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Okazaki fragments  Short (<1000 bases), single-stranded DNA fragments base paired to the DNA template and covalently linked at the 5’ end to a short RNA primer. They are formed during discontinuous synthesis of the lagging strand in DNA replication.

Olfaction  Sense of smell.

Oligonucleotide-directed mutagenesis An in vitro mutagenesis technique that involves the use of a synthetic oligonucleotide to introduce involves the use of a synthetic oligonucleotide to introduce the predetermined nucleotide alteration into the gene to be mutated.

Oncogene A gene that, when transfected or infected into normal cells, induces a malignant tumor, usually genes coding for growth factors, receptors, signal transducers, or nuclear regulators. Positive acting.

Open-circular The non-supercoiled conformation taken up by a circular double-stranded DNA molecule when one or both polynucleotides carry nicks.

Operator  Short DNA sequence in a bacterial or viral genome that binds a repressor protein and controls transcription of an adjacent gene.

Operon  In bacterial DNA, a cluster of contiguous genes transcribed from one promoter that gives rise to a polycistronic mRNA.

Opsonin  Any substance that binds a microbe to a phagocyte and promotes phagocytosis.

Opsonization  A process by which phagocytosis is facilitated by the deposition of opsonins (e.g. antibody and C3b) on the antigen,

Organ culture The maintenance or growth of organ primordial or the whole or parts of an organ in vitro in a way that may allow differentiation and preservation of the architecture and/or function.

Organogenesis The development of organs.

Organotypic Histotypic culture involving more than one cell type to create a model of the cellular interactions characteristic of the organ in vivo. A reconstruction from dissociated cells or fragments of tissue is implied, as distinct from organ culture, where the structural integrity of the explanted tissue is retained.

Origin of replication The specific position on a DNA molecule where DNA replication begins.

Orthogonal field alternation gel electrophoresis (OFAGE)  A gel electrophoresis technique that employs a pulsed electric field to achieve separation of very large molecules of DNA.

Osmolarity  Total solute concentration of a solution as osmole.

Osmole  1 mol of solute particles.

Osmosis  Net diffusion of water across a selective barrier from region of low solute concentration (high water concentration) to region of high solute concentration (low water concentration).

Osteoblast  Cell type responsible for laying down protein matrix of bone called osteocyte after calcified matrix has been set down.

Oxidative phosphorylation  The phosphorylation of ADP to form ATP driven by the transfer of electrons to oxygen (O2) in bacterial and mitochondria. This process involves generation of a proton-motive force during electron transport, and use of the proton-motive force to power ATP synthesis.

Oxytocin  Peptide hormone synthesized in hypothalamus and released from posterior pituitary that stimulates mammary glands to release milk and uterus to contract.

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