IGEM:IMPERIAL/2007/Tutorials/Guide for Engineers/Glossary of Terms

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This is a glossary of useful terms. It is a part of the Guide for Engineers in Synthetic Biology. While we would like to cover as many terms as we can throughout the guide, some jargon used in biology are far beyond the scope of this guide. Online biology glossary guides are highly recommended:




Molecular and cellular biology

  • bacteria
  • E.Coli
  • Central Dogma
  • Gene Expression Machinery
    • DNA polymerase
    • RNA polymerase
    • transcription
    • mRNA,
  • Ribosomes
    • translation
  • Protein

Cloning and Recombinant DNA

  • Chromosomal DNA
  • Plasmid DNA
  • Restriction enzyme - Restriction enzymes are a class of enzyme that can causes specific breaks in a DNA molecule
  • Endonuclease - A type of restriction enzyme that cleaves DNA within the interior of the DNA molecule.
  • Exonuclease - A type of restriction enzyme that cleaves the end of a DNA molecule.
  • Restriction Site - A specific sequence of nucleotides that is recognised and cleaved by the an restriction enzyme.
  • Foreign DNA expression
  • DNA mini-prep (extracting plasmid DNA from cells)
  • Transformation (importing foreign DNA into a cell host)
  • Cleaving and splicing
  • Bacteriophage

Synthetic Biology related

  • Biobrick (standardized plasmid with well defined restriction sites)
  • Standard assembly for Biobricks