Androgens To Anticodon (Biology)

Androgens Steroid sex hormones, such as testosterone secreted by the testes in males, and others secreted by the adrenal cortex in humans and higher animals, as well as by the adrenal glands and ovaries in mammals. Androgens stimulate the development and maintenance of the male reproductive system such as sperm production, sexual behavior, and muscle development. Secondary sex characteristics such as the growth of pubic hair in females is also a product of androgens, as is the deepening of the voice at puberty.

Testosterone is present in a number of forms, such as free testosterone, as testosterone bound to a protein, sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), and as dihy-drotestosterone. Testosterone and synthetic androgens (anabolic steroids) have been used for infertility, athletic enhancement, erectile dysfunction, and libido problems, but their use can cause side effects such as muscle weakness, muscle atrophy, little facial and body hair, and even changes in the size of the genitalia. Prolonged use can damage the liver, and their use is banned in many sports.

Other androgens are androsterone (excreted in urine), which reinforces masculine characteristics; dihy-drotestosterone, which is a metabolite synthesized mainly in the liver from free testosterone by the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase and which levels are proportionally correlated to sex drive as well as erectile capabilities; and dehydroepiandrosterone, which are adrenal andro-gens that have been linked to puberty and aging.

Androgynous Term applied to flowering plants that have both staminate and pistillate flowers, or to cryptograms (ferns, mosses, fungi, algae) where the antheridia and archegonia are together.

Anemia Condition in which there is a reduction in the number of red blood cells or amount of hemoglobin per unit volume of blood below the reference interval for a similar individual of the species under consideration, often causing pallor and fatigue.

Aneuploidy Aneuploidy is the gain or loss of individual chromosomes from the normal diploid set of 46 and is the most common cytogenetic abnormality caused when homologous chromosomes fail to separate during the first division of meiosis.

When a loss of a chromosome occurs, it is called monosomy and is rarely seen in live births, since most monosomic embryos and fetuses are lost to spontaneous abortion at very early stages of pregnancy. One exception to this is the loss of an x chromosome, which produces Turner syndrome in about one out of every 5,000 female births.

The more common gain of a single chromosome is called trisomy and has been associated with various cancers. A common autosomal trisomy is Down’s syndrome in humans.

Another form of aneuploidy is called nullisomy, which is the loss of both pairs of homologous chromosomes and is almost always fatal to humans, since humans have no extra disposable chromosomes in the genome.

Tetrasomy is the gain of an extra pair of homologous chromosomes and is a rare chromosomal aberration. it can cause metopic craniosynostosis, facial anomalies, cranial asymmetry, atrioseptal defects, hydronephrosis, flexion contractures of the lower limbs, sensorineural hearing loss, and mental retardation.

Angiosperm A flowering plant. There are close to 250,000 species of flowering plants, second in abundance only to insects. All have three basic organs (roots, stems, and leaves) and represent the most abundant and advanced terrestrial plants, which include trees, herbaceous plants, herbs, shrubs, all grasses, and some aquatic plants. Angiosperms are the source of most of the food on which human beings and other mammals rely and of many raw materials and natural products that provide the infrastructure for modern civilizations.

An example of aneuploidy for an individual possessing three copies of a particular chromosome instead of the normal two copies.

An example of aneuploidy for an individual possessing three copies of a particular chromosome instead of the normal two copies.

Angiosperms are divided into two large groups. The dicotyledonea, or dicotyledons (also called magno-liopsida), the larger of the two groups, includes trees and shrubs and herbaceous plants. Dicots have two seed leaves (cotyledons) in the embryo. The smaller of the two groups is the monocotyledoneae, or monocotyledons (also called liliopsida), that include rice, corn, palms, bananas, coconuts, grasses, lilies, orchids, and garden plants. Monocots have a single seed leaf in the embryo.

The life cycles of the angiosperms have several advantages over those of conifers, or gymnosperms, the only other group of seed-bearing plants, and from which scientists believe the angiosperms evolved during the Cretaceous era some 145 million years ago. They reproduce via flowers instead of cones; their ovules are embedded in female sporophylls instead of being exposed on a bare ground surface (e.g., apple); the gametophyte is reduced; and seeds are enclosed in fruits that develop from the ovary or related structures.

Angiosperms have a true flower that is either a highly modified shoot with modified stem and leaves or a condensed and reduced compound strobilus (conelike structure) or inflorescence (flower cluster). Floral parts are in the form of sepals, petals, stamens, and carpels, while the ovules—the structure that develops in the plant ovary and contains the female gametophyte—are contained within the megasporophylls that are sealed in most angiosperm families. Pollination is facilitated by wind, water, or many animals. Self-pollination as well as parthenogenesis, a process by which embryonic development is initiated directly from an unfertilized cell, are common. Double fertilization occurs in all members of the phylum to produce the unusual stored food tissue called endosperm. Sexual reproduction in flowering plants occurs by this process of double fertilization in which one fertilization event forms an embryo, and a second fertilization event produces endosperm, a polyploid embryo-nourishing tissue found only in the angiosperms. Seeds are dispersed through a variety of forms such as fruits, follicles, capsules, berries, drupes, samaras, nuts, and achenes. Angiosperm is a combination of the Latin word angi-(enclosed) and the Greek word sperma (seed).

A schematic of a typical angiosperm flower.

A schematic of a typical angiosperm flower.

Anion An atom or molecule that has a negative charge; a negatively charged ion. See also ion.

Anisotropy The property of molecules and materials to exhibit variations in physical properties along different molecular axes of the substance.

