Science Education

Jargon: Chemotherapy (A treatment modality by which potent chemicals kill fast-growing cells)

Chemotherapy: A medical treatment modality, commonly used against cancer, by which strong chemicals are used to destroy rapidly dividing cells. One of the classic characteristics of cancer cells is that they divide uncontrollably: they can thus be killed by agents that target fast-growing cells. Unfortunately, chemotherapeutic drugs also, by their very nature, target healthy cells … Continue reading

Science Education

Jargon: Organic Chemistry (The chemistry of carbon-containing molecules)

Organic Chemistry: the chemical science that studies molecules containing carbon atoms. Carbon is an atomic element made up of six protons, six electrons, and a variable number of neutrons and is the atom around which living matter on Earth is formed. DNA contains a large amount of carbon atoms, as do carbohydrates (sugars), lipids (fats), … Continue reading

Science Education

Jargon: Differential diagnoses (The possible causes of a set of signs and symptoms)

Differential diagnoses: They are the possible causes of a set of signs and symptoms in medicine. An example of this can be found in Robert H. Seller’s book Differential diagnosis of common complaints. If a patient presents with bloating and flatulence, the author suggests the following differential diagnoses: 1. Excessive intestinal bacterial fermentation; 2. Increased … Continue reading

Science Education

Jargon: -omics (The fields of biological study concerned with the totality of a molecular type)

-omics: this bugger is tough to adequately describe. In short, it represents all the fields of study in biology that concern themselves with every molecule of a certain type. For instance, the field of “genomics” will look at the entire genome and not at individual genes. The field of “proteomics” will study every protein in, … Continue reading

Science Education

Jargon: Central Dogma of Molecular Biology (That DNA makes RNA which makes proteins)

The central dogma of molecular biology: The idea that, within a cell, information is transcribed from DNA into RNA and is translated from RNA to proteins. The DNA molecule is essentially a book containing the blueprints to make everything; RNA is a short copy of the blueprint that is necessary at a given moment; and … Continue reading

Science Education

Jargon: Molecular Biology (the study of the molecular underpinnings of life)

Molecular Biology: a field of science concerned with the way in which the molecules of life (DNA, RNA, and proteins for the most part) interact, regulate each other, and are modified within a cell. Not merely a subject but also a toolkit of techniques to gather information about biomolecules: the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), blotting, … Continue reading

Pseudoscience / Science Education

Jargon: Oscillococcinum (a homeopathic dilution of duck offals alleged to shorten flu symptoms)

Oscillococcinum: a homeopathic product claimed to reduce the duration of flu-like symptoms. Its preparation begins with duck liver and heart which is diluted 1 in a 100 two hundred times. The final preparation cannot scientifically contain a single molecule derived from the duck liver and heart. All it is is the dilution solvent packed in … Continue reading