and extinct relatives (ex. Australopithecus, Paranthropus, and Ardipithecus, etc.- not all are ancestral to humans) following the split with the common ancestor with chimpanzees.

Homo

The genus that comprises the species Homo sapiens, as well as several extinct species classified as ancestral to, or closely related to, humans.

Homo erectus

An extinct hominin species with fossil evidence from 1.9 million (possibly earlier) to 70 thousand years ago and found from Africa to Indonesia. May have been the first hominin to leave Africa. H. erectus DNA may be retrievable from other species due to archaic admixture. 

Homology

Similarity in DNA or phenotype because of shared evolutionary history from a common ancestor.

Homoplasy

Similarity in DNA sequence or phenotype that has evolved independently.

Homozygotes

Have two identical alleles at a locus

Hunter-Gatherer

A human living in a society in which most or all food is obtained by foraging (collecting wild plants and pursuing wild animals), in contrast to agricultural societies, which rely mainly on domesticated species.

Given the higher contribution from gathering, perhaps they should be called Gatherer-Hunters.

Hybridization

Breeding among recognized species.

Hygiene Hypothesis

A lack of early childhood exposure to infectious agents, symbiotic microorganisms and parasites believed to increase susceptibility to allergies and autoimmune diseases.

Hypoxia

Less than the normal amount of oxygen reaching the tissues; also, low partial pressure of oxygen at high elevations (hypobaric hypoxia).

Idiosyncrasy

A mode of behavior or way of thought peculiar to an individual.

IncRNA

Long non-coding microRNA

Indels

Insertions or deletions of DNA sequence.

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSC)

Somatic (body) cells that are artificially reprogrammed to an embryonic-like stem cell state and differentiated into other types of cells.

Intentionality

The power of minds to be about, to represent, or to stand for, things, properties and states of affairs. Refers to the ability of the mind to form representations and should not be confused with intention. Beliefs about others’ beliefs display what is sometimes known as “higher-order intentionality.”

Intrauterine Life

The interval of life between conception and birth.

Introgression

Transfer of alleles between species.

Introns

Sequences between eons, don't encode proteins

Intuition

A thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning.

Isotope

Each of two or more forms of the same element that contain equal numbers of protons but different numbers of neutrons in their nuclei, and hence differ in relative atomic mass but not in chemical properties; in particular, a radioactive form of an element.

Isotopic Signature

The ratio of non-radiogenic “stable isotopes,” stable radiogenic isotopes, or unstable radioactive isotopes of particular elements in an investigated material.

Karyotype

Chromosome number in the cell nucleus.

Linkage Disequilibrium

Non-random inheritance of alleles at different loci (due to low recombination).

Locus (pl. Loci)

A unique physical position on a chromosome.

Lomekwian Technology

Currently the oldest known stone tools consisting of 150 artefact found in Lomekwian, Kenya, close to Lake Turkana. ~3.3 mya

Lower Paleolithic

The first subdivision of the Paleolithic, or Stone Age. ~3.4 mya- 300 ky.

Macronutrient

A substance required in relatively large amounts by living organisms: Fats, proteins, carbohydrates in an animal diet or chemical elements such as potassium, magnesium, calcium as required by plants.

Maintenance and Defense

An organism’s way of maintaining its body and physiological homeostasis while also defending against parasites, pathogens, and internal crises (e.g. cancer).

Maladaptation

A genotypic or phenotypic trait that is (or has become) more harmful than helpful in determining survival and reproductive success (in contrast to an adaptation, which is more helpful than harmful).

Marrow

The soft fatty substance in the cavities of bones that produces red and white blood cells and platelets.

Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin (mTOR)

A protein kinase, which in humans is encoded by the MTOR gene.

Medium Spiny Neurons

A special type of GABAergic inhibitory cell representing 95% of neurons within the human striatum, a basal ganglia structure.

Memory

The faculty by which the mind stores and remembers information.

Meningococcus (Neisseria meningitidis)

A bacterium that can cause meningitis and meningococcemia, a life-threatening infection in the bloodstream (sepsis).

Microlithic (Mode 5)

A stone tool type consisting of small blades or points, called microliths, that were typically used in composite tools, such as an arrow point fastened to a haft. ~35 kya - 3 kya

Micronutrients

A chemical element or substance required in trace amounts for the normal growth and development of living organisms that the organism cannot synthesize itself. 

