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Biotech Glossary


The application of information technology to the field of molecular biology. Bioinformatics entails the creation and advancement of databases, algorithms, computational and statistical techniques, and theory to solve formal and practical problems arising from the management and analysis of biological data.

RNA Interference

A mechanism that inhibits gene expression at the stage of translation (see translation) or by hindering the transcription (see transcription) of specific genes. This method has been referred to as posttranscriptional gene silencing and is an important tool for gene-expression research.

Ribonucleic Acid (RNA)

A molecule similar to DNA, which helps in the process of decoding the genetic information carried by DNA. RNA is a nucleic acid transcribed from DNA; mRNA is then translated into proteins.

olymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)

A method for creating millions of copies of a particular segment of DNA. If a scientist needs to detect the presence of a very small amount of a particular DNA sequence, PCR can be used to amplify the amount of that sequence until there are enough copies available to be detected.