Geneticky modifikované organizmy


Slovenský jazyk

A, T, C, G

Symbols for the bases adenine, thymine, cytosine, and guanine.


Alternate forms of a gene at a particular location on a chromosome. Different alleles produce variation in inherited traits such as hair colour or blood type. In an individual, one form of the allele (the dominant one) may be expressed more than another form (the recessive one). [Talking Glossary]

Amino acid

Different kinds of small molecules that link together in long chains to form proteins, amino acids are often referred to as the "building blocks" of proteins. [Talking Glossary]


A prenatal test in which a hollow needle is inserted into the uterus to obtain some of the fluid surrounding a foetus (baby). The cells are examined to determine the sex of the baby, or to find abnormalities in the chromosomes.


Antibodies help the body develop immunity to disease. Blood proteins are produced in response to a disease and help the body fight against the particular disease. [Talking Glossary]

Adenosine triphosphate (ATP)

A compound that occurs widely in living tissue and serves as a major source of energy.
Source : Word Central's Student Dictionary


Any chromosome other than a sex chromosome; humans have 22 pairs of autosomes. [Talking Glossary]


Very small, single-celled life forms that can reproduce quickly. Bacteria are found throughout nature and can be beneficial or destructive. [Talking Glossary]


A DNA nucleotide is made of a molecule of sugar, a molecule of phosphoric acid, and a molecule called a base. The bases are the "letters" that spell out the genetic code. In DNA, the code letters are A, T, C, and G, which stand for the chemicals adenine, thymine, cytosine, and guanine, respectively. In base pairing, adenine always pairs with thymine, and guanine always pairs with cytosine. [Talking Glossary]


The biological variety in an environment as indicated by numbers of different species of plants and animals.
Source : Word Central's Student Dictionary


The application of biological science; especially the use of genetic techniques to combine DNA from different sources into one organism in order to produce useful products (as drugs).
Source : Word Central's Student Dictionary


The first breast cancer genes to be identified. Mutated forms of these genes are believed to be responsible for about half the cases of inherited breast cancer, especially those that occur in younger women. Both are tumour suppressor genes. [Talking Glossary]



Disease(s) in which abnormal cells divide and grow unchecked. Cancer can spread from its original site to other parts of the body and can also be fatal if not treated adequately. [Talking Glossary]



A person who has one copy of the gene mutation for a recessive disorder is called a 'carrier'. Carriers are not affected by the disorder however they can pass on the mutated gene to their children. Children who inherit two such genes may be affected by the disorder.
Source : Human Genome Project Information


The basic unit of any living organism, a cell is a small, watery, compartment filled with chemicals and a complete copy of the organism's genome. [Talking Glossary]


The green coloring matter of plants that is found in chloroplasts and is necessary to make plant food from carbon dioxide and water by photosynthesis.
Source : Word Central's Student Dictionary


An area in a plant cell that contains chlorophyll and is the location of photosynthesis and starch formation.

Chorionic villus sampling

Chorionic villus sampling is a prenatal test that can be done earlier than amniocentesis. It is performed on pregnant women who are at risk for carrying a foetus with a genetic or chromosomal defect.


One of the threadlike "packages" of genes and other DNA in the nucleus of a cell. Different kinds of organisms have different numbers of chromosomes. Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes - so 46 in all - 44 autosomes and two sex chromosomes. Each parent contributes one chromosome to each pair, so children get half of their chromosomes from their mothers and half from their fathers. [Talking Glossary]


An exact copy of biological material such as a DNA segment (e.g., a gene or other region), a whole cell, or a complete organism.
Source : Human Genome Project Information


Cloning creates a genetically identical copy of an animal or plant. Cloning is the process of making copies of a specific piece of DNA, usually a gene. When geneticists speak of cloning, they do not mean the process of making genetically identical copies of an entire organism. [Talking Glossary]


Three bases in a DNA or RNA sequence, which specify a single amino acid. [Talking Glossary]


In reproduction, conception is the point at which a sperm fertilizes an egg.

Cystic fibrosis

This is a hereditary disease whose symptoms usually appear shortly after birth. They include faulty digestion, breathing difficulties and respiratory infections due to mucus accumulation, and excessive loss of salt in sweat. In the past, cystic fibrosis was almost always fatal in childhood, but treatment is now so improved that patients commonly live in to their twenties and beyond. [Talking Glossary]


The viscous semi-liquid inside the membrane of a cell.


One of the four bases in DNA that make up the letters A, T, C, G. Cytosine is the "C". The others are adenine, thymine, and guanine. Cytosine always pairs with guanine. [Talking Glossary]

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)

DNA is the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms. A long molecule, and usually packaged into chromosomes, DNA encodes genetic information in the form of a double helix held together by bonds between base pairs. [Talking Glossary]


Problems in how the body functions. Health problems caused by mutations in the genes are referred to as genetic disorders.
Source : Human Genome Project Information


Diversity describes the the different types of organisms that exist within in a community or ecological system.


