CARTA Glossary

Displaying 701 - 800 of 840 defined words
Word Definition Related Vocabulary
Salmonella enterica typhi

A serovar of Salmonella enterica whose reservoir is the human body. It is usually contracted by ingestion of food or water that is contaminated by the feces of those carrying the organism.

Salmonellosis

An intestinal infection caused by Salmonella bacteria. Common symptoms include diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, and vomiting.

Saltation (Leap)

Discontinuous evolution marked by a sudden mutational change from one generation to the next, and may result in a single-step speciation event.

San People

Members of various Khoisan-speaking indigenous hunter-gatherer groups that are the first nations of Southern Africa, and whose territories span Botswana, Namibia, Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and South Africa. mtDNA and Y chromosome studies show that the San carry some of the most divergent (oldest) human haplogroups.

Savanna

An ecosystem featuring hot, seasonally dry conditions, and vegetation consisting of open-canopy woodland and grassland.

Savanna-Woodland Mosaic

A transitory ecotone between the tropical moist broadleaf forests of Equatorial Africa and the drier savannas and open woodlands to the north and south of the forest belt. The forest-savanna mosaic consists of drier forests, often gallery forest, interspersed with savannas and open grasslands.

Savant

A person affected with a mental disability who exhibits exceptional skill or brilliance in some limited field.

Savant Syndrome

is a loose term that refers to people who have a combination of significant cognitive difficulties, often stemming from autism, and profound skills.

Scavengers

Organisms that search for and feed on carrion, dead plant material, or refuse.

Schizophrenia

A mental disorder characterized by delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech and behavior, and other symptoms that cause social or occupational dysfunction (DSM-V, 2013).

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

A type of depression related to changes in the seasons.

Seed bank

A seed repository, such as the Svalbard Global Seed Vault (Svalbard, Norway), specifically for the preservation of genetic diversity.

Selection

Allele frequency change over time caused by the different replication rate of specific alleles.

Selective Attachment

A specific bond formed between a mother and her offspring, which results in the mother exclusively caring for her own young and actively rejecting non-familiar young.

Selective sweep

The process through which a new beneficial mutation increases in frequency within a population due to its positive effect on survival and reproduction; this process leads to a reduction in genetic variation among neighboring nucleotide sequences.

Self-associated molecular patterns (SAMPS)

A class of molecular patterns that signal intrinsic inhibitory receptors of immune cells to remain in or return to their baseline, non-activated state.

Self-Awareness

Conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires.

Semantics (Linguistics)

The study of the logic and meaning of a word, phrase, sentence, or text.

Sequence

The linear order of the nucleotide building blocks, which encodes individual form and function.

Sequencing

Reading the order of nucleotides in DNA.

Serious Play

A form of play that uses inquiry and innovation for complex problem-solving.

Serovar

 A subdivision within a species bacteria or viruses, or among immune cells of different individuals grouped together based on cell surface antigens.

Serum (blood)

The fluid, or plasma, constituent of blood and does not contain clotting proteins.

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

A contagious and sometimes fatal respiratory illness caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV or SARS-CoV-1). SARS was first reported in China in November 2002 and was rapidly spread worldwide by international travelers. Symptoms first appear flu-like with a fever, chills, muscle aches, headache and sometimes diarrhea. This can progress to a dry cough and shortness of breath. A massive global response helped to contain the spread of the disease and no new cases of the original SARS have been reported since 2004.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 1 (SARS-CoV or SARS-CoV-1)

A strain of coronavirus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). It is a single-stranded RNA virus that infects the epithelial cells within the lungs and can infect humans, bats, and palm civets.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)

A novel strain of coronavirus closely related to SARS-CoV that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which resulted in a pandemic. It is a naturally evolving virus that crossed to humans from another animal, mostly likely a bat. SARS CoV-2 is completely different from the family that includes influenza viruses though both can cause respiratory symptoms.

Sex hormone

Steroid hormones, such as androgens, estrogens, and progestogens, that interact with steroid hormone receptors.

Sexual dimorphism

The difference in anatomical and physiological characteristics between the sexes of a species, such as body size, weight, and pigmentation.

Sexual selection theory

The selection of and competition for a reproductive partner. Inter-sexual mate selection of the opposite sex is contrasted with intra-sexual competition with same sex members for opposite sex mates.

Short Interspersed Nuclear Elements (SINEs)

A type of retrotransposon, or transposable element (“jumping genes”) that are abundant, non-autonomous, non-coding, and are 100 - 700 base pairs in length such as Alu elements.

Shotgun

Sequencing cuts the genome into short chunks that are read and reassembled by a computer.

