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Our Science Glossary glossary_c

Glossary

CDR or complementarity-determining region

The region on an antibody that makes contact with the antigen; in a T-cell, part of the T-cell receptor that makes contact with the antigen. The amino acid sequences of these regions are highly variable, but specific for each antigen:

Cartilage

The elastic, fibrous connective tissues found in the joints of bones..

Cataplexy

A debilitating medical condition in which a person suddenly feels weak and collapses at moments of strong emotion such as laughter, anger, fear or surprise and hence people with cataplexy may injure themselves.

Chemo-therapeutic agent

A drug used to kill cancer cells or make them less active.

Chiral

Objects or molecules that are not super imposable to their mirror image. The easiest examples of such objects are hands. An object is typically chiral when it does not contain any plane of symmetry.

Cognition dementia

The progressive decline in cognitive function (an individual's ability to process information) due to damage or disease in the brain beyond what might be expected from normal ageing.

Collapsing response mediator protein 2

A neuronal protein implicated in axonal outgrowth. An axon is a long filament that extends from the cell body in nerve cells (neurons).

Computational chemistry

Is a branch of chemistry that uses computers to assist in solving chemical problems. It may be used to calculate the structure or properties of compounds and how to identify correlations between structure and chemical and biological properties.

Cholesterol

A substance made by the body and consumed in food products that come from animals. It travels in the blood as two compounds: low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL). HDL is often called the 'good' cholesterol as it helps transport cholesterol in the body to the liver, where the body then prepares to excrete it.

Combination therapy

Most often refers to the simultaneous administration of two or more medications to treat a single disease or when different types of therapy are used at the same time.

Crohn's disease

Is a chronic, episodic, inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract characterised by transmural inflammation (affecting the entire wall of the involved bowel) and skip lesions (areas of inflammation with areas of normal lining in between). Crohn's disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from mouth to anus; as a result, the symptoms of Crohn's disease vary between affected individuals. The main gastrointestinal symptoms are abdominal pain, diarrhea (which may be bloody) and weight loss.

Crystallography

More specifically X-ray crystallography that is the primary method for determining the molecular conformations of biological macromolecules, particularly proteins. This involves studying the diffraction of X-rays when passed through a crystal. It allows a 3D model of the molecule to be built and serves as the basis for structure-based drug design

Cytotoxic

Cytotoxic drugs include any drug that inhibits or prevents the function of cells. Cytotoxic drugs include drugs used to treat cancer, such as chemotherapy treatments.

Cytostatic

Something which inhibits or suppresses cell growth and multiplication.