Annual A plant that completes its entire life cycle— germinates, grows, flowers, and seeds—in a single year or growing season.

Antagonist A drug or a compound that opposes the physiological effects of another. At the receptor level, it is a chemical entity that opposes the receptor-associated responses normally induced by another bioactive agent.

Anterior Referring to the head end of a bilaterally symmetrical animal; the front of an animal.

Anther In angiosperms, it is the terminal pollen sac of the stamen. The pollen grains with male gametes form inside the anther. It is the pollen that fertilizes the ovules. The anther is the primary male reproductive structure at the apex of the flower’s stamen, the male sexual organ.

Antheridium The multicellular male sex organ or gametangium where motile male gametes (sperm) are formed and protected in algae, fungi, bryophytes (mosses, liverworts, etc.), and pteridophytes (ferns).

Anthrax Bacterial disease of animals and humans caused by contamination with spores from Bacillus anthracis through inhalation or skin entry (cutaneous); can be used as an agent of bioterrorism.

Anti In the representation of stereochemical relationships, anti means "on opposite sides" of a reference plane, in contrast to syn, which means "on the same side."

Antibiotic A chemical agent that is produced synthetically or by an organism that is harmful to another organism. It is used to combat disease, either topically or by ingestion, in humans, animals, and plants. It can be made from a mold or bacterium and kills or slows the growth of other microbes, in particular bacteria. penicillin, one of the most famous antibiotics, was accidentally discovered by the British bacteriologist sir alexander fleming in 1928.

Antibiotic resistance can occur when antibiotics are used repetitively. While most of the targeted bacteria are killed by a dose of antibiotics, some escape death, and these remaining bacteria have or develop a genetic resistance to the antibiotic. Unfortunately, this resistance trait can be passed on to their offspring.

Antibody A soluble immunoglobulin blood protein produced by the B cells, white blood cells, that develop in the bone marrow (also known as B lymphocytes, plasma cells) in response to an antigen (a foreign substance). Antibodies are produced in response to disease and help the body fight against a particular disease by binding to the antigen and killing it, or making it more vulnerable to action by white blood cells. They help the body develop an immunity to diseases.

Each antibody has two light (L) and two heavy (H) immunoglobulin polypeptide chains linked together by disulfide bonds, with two antigen-binding sites. There are more than 1,000 possible variations, yet each antibody recognizes only one specific antigen. Antibodies are normally bound to a B cell, but when an antibody encounters an antigen, the B cell produces copies of the antibody with the assistance of helper T cells (a lymphocyte that undergoes a developmental stage in the thymus). The released antibodies then go after and bind to the antigen, either killing it or marking it for destruction by phagocytes.

An antibody is a blood protein that is produced in response to and that counteracts an antigen. Antibodies are produced in response to disease and help the body fight against particular diseases. In this way, antibodies help the body develop an immunity to disease.

An antibody is a blood protein that is produced in response to and that counteracts an antigen. Antibodies are produced in response to disease and help the body fight against particular diseases. In this way, antibodies help the body develop an immunity to disease.

There are five immunoglobulins: IgC, IgA, IgM, igD, and igE.

IgA, or immunoglobulin A, comprises about 10-15 percent of the body’s total immunoglobulins and is found in external secretions such as saliva, tears, breast milk, and mucous, both intestinal and bronchial. They are secreted on the surface of the body as a first defense against bacteria and viral antigens in an attempt to prevent them from entering the body.

IgM or immunoglobulin M antibodies are produced in response to new or repeat infections and stay in the body for a short time after infection. They make up from 5 to 10 percent of the total immunoglobulins and are the first to show up in the serum after an antigen enters. IgM is produced during the primary immune response. It is the IgMs that capture and bind antigens to form large insoluble complexes that are cleared from the blood.

IgG or immunoglobulin G (gamma globulin) antibodies remain in the body for long periods of time after infection and are the most common type, comprising about 80 percent of the body’s total immunoglobulins. They are in the serum and are produced in substantial quantities during the secondary immune response, and along with IgM activate the complement system, which results in the destruction of the membrane of pathogens. The IgGs act by agglutinating, by opsonis-ing, by activating complement-mediated reactions against cellular pathogens, and by neutralizing toxins.

IgE or immunoglobulin E is associated with mast cells, which are basophils, a type of granular white blood cell that has left the bloodstream and entered a tissue. Mast cells release histamine and heparin, chemicals that mediate allergic reactions. Not surprisingly, IgE is responsible for immediate hypersensitivity (allergic) reactions and immune defense against parasites.

IgD or immunoglobulin D is a specialized immunoglobulin, but its function is currently unknown. It is found in small amounts in the serum.

Anticodon A specialized sequence of three nucleotides on a tRNA (transfer ribonucleic acid) molecule. The anticodon associates with a complementary triplet of bases—the codon—on an mRNA (messenger RNA) molecule during protein synthesis.

The tRNA molecule acts like a "ferry" whose job is to "pick up a passenger" (read the code from the mRNA) and then "shuttle it" (dock to the corresponding amino acid) into place. The other end of the tRNA molecule has an acceptor site where the tRNA’s specific amino acid will bind.

The 20 amino acids in the table below can create 64 different tRNA molecules, 61 for tRNA coding and three codes for chain termination (pairing up with "stop codons" that end the mRNA message), and each amino acid can create more than one set of codons.

Amino Acid:

A = Adeninez

C = Cytosine

G = Guanine

U = Uracil







Aspartic Acid




Glutamic Acid














Methionine (initiation)


















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