Sialic acid-binding immunoglobulin-type lectins (Siglec)

Cell-surface proteins that bind sialic acid. They are primarily found on immune cell surfaces. These sialic acid–binding proteins that are members of the I-type lectin family and have an outer terminal with a typically conserved amino acid sequence.

Sialic acids

Family of acidic sugars with a nine-carbon backbone. They are found at the outermost fringes of the sugar chains (glycans) that cover all vertebrate cells. The two most common sialic acids in mammals are N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac) and N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc).

Sialidase

An enzyme that cleaves sialic acid, an abundant sugar that coats most vertebrate cells.

Sickle Cell Anemia

An inherited red blood cell (RBC) disorder and one of the group of disorders of Sickle Cell Disease. In Sickle Cell Anemia, RBCs assume a sickle, or crescent shape, and degrade prematurely, causing a lack of red blood cells (anemia) to perform gas exchange. Shortness of breath, fatigue, and delayed growth and development in children are common conditions.

Sickle Cell Disease

A group of inherited red blood cell disorders caused by the production of hemoglobin S, a protein in red blood cells (RBCs) that causes RBCs to assume a sickle, or crescent, shape. Sickled red blood cells break down prematurely, which causes the group of disorders, including Sickle Cell Anemia (a lack of red blood cells causing shortness of breath, fatigue, and delayed growth and development in children), jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin due to rapid breakdown of red blood cells), clotting (sickled red blood cells, which are stiff and inflexible, get stuck in small blood vessels depriving tissues and organs of oxygen-rich blood and can lead to organ damage, especially in the lungs, kidneys, spleen, and brain), and pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the blood vessels that supply the lungs). Repeated infections, and periodic episodes of pain are also common. The severity of symptoms varies from person to person.

Sickle Cell Trait

In humans, a condition in which a person is heterozygous for codominant alleles of the hemoglobin subunit beta (HBB) gene and produces both normal hemoglobin proteins (hgb) and abnormal hemoglobin proteins (hemoglobin S, which causes red blood cells (RBCs) to assume a sickle, or crescent, shape). In environments where malaria is endemic, humans with Sickle Cell Trait have a selective advantage as it confers some resistance to malaria. Sickle cells prevent the malaria parasite from stealing actin (a protein that maintains the pliable internal skeleton of RBCs). Actin is used by the parasite to transport another protein, adhesin (produced by the parasite), to the cell surface. Adhesin causes the infected red blood cells to adhere to each other and to vessel walls, resulting in microvascular inflammation. A person with Sickle Cell Trait does not display the severe symptoms of Sickle Cell Disease.

Siglec chimera

The extra-cellular, sialic acid binding portion of a Siglec protein fused to another protein domain and transgenically expressed in a cell line. They are used to study Siglec binding.

Siglec-11

An innate immune receptor expressed uniquely in human brain microglia cells.

Silent Mutations

No change to the phenotype.

Silver-Russell Syndrome

A complex genetic disorder affecting growth.

Singing in tongues

An act of religious worshiping through glossolalia, a practice in which people sing or utter words or speech-like sounds, often thought by believers to be languages unknown to the speaker. Glossolalia is practiced in Pentecostal and charismatic Christianity, as well as in other religions.

Single Clonal Lineage Analysis A system for labeling and following a single progenitor cell and its daughter cells as they proliferate and mature.
Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP)

A variation involving a single base-pair, occurring in at least 1% of the population.

Sixth Mass Extinction

The loss of species as a result of human activity. It is also referred to as the Holocene extinction or the Anthropocene extinction.

Social

Relating to society or its organization.

Social Bond

The degree to which an individual is integrated into the society, or ‘the social’. Social bond is the binding ties or social bonding to the family. Social bond also includes social bonding to the school, to the workplace and to the community.

Social Institutions

Established rules or norms that result in stable patterns of behavior within a community.

Social Referencing

A process where an individual takes cues from other people in the environment, about which emotions and actions are appropriate in a certain context or situation. 

Social-Emotional Development

The experience, expression, and management of emotions and the ability to establish positive and rewarding relationships with others. It encompasses both intra- and interpersonal processes. The core features of emotional development include the ability to identify and understand one’s own feelings, to accurately read and comprehend emotional states in others, to manage strong emotions and their expression in a constructive manner, to regulate one’s own behavior, to develop empathy for others, and to establish and maintain relationships.

Species

A biological population whose individuals can mate with one another to produce viable and fertile offspring. This is a debated definition and the concept is problematic for extinct fossil organisms for which DNA is not available. This definition is problematic in regard to bacteria as they can exchange genetic material across widely separate taxa.

