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Glossary

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A

  • abdomen

    Part of the body located below the chest. It contains the digestive organs (stomach, kidneys, intestines, liver, etc). In women it also contains the ovaries and uterus.

  • abscess

    A swelling, caused by a build up of pus, that is located within the body tissue.

  • account book

    Books in which financial accounts are kept.

  • acetabulum

    The cup-shaped cavity at the base of the hip bone into which the ball-shaped head of the femur fits.

  • Acid Purification System

    automates the purification of DNA from biological samples such as blood, sell cultures viruses and other tissues.

  • acne

    A disorder of the skin in which the glands producing oily matter become inflamed. It is characterized by blackheads, pustules and even scars. There are a number of treatments available. Acne particularly affects teenagers.

  • actinotherapy

    the treatment of disorders with infrared or ultraviolet radiation

  • acupuncture

    A central therapy in Traditional Chinese Medicine, where fine needles are inserted into the skin at specific points. These points are believed by to lie on channels, or meridians, of energy flow, or qi (chi).

  • addiction

    The condition of being addicted, or unable to live without, a particular habit, substance or pursuit.

  • adenovirus

    A virus that contains DNA. It causes respiratory infections that have similar symptoms to the common cold.

  • ADHD

    A behavioural disorder which begins in childhood. Symptoms include short attention span and impulsive tendencies, commonly but not always combined with hyperactivity.

  • admission ticket

    A voucher that entitles entry to an event or establishment, often prepaid.

  • adrenaline

    A hormone secreted from the adrenal gland in preparation for ‘fright, flight or fight’. The effects include increased heart and breathing rate, improved muscle contraction and delayed muscular fatigue.

  • advertisement

    A public notice or announcement especially one advertising goods or services in newspapers, on posters, or in broadcasts

  • AIDS

    Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a disease caused by infections resulting from a weakened immune system due to the HIV virus. It leads to failure of the immune system and is usually fatal. It is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids.

  • air sampler

    A device for obtaining and measuring air samples to assess the quality of air and the presence of any contaminants.

  • albarello

    A form of jar, typically from Medieval Spain, used for storing drugs. The word ‘albarello’ is of Spanish origin but historians appear divided over whether or not the design of the jar originated in Spain, Morocco or China. The shape of the waisted jar is distinctive.

  • albumenometer

    An instrument for determining the amount of albumen in a patient's sample of urine

  • alchemy

    A form of medieval chemistry that incorporated aspects of philosophy. It was concerned with transforming metal, particularly into gold, and potentially creating an elixir to prolong life.

  • allergy

    A state in which the body becomes hypersensitive to specific substances. When these substances come in contact with the body they provoke particular reactions. Common indications of allergy may include sneezing, itching, and skin rashes.

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