• B cells

    definition

    B cells are...

    Also known as B lymphocytes, these are the cells that, along with T cells, constitute the adaptive immune system. Upon activation by an encounter of antigen, they differentiate into plasma cells, which produce antibodies. In birds, antibodies are produced inside the Bursa fabricii, hence their name. In humans, they are made in the bone marrow. Humans have about 10 billions different types of B cells capable of recognizing different antigens.

  • Bacillus anthracis

    definition

    Bacillus anthracis is…

    The anthrax pathogen. This bacterium can outlast decades in the soil in the form of spores. Once it has entered the body through inhalation or an open wound, it causes extensive damage by releasing anthrax toxin.

  • bacteria

    definition

    Bacteria are...

    Microorganisms that proliferate by cellular division and that lack a nucleus. They are, therefore, considered to be prokaryotes. They are classified according to the structure of their cell wall as either gram-positive or gram-negative. Many bacteria live inside our bodies where they are integral to our health, while others are pathogenic and may cause disease. One species used in the laboratory as a model organism is Escherichia coli.

  • bacteriophages

    definition

    Bacteriophages are…

    Viruses that infect bacteria. Bacteriophages can be used in the laboratory to introduce genes into bacteria.

  • biodegradation

    definition

    Biodegradation means…

    Chemical degradation of organic materials in a biological manner, for example, by microorganisms.

  • biofilm

    definition

    A Biofilm is…

    A slime-coated community of bacteria or fungi found adhering to surfaces. Inside the body, they use their slime coating to evade detection by the immune system and to shield themselves against antibiotics. Biofilms play a role in dental caries and occur on implants and catheters. Scientists are searching for ways to dissolve biofilms to prevent serious infections.

  • blood clotting

    definition

    Blood clotting means…

    Vital and rapid process to prevent excessive blood loss following an injury which mediates wound healing. Vessels constrict immediately following the injury. Platelets (thrombocytes) adhere to the site of injury and stick to each other. This clot is reinforced by a web made of fibrin fibersAn entire cascade of clotting factors is involved in this process. Genetic defects can lead to an increased tendency to bleed (hemophilia) or blood clotting (thrombosis).

  • blood-brain-barrier

    definition

    The blood-brain-barrier is…

    The border between the central nervous system and the systemic circulation aimed at protecting nervous tissue from potentially toxic substances. Involved in transport of important molecules and maintenance of a stable internal environment.

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