Short for deoxyribonucleic acid.

DNA fingerprinting

In genetics, the identification of multiple specific alleles on a person's DNA to produce a unique identifier for that person.
Source : Human Genome Project Information

DNA polymerase

The enzyme in DNA replication that links the complementary nucleotide bases together to make the newly synthesized strand.

DNA replication

The process by which the DNA double helix unwinds and makes an exact copy of itself. [Talking Glossary]

DNA sequencing

Determining the exact order of the base pairs in a segment of DNA. [Talking Glossary]

Dominant gene

A gene that almost always results in a specific physical characteristic, for example, a disease, even though the patient's genome possesses only one copy. With a dominant gene, the chance of passing on the gene (and therefore the disease) to children is 50-50 in each pregnancy. [Talking Glossary]

Double helix

The structural arrangement of DNA, which looks something like an immensely long ladder twisted into a helix, or coil. The sides of the "ladder" are formed by a backbone of sugar and phosphate molecules, and the "rungs" consist of nucleotide bases joined weakly in the middle by hydrogen bonds. [Talking Glossary]



The process in which molecules (such as proteins, DNA, or RNA fragments) can be separated according to size and electrical charge by applying an electric current to them. The current forces the molecules through pores in a thin layer of gel, a firm jelly-like substance. The gel can be made so that its pores are just the right dimensions for separating molecules within a specific range of sizes and shapes. Smaller fragments usually travel further than large ones. The process is sometimes called gel electrophoresis. [Talking Glossary]


An animal in the early stage of development before birth (in humans, the embryo stage is the first three months following conception).
Source : Human Genome Project Information

Endoplasmic reticulum (ER)

A network of membranous tubules in the cytoplasm of a cell, endoplasmic reticulum is involved in the production of proteins, and other functions. Rough ER is studded with ribosomes; smooth ER is not.


The non-genetic conditions and circumstances that affect a person's behaviour and health.


A protein that encourages a biochemical reaction, usually speeding it up. Organisms could not function if they didn't have enzymes. [Talking Glossary]

Ethical issues

Questions that concern what is moral or right.


A cell or organism with membrane-bound, structurally discrete nucleus and other well-developed subcellular compartments. Eukaryotes include all organisms except viruses, bacteria, and bluegreen algae.
Source : Human Genome Project Information


The process by which all forms of plant and animal life change slowly over time because of slight variations in the genes that one generation passes down to the next.


An animal in the early stage of development before birth (in humans, the foetal stage is from the end of the third month until birth).


The functional and physical units of heredity passed from parent to offspring, genes are pieces of DNA stored in the cell nucleus. They are the recipes for making proteins. Each gene consists of several thousand code words. Each person's cells contains the same unique and complete set of genes.[Talking Glossary]

Gene therapy

An evolving technique used to treat inherited diseases. The medical procedure involves replacing, manipulating, or supplementing non-functional genes with healthy genes, in order to affect their function. [Talking Glossary]

Genetically modified organism (GMO)

An organism whose genetic make-up has been changed by any method, including natural processes, genetic engineering, cloning or mutagenesis.
Source : Human Genome Project Information

Genetic code (ATCG)

The instructions in a gene that tell the cell how to make a specific protein, A, T, C and G are the "letters" of the DNA code. They stand for the chemicals: adenine, thymine, cytosine, and guanine, respectively, that make up the nucleotide bases of DNA. Each gene's code combines the four chemicals in various ways to spell out 3-letter "words" that specify which amino acid is needed at every step in making a protein. [Talking Glossary]

Genetic engineering

The artificial introduction of changes to the genes in a cell.
Source : Human Genome Project Information

Genetic profile

A collection of information about a person's genes.
Source : Human Genome Project Information


The field of science that looks at how traits are passed down from one generation to another, through the genes.
Source : Human Genome Project Information


The complete package of genetic material for a living thing, a genome is one copy of the entire DNA in a cell of an organism (animal, plant or microbe) and includes both the chromosomes within the nucleus and the DNA in mitochondria. A copy of the genome is found in most cells. Our genome is 3 000 000 000 base pairs, packaged into 23 pairs of chromosomes: bacteria may have only 1,500 000 base pairs in one chromosome. [Talking Glossary]


The study of genes and their functions.

Germ cells

The cells of the body involved in reproduction. Sperm of the male and eggs of the female are formed from germ cells.
Source : Human Genome Project Information

Golgi complex (Golgi apparatus)

The Golgi complex refers to organelles in animal cells made up of a series of sacs that sort, modify, and package proteins produced on the rough endoplasmic reticulum.