Middle Paleolithic

The second subdivision of the Paleolithic, or Stone Age and consist of use of prepared cores (Levallois Technique) and hafted tools and weapons. ~300 kya -30 kya.

Middle Pleistocene

A period of geological time (781-126,000 years ago). An important time for the diversification of hominins, including the emergence of Neanderthals and Homo sapiens.

Mind

The element of an individual that enables them to be aware of the world and their experiences, to think, and to feel; the faculty of consciousness and thought. 

Mind Over Reality Transition (MORT)

A proposed singular phase in hominid evolution in which maladaptive mortality salience and death anxiety were triggered by acquiring the capacity for Extended Theory of Mind, but were (in this one instance) tolerated by the simultaneous acquisition of Reality Denial in the same minds - allowing gene culture-evolution to fix both capacities in the resulting hominin lineage, at the neurobiological and genetic level.

miRNA

Short non-coding regulatory microRNA

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)

Maternally inherited DNA found only in the mitochondria.

Morphology

Shape or form (outward appearance) of an organism.

Mortality Salience

Conscious understanding and realization of personal mortality.

Motor Cortex

The part of the cerebral cortex in the brain where the nerve impulses originate that initiate voluntary muscular activity.

Mousterian (Mode 3)

A stone tool type characterized by hand-axes, scrapers, triangle points, and denticulates produced using a prepared core (Levallois Technique) and is most associated with Neanderthals. ~315 kya to 30 kya

Muscular Dystrophy

A group of genetic diseases that cause progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass.

Mutation

Change of a DNA sequence.

Neanderthals

An extinct Eurasian hominin species that existed from 500,000 to 30,000 years ago and interbred with ancient humans and Denisovans.

Neocortex

A part of the cerebral cortex concerned with sight, hearing, and touch in mammals, regarded as the most recently evolved part of the cortex.

Nerve A bundle of fibers that transmits impulses of sensation to the brain or spinal cord, and impulses from these to the muscles and organs.
Nervous System

The network of nerve cells and fibers that transmits nerve impulses between parts of the body.

Neural circuit

A neural circuit is a functional entity of interconnected neurons that is able to regulate its own activity using a feedback loop.

Neural Progenitor Cell

Cells that are capable of dividing a limited number of times and have the capacity to differentiate into a restricted repertoire of neuronal and glial cell types.

Neural Stem Cell A self-renewing, multipotent cell that generates the neurons and glia of the nervous system of all animals during embryonic development. Some persist in the adult vertebrate brain and continue to produce neurons throughout life.
Neurobiology

The study of the morphology, behavior, and other qualities of the nervous system.

Neurogenetics

The study of the role of genetics in the development and function of the nervous system.

Neurological

Relating to the anatomy, functions, and organic disorders of nerves and the nervous system.

Neuron

A specialized cell that transmits nerve impulses.

Neuropsychology

The study of the relationship between behavior, emotion, and cognition and brain function.

Neurotypical

Not displaying or characterized by autistic or other neurologically atypical patterns of thought or behavior.

Never

A bundle of fibers that transmits impulses of sensation to the brain or spinal cord, and impulses from these to the muscles and organs.

Nuclear Pore Complex Protein and ribonucleoprotein transport channels in the nuclear envelop of eukaryotic cells. Evolved ~ 1.5 billion years ago. While the primary role of NPCs is to regulate nucleo–cytoplasmic transport, recent research suggests that certain NPC proteins have additionally acquired the role of affecting gene expression at the nuclear periphery and in the nucleoplasm in metazoans.
Nucleoporin 98 (Nup98) A protein coding gene that plays a role in the nuclear pore complex assembly and/or maintenance. Associated diseases range from Myelodysplastic Syndrome and Acute Monocytic Leukemia.
Obesity

Excessive body fat that increases the risk of health problems. Defined as a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30.0 or higher.

Obligate Tool User

Use of tools is a necessity. Tool use is an essential part of being human and we are the only known obligate tool users.

Obligate Tool User

Use of tools is a necessity. Tool use is an essential part of being human and we are the only known obligate tool users.

Obstetric Dilema

A biological constraint of bipedalism and large fetal brains imposed on the human female pelvis.

Oldowan (Mode 1) Tools

A stone tools characterized by simple “choppers” for pounding, breaking, and bashing. ~2.6 mya - 1.7 mya

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