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Our Science Glossary glossary_s



A rare genetic disorder characterised by syndactyly (adjacent fingers and toes are joined by soft tissue) and thickening and overgrowth of bone.

Solid tumours

Cancer of body tissues other than blood, bone marrow and the lymphatic system are known as solid tumours. They may be benign, i.e. not cancerous, or malignant i.e. cancerous. Different types of solid tumours are named by the type of cells that form them.

Stratified medicine

This involves proactively testing and selecting subsets of populations for treatment based on a likely positive or negative therapeutic response. Stratification is driving a trend from the development of blockbusters to treat large patient populations (one size fits all) to "niche-busters," which treat specific identified subsets of populations. This approach increases efficacy of a drug and reduces its potential side-effects, by proactively testing and selecting the subset of patients.

Structural biology

A part of biology that studies the three-dimensional shape of biological macromolecules. This is of great interest to scientists, allowing them to visualise how drugs bind to their targets or how two molecules interact.


The liquid removed from a tank once the solids have settled.

Synaptic vesicle protein

The point at which a nerve impulse is transmitted between neurons is called a synapse. Neurons are electrically excitable cells in the CNS that process and transmit information. In vertebrate animals, neurons are the core components of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves. A protein synapse cover.

Systemic lupus erythematosus

A serious, chronic, autoimmune disorder characterised by periodic episodes of inflammation of, and damage to, the joints, tendons, other connective tissues and organs, including the heart, lungs, blood vessels, brain, kidneys, and skin.