Life Extension Magazine®

Issue: Oct 1999

Life Extension Aging Revealed Exclusive Interview With Drs. Prolla & Weindruch

Scientifically reviewed by: Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, on January 2021.

Life Extension Foundation


Short Glossary of Terms

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Scientific Term Lay Equivalent Explanation
ATP Biological source of energy. ATP is a chemical. Cells release chemical energy from ATP to power themselves.
Genes The molecular instructions for making an individual. Genes are made of DNA. DNA is a molecule that contains hereditary information.
Gene The molecular instructions for making one protein One gene produces one mRNA. This mRNA allows a particular protein to be made.
GenBank A database where the information content of many genes can be found on the Internet. Pronounced "Gene Bank." Information in DNA is encoded in the sequence of DNA bases. GenBank provides the sequence of bases in genes that have already been identified and studied.
Gene expression The use of a gene to make a protein. When a gene is "expressed," its information is copied into mRNA (messenger RNA).
mRNA, RNA A molecule that resembles DNA. A temporary version of DNA. mRNA forms on DNA like half of a zipper forming on the other half.
Hybridization The sticking of a given mRNA to the gene that normally gives rise to it. A given gene can stick to the mRNA it makes. But it can't stick to other mRNA molecules.
Induced Caused to be expressed. Genes can be repressed, and they can be induced.
Mitochondria Cell parts that make ATP. Mitochondria turn food calories into ATP.
PCR "Polymerase chain reaction." PCR is a sensitive method for detecting DNA or RNA.
Postmitotic No longer able to divide. Some cells that can divide during growth and maturation lose this ability in adulthood.
Transgene A gene that has been "transplanted" into an animal. Transgenes may be new to the animal receiving them, or they may be standard genes with different controls.
Transgenic Having a transgene. Transgenic mice tell us much about the transgene's effects.
Transcript A particular mRNA molecule; a synonym for an mRNA. DNA is "transcribed" to make RNA, so RNA is the "transcript."

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