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Our Science Glossary glossary_i

Glossary

Idiopathic urticaria

An eruption of itching wheals, of unknown cause, source or origin, but which may be due to a state of hypersensitivity to foods or drugs, foci of infection or physical agents (heat, cold, light, friction).

Immunomodulators

Medications that can increase or suppress the immune responses of the body.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammation of the colon and rectum caused by ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.

Informatics

The study of the application of computer and statistical techniques to the management of information. In genome projects, informatics includes the development of methods to search databases quickly, to analyse DNA sequence information, and to predict protein sequence and structure from DNA sequence data.

Intravenous injection

Injection directly into a vein.

Investigational New Drug or IND

The formal authorisation from the FDA to administer a new drug to humans in clinical trials.

In silico

Literally "within silicon"; refers to research using computers only; a modelling process that is simulated on a computer.

In Vitro

Taking place in an artificial environment such as a test tube as opposed to In Vivo: pertaining to a biochemical process or reaction taking place in a living cell or organism.

In Vivo

Pertaining to a biochemical process or reaction taking place in a living cell or organism as opposed to in vitro, taking place in an artificial environment such as a test tube.

Ion channel

A protein that acts as a pore in a cell membrane and permits the selective passage of ions such as potassium or sodium ions.

Isoform

A protein isoform is a version of a protein with some small differences. The discovery of isoforms explains the apparently small number of coding genes revealed in the human genome project: the ability to create catalytically different proteins from the same gene increases the diversity of the genome.