One of the four bases in DNA that make up the letters ATCG, guanine is the "G". The others are adenine, cytosine, and thymine. Guanine always pairs with cytosine. [Talking Glossary]



The passing of certain traits from parents to their offspring. The process of heredity occurs through the genes.
Source : Human Genome Project Information


Proteins produced by organs of the body that trigger activity in other locations.
Source : Human Genome Project Information

Human Genome Project

An international research project to map each human gene and to completely sequence human DNA. [Talking Glossary]

Immune system

A biological defence system that has evolved in vertebrates to protect them against the introduction of foreign material (such as pollen, or invading micro-organisms) and to prevent the body from developing cancer.
Source : PhRMA Genomics


The concept of using the immune system to treat disease, for example, developing a vaccine against cancer. Immunotherapy may also refer to the therapy of diseases caused by the immune system, allergies for example. [Talking Glossary]


Transmitted through genes from parents to offspring. [Talking Glossary]


The chromosomal complement of an individual, including the number of chromosomes and any abnormalities. The term is also used to refer to a photograph of an individual's chromosomes. [Talking Glossary]


Inactivation of specific genes, knockouts are often created in laboratory organisms (such as yeast or mice) so that scientists can study the knockout organism as a model for a particular disease. [Talking Glossary]


Cancer of the developing blood cells in the bone marrow. Leukemia leads to rampant overproduction of white blood cells (leukocytes); symptoms usually include anaemia, fever, enlarged liver, spleen, and/or lymph nodes. [Talking Glossary]


Organelles enclosed in membranes, containing digestive enzymes.



The process of two consecutive cell divisions in the diploid progenitors of sex cells. Meiosis results in four rather than two daughter cells, each with a haploid set of chromosomes.
Source : Human Genome Project Information

Messenger RNA (mRNA)

"Blueprint" for protein synthesis that is transcribed from one strand of the DNA (gene) and which is translated at the ribosome into a polypeptide sequence. Each set of three bases, called codons, specifies a certain protein in the sequence of amino acids that comprise the protein. The sequence of a strand of mRNA is based on the sequence of a complementary strand of DNA. [Talking Glossary]

Microarray technology

A new way of studying how large numbers of genes interact with each other and how a cell's regulatory networks control vast batteries of genes simultaneously. The method uses a robot to precisely apply tiny droplets containing functional DNA to glass slides. Researchers then attach fluorescent labels to DNA from the cell they are studying. The labelled probes are allowed to bind to complementary DNA strands on the slides. The slides are put into a scanning microscope that can measure the brightness of each fluorescent dot; brightness reveals how much of a specific DNA fragment is present, an indicator of how active it is. [Talking Glossary]


Injection of tiny amounts of a substance into a microscopic body, such as a single cell.

Mitochondrial DNA

The genetic material of the mitochondria, the organelles that generate energy for the cell. [Talking Glossary]


The process of nuclear division in cells that produces daughter cells that are genetically identical to each other and to the parent cell.
Source : Human Genome Project Information


The smallest particle of a substance having all the characteristics of the substance.
Source : Word Central Student's Dictionary

Monogenic disorder

A disorder which is caused by mutations in just one gene (such as haemophilia), as opposed to polygenic disorders (such as hypertension) which involve the interaction of several genes.
Source : PhRMA Genomics


A permanent structural alteration in DNA. In most cases, DNA changes either have no effect or cause harm, but occasionally a mutation can improve an organism's chance of surviving and passing the beneficial change on to its descendants. [Talking Glossary]


When a chemical or physical agent is used to cause permanent genetic alterations.
Source : Human Genome Project Information

Nuchal translucency test

The nuchal translucency test is used to determine if a woman is at high risk of having a baby with a chromosomal abnormality, such as Down syndrome.


One of the structural components, or building blocks, of DNA and RNA. A nucleotide consists of a base (one of four chemicals: adenine, thymine, guanine, and cytosine) plus a molecule of sugar and one of phosphoric acid. [Talking Glossary]


The largest, most prominent organelle in eukaryotic cells, the nucleus is a round or oval body that is surrounded by the nuclear envelope and contains the genetic information necessary for control of cell structure and function. It is the central cell structure that houses the chromosomes and is essential to such cell functions as growth, metabolism, and reproduction. [Talking Glossary]


A gene that is capable of causing the transformation of normal cells into cancer cells. [Talking Glossary]


A structure in a single-celled living thing that has a special task as an organ does in a many-celled living thing.
Source : Word Central Student's Dictionary


An individual living thing that carries on the activities of life by means of organs which have separate functions but are dependent on each other : a living person, plant, or animal.
Source : Word Central Student's Dictionary


Osteoblasts are one of four types of bone cell. They synthesize most of the bone proteins.


Parkinson's Disease

A common progressive neurological disorder that results from degeneration of nerve cells in a region of the brain that controls movement. The first symptom of the disease is usually tremor of a limb, especially when the body is at rest. [Talking Glossary]


The science of understanding the correlation between an individual patient's genetic make-up (genotype) and their response to drug treatment. Some drugs work well in some patient populations and not as well in others. Studying the genetic basis of patient response to therapeutics allows drug developers to more effectively design therapeutic treatments.
Source : Human Genome Project Information


The observable traits or characteristics of an organism (e.g., hair colour, weight) or the presence or absence of a disease. Phenotypic traits are not necessarily genetic. [Talking Glossary]


The process by which plant cells use solar energy to produce ATP.


A structure composed of DNA that is separate from the cell's genome. In bacteria, plasmids confer a variety of traits and can be exchanged between individuals - even those of different species. Plasmids can be manipulated in the laboratory to deliver specific genetic sequences into a cell.
Source : PhRMA Genomics


Having more than one nucleus.


A large complex molecule made up of one or more chains of amino acids. Proteins perform a wide variety of activities in the cell. [Talking Glossary]


Cell or organism lacking a membrane-bound, structurally discrete nucleus and other subcellular compartments. Bacteria are examples of prokaryotes.
Source : Human Genome Project Information


The study of the full set of proteins encoded by a genome.
Source : Human Genome Project Information


A genetic disorder that appears only in individuals that have received two copies of a mutant gene, one from each parent. [Talking Glossary]

Recombinant DNA

A variety of techniques that molecular biologists use to manipulate DNA molecules to study the expression of a gene. [Talking Glossary]


Recombinant DNA is produced when genetic information from more than one organism is recombined in a laboratory process into a hybrid molecule.
Source : PhRMA Genomics


The process by which DNA is duplicated before cell division.

Ribonucleic acid (RNA)

A chemical similar to a single strand of DNA. In RNA, the letter U, which stands for uracil, is substituted for T in the genetic code. RNA delivers DNA's genetic message to the cytoplasm of a cell where proteins are made. [Talking Glossary]


Cellular organelle that is the site of protein synthesis. [Talking Glossary]

RNA polymerase

An enzyme that, during transcription, attaches to the promoter region of the DNA template, joins nucleotides to form the synthesized strand of RNA and detaches from the template when it reaches the terminator region.



To determine the order of letters or nucelotides in a DNA or protein molecule.

Sex chromosome

A sex chromosome is one of the two chromosomes that specify an organism's genetic sex. Humans have two kinds of sex chromosomes, one called X and the other Y. Normal females possess two X-chromosomes and normal males one X and one Y. [Talking Glossary]


A single, distinct class of living creature with features that distinguish it from others.

Stem cell

Undifferentiated, primitive cells in the bone marrow with the ability both to multiply and to differentiate into specific blood cells.
Source : PhRMA Genomics


One of the four bases in DNA that make up the letters ATCG, thymine is the "T". The others are adenine, cytosine, and guanine. Thymine always pairs with adenine. [Talking Glossary]


Ways of looking, thinking, or being. Genetic traits are passed down through the genes from parents to offspring.
Source : Human Genome Project Information


The process during which the information in a length of DNA is used to construct an mRNA molecule.
Source : PhRMA Genomics

Transfer RNA (tRNA)

RNA molecules which bond with amino acids and transfer them to ribosomes, where protein synthesis is completed.
Source : PhRMA Genomics


An experimentally produced organism in which DNA has been artificially introduced and incorporated into the organism's germ line, usually by injecting the foreign DNA into the nucleus of a fertilized embryo. [Talking Glossary]


The process during which the information in mRNA molecules is used to construct proteins.
Source : PhRMA Genomics

Ultrasound imaging

A technique for looking inside the body by using sound waves to create images.
Source : Human Genome Project Information


Uracil is one of the four bases in RNA. The others are adenine, cytosine, and guanine. Uracil replaces thymine, which is the fourth base in DNA. Like thymine, uracil always pairs with adenine. [Talking Glossary]



An agent, such as a virus or a small piece of DNA called a plasmid, that carries a modified or foreign gene. When used in gene therapy, a vector delivers the desired gene to a target cell. [Talking Glossary]


Extremely small and simple life forms made merely of a protein shell and a genome. A virus reproduces by inserting its genome into the cells of other life forms. As those cells duplicate, so does the virus.
Source : Human Genome Project Information


Transplantation of tissue or organs between organisms of different species, genus, or family. A common example is the use of pig heart valves in humans.
Source : PhRMA Genomics


Global source:
Other dictionary: Glossary of Genetic Terms

© 2006 - Department of Biosafety - Ministry of Environment - Slovak Republic