Spillover Infection

Also known as “pathogen spillover” and “spillover event,” occurs when a reservoir population with a high pathogen prevalence comes into contact with a novel host population. The pathogen is transmitted from the reservoir population and may or may not be transmitted within the host population.

SRGAP2

A gene on chromosome 1 that encodes for a protein that plays a role in cortical neuron development. Duplications of this gene are unique only to humans.

Stable Isotope

 Isotopes that do not decay into other elements.  These isotopes, found in biological material, including fossils, and can be used to study paleo-diet and ecology.

Starch

A plant storage molecule in the form of a polysaccharide. Starch is obtained chiefly from cereals, tubers, and potatoes. It is an important constituent of the human diet due to its digestibility, unlike many other polysaccharides, such as plant cellulose, pectins, and xylans (polyxylose).

Steller's sea cow (Hydrodamalis gigas)

An extinct aquatic and herbivorous mammal, related to living manatees, described by Georg Wilhelm Steller in 1714 while shipwrecked on Bering Island. The species was hunted into extinction shortly after European discovery.

Steroid

A biological compound manufactured by plants, animals, and fungi that functions as either important components of cell membranes or as signalling molecules.

Stone Age

The prehistoric period during which stone was used to make tools and weapons and is synonymous with the paleolithic. ~3.4 mya - 10 kya. In African archaeology, stone age chronology is divided into Early Stone Age (ESA): ~2.6 mya to ~300 kya; Middle Stone Age (MSA): ~300 kya to ~50 kya; and Later Stone Age (LSA): ~ 50 kya to ~39 kya.

  • Early Stone Age is characterized by the development of the first African stone tools, such as the Oldowan technology used by Australopithecines, and the later Acheulean technology, used by Homo erectus.
  • Middle Stone Age is characterized by a transition from Acheulean to Levallois technology and the earliest known modern human behavior.
  • Later Stone Age is characterized by microlithic industries and punch-struck blades, revealing fully modern human behavior.
Storytelling

The social and cultural activity of sharing stories for entertainment, education, or instilling morals and values.

Streptococcal Infection

Any type of infection caused by the group of Streptococcus bacteria.

Streptococcus

A genus of Gram-positive bacteria with over 50 recognized species. Streptococcus species are responsible for “strep” throat, pink eye, meningitis, bacterial pneumonia, endocarditis, erysipelas, and necrotizing fasciitis (the “flesh- eating” bacterial infections). However, many streptococcal species are not pathogenic and form part of the commensal human microbiota of the mouth, skin, intestine, and upper respiratory tract. Streptococci are also a necessary ingredient in producing Emmentaler (“Swiss”) cheese.

Stress

Effects of disturbances in an individual or system that disrupt adaptive functions; response of a dynamic system to challenges or demands.

Stressors

Events or experiences that typically result in stress on a system.

Stride length

The distance between two subsequent footfalls.

Stroma

The structural framework of an organ or tissue.

Stromal fibroblasts

The common type of cells of stroma, they synthesize the extracellular matrix and collagen, and are also involved in wound healing.

Structural homologs of brain neurotransmitters

Substrates that, by virtue of their chemical similarity to neurotransmitters, interact with receptors.

Structural Variation (Genomics)

The variation in structure of an organism’s chromosomes. It consists of many kinds of variation in the genome of one species, and usually includes microscopic and submicroscopic types, such as deletions, duplications, copy-number variants, insertions, inversions and translocations.

Subcortical Structure

A group of diverse neural formations deep within the brain which include the diencephalon, pituitary gland, limbic structures and the basal ganglia. They are involved in complex activities such as memory, emotion, pleasure and hormone production. They act as information hubs of the nervous system, as they relay and modulate information passing to different areas of the brain.

Subitizing

The quick, reliable, and accurate discrimination of small quantities (usually within numerosities 1–4).

Subventricular Zone Describes both embryonic and adult neural tissues in the vertebrate nervous system.
Sulcus (Brain)

A depression or groove in the cerebral cortex that, along with a gyrus (ridge), creates the folded appearance of the brain in humans and other mammals. The larger sulci are usually called fissures.

Symbionts

An organism that lives in a symbiosis providing benefits to its host.

Symbiosis

A close and long-term biological interaction between two different biological organisms, be it mutualistic, commensalistic, or parasitic.

Symbol

A sign that has an arbitrary and non-physical relationship with the thing that it refers to (its “referent”) (Kluender, 2020).

Symbolic Play

A type of play involving fantasy, imagination, and pretend to us available objects as stand ins for other objects.

Synaesthesia

A condition in which one type of stimulation evokes the sensation of another.

Synonymous/Non-synonymous Mutations

No change to the protein; changes to protein, respectively.

Syntax

The arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences in a language.

T-maze Test

A parental challenge test. The apparatus is a T-shaped Plexiglas structure that is used to measure whether female rats or mice are willing to protect their infants from potential harm. The maze is novel (new) and therefore fear-inducing to neophobic rodents. Rodents that fail to group pups in the nest within 15 minutes are considered neglectful.

Temporal Lobe (Brain)

One of the four major lobes of the cerebral cortex in the brain of mammals. The temporal lobe is located beneath the lateral fissure on both cerebral hemispheres of the mammalian brain.

Terra gram (Tg)

A unit of measure equivalent to 1,012 grams. 1.0 Tg is the same as 1.0 metric ton (Mt). When applied to nitrogen, it refers to the mass of the element N.

Terror Management Theory

A concept in social psychology that proposes the existence of a basic psychological conflict that results from having a desire to live but realizing death is inevitable.

The Microbiota Vault

A global non-profit aimed at conserving the biodiversity of microbiota through interactions with local collections and research efforts around the world by providing backup storage and a framework for data services and collaboration.

Theory of Mind (ToM)

The ability to attribute mental beliefs, desires, intentions, and perspectives, etc., to oneself and to others, and to understand that others have beliefs, desires, intentions, and perspectives that are similar or different from one’s own. Related/Overlapping Terms: “Intentionality,” Attribution of Mental States,” “Inter-subjectivity,” “Mind- Reading,” “Perspective taking,” “Other-regarding Impulses,” etc.

Tinbergen's Four Questions

Nikolaas Tinbergen’s 1962 paper “On aims and methods of Ethology,” defined complementary categories for analyzing and explaining animal behavior as proximate (developmental: both ontogenic and mechanistic) and ultimate (evolutionary: both phylogenetic and adaptive).

  • Proximate/Ontogeny: How does the trait develop in individuals?
  • Proximate/Mechanism: How does the trait work?
  • Ultimate/Phylogeny: What is the trait’s evolutionary history?
  • Ultimate/Adaptation: Why does the trait perform better than evolvable alternatives?
Togavirus (Togaviridae)

The viral family comprising two genera, Alphavirus and Rubivirus. All togaviruses that are either animal pathogens or zoonoses belong to the Alphavirus genus. Humans can contract togaviruses via vectored transmission from domestic livestock.
 

Trans (molecular interactions)

Receptors expressed on a cell surface that bind ligands on a different cell surface or between a cell surface and an extra-cellular molecule.

Transcription

The first step in gene expression during which the nucleotide sequence of DNA is transcribed into an RNA molecule that can ultimately be translated into protein.

Transcription Factor

Proteins that bind to specific sequences of DNA called regulatory elements, or other proteins that do so, and directly or indirectly affect the initiation of transcription. The activities of transcription factors determine where and when genes are expressed.

Transcription Factor Proteins

A protein that alters gene expression by binding directly or indirectly to DNA

Transcriptional Memory

The idea that following repeated stimulus-induced activation, genes become poised or primed to respond to that stimulus.

Translation

The process by which RNA sequences are translated to amino acid sequences during protein synthesis.

Transmembrane protein

A type of cell membrane protein that spans the width of the membrane and functions as a gateway for specific substances to enter or leave the cell or as a signaling molecule.

Transmissible (Disease)

Illnesses that are transmitted from one host to another though direct or indirect contact, via a vector or contaminated food and water. Synonymous with communicable and infectious.

Transposable elements (TE)

DNA sequence that can change its position within a genome, sometimes creating or reversing mutations and altering the cell’s genetic identity and genome size. They can also be referred to as “jumping genes”. They were discovered by Barbara McClintock and she earned the Nobel Prize in 1983 for that discovery. These sequences can be considered a type of “molecular parasite” within the genome.

Turnaround Cases

Individuals who show a striking change in direction of the life course; In resilience science, a pathway indicating dramatic improvement in adjustment.

Type 1 Membrane protein

A type of transmembrane protein oriented with the amino-terminal facing outside the cell.

Type 2 Diabetes (adult on-set)

A chronic metabolic disorder that affects the way the body processes blood sugar (glucose). It is characterized by high blood sugar, insulin resistance, and relative lack of insulin and primarily occurs as a result of obesity and lack of exercise.

Typhoid fever

A bacterial infection affecting only humans caused by Salmonella typhi. Symptoms include a gradual onset of a high fever, which is commonly accompanied by weakness, abdominal pain, constipation, headaches, and mild vomiting. Typhoid is spread by eating or drinking food or water contaminated with the feces of an infected person.

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