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β pleated sheet A planar secondary structure element of proteins that is created by hydrogen bonding between the backbone atoms in two different polypeptide chains or segments of a single folded chain.

B cell (Immune system) Lymphocyte that, upon activation, proliferates and differentiates into antibody-secreting plasma cell; (Endocrine cell) Beta cell.

Bacterial artificial chromosome A cloning vector based on the F plasmid, used for cloning relatively large fragments of DNA in E.coli.

Bacteriophage or Phage A virus that host is a bacterium. Bacteriophage DNA molecules are often used as cloning vectors. e.g. λ phage.

Baculovirus A virus that has been used as a cloning vector for the production of recombinant protein in insect cells.

Balanced salt solution An isotonic solution of inorganic salts used in culture of animal cell in vitro and present in approximately the correct physiological concentrations. May also contain glucose but usually free of other organic nutrients.

Baroreceptor Receptor sensitive to pressure and to rate of change in pressure.

Basal ganglia Nuclei deep in cerebral hemispheres that code and relay information associated with control of body movements; specifically, caudate nucleus, globus pallidus, and putamen.

Basic electrical rhythm Spontaneous depolarization-repolarization cycles of pacemaker cells in longitudinal smooth-muscle layer of stomach and intestines; coordinates repetitive muscular activity of GI tract.

Basophil Polymorphonuclear granulocytic leukocyte whose granules stain with basic dyes; enters tissues and becomes mast cell.

Batch culture Growth of bacteria in a fixed volume of liquid medium in a closed vessel, with no additions or removals made during the period of incubation.

B-cell receptor complex B cell surface immunoglobulin and its associated signaling molecules, CD79a and CD79b.

Bcl-2 A molecule expressed transiently on activated B cells which have been rescued from apoptosis.

BCR = B-cell receptor complex.

Beta cell Insulin-secreting cell in pancreatic islet of Langerhans; also called B cell.

Beta oxidation Series of reactions that generate hydrogens (for oxidative phosphorylation) from fatty acid breakdown to acetyl CoA.

Bile Fluid secreted by liver; contains bicarbonate, bile salts, cholesterol, lecithin, bile pigments, metabolic end products, and certain trace metals.

Bile pigment Colored substance, derived from breakdown of heme group of hemoglobin, secreted in bile

Bile salt One of a family of steroid molecules secreted in bile by