Glossary

 

Technical

Alzheimer’s disease A degenerative disease of the brain.

Amino acid The chemical building block of proteins.

Analgesic A class of molecules that give relief from pain.

Antibiotic A class of molecules that kill or inhibit the growth of micro-organisms.

Arthropods Invertebrate animals with segmented bodies e.g. scorpions, centipedes, and spiders.

Bioinformatics The processing of biological data involving computing software, statistics and mathematics.

Biologics Medicinal protein products manufactured in or extracted from biological sources.

Biomarker A measurable indicator of a state or condition, usually relating to early phase of diseases; a biological signature.

Biosimilars Protein-based molecules that are biological medical products made to mimic an original drug.

Biotechnology The commercialisation of biological science.

Blockbuster Drug An extremely popular drug that generates annual sales of at least $1 billion for the company that creates it.

Companion Diagnostics Tests where patients are preselected for specific treatments based on their own biology, where such targeted therapy may hold promise in personalised treatment of particular diseases.

Diabetes A group of metabolic diseases associated with high blood sugar levels.

Diabetic kidney disease A progressive disease of the kidneys caused by diabetes and leading to the malfunction of nephropathy) the kidneys and ultimately renal failure.

Diagnostic Kit The method used in a pathology laboratory to determine (for example) the presence or absence of disease biomarkers.

Drug discovery The process of testing new molecules in the search for new therapeutic molecules.

Genomics The large-scale study of genes.

Mass Spectrometry The measurement of the mass to charge ratio of a molecule such as a peptide in order to determine its chemical structure.

Metabolomics The systematic study of the chemical fingerprints or metabolites present in cells or biological tissue.

‘Omics A word describing the range of all encompassing studies of living things. From the gene, we have the genome and genomics. From the protein we have the proteome and proteomics, and from the biochemistry of metabolism we have metabolomics. Collectively we have “omics”.

Oxidative stress An imbalance between the presence of reactive molecules in the body and the body’s natural ability to detoxify them.

Peptide Small proteins, insulin being an example.

Preclinical A phase in the development of new drugs that precedes human clinical trials.

Proteins The executive and operational molecules of life. Made from the instructions in the genes, the proteins carry out all the functions of living organisms.

Proteomics The large scale study of protein structure and function.

Therapeutics New molecules intended for use as new drugs.

Toxicology In drug development, testing for a molecule’s toxicity is an early pre-clinical phase of drug development.

Venom A cocktail of protein or peptide molecule synthesised by a wide range of venomous animals that are used to kill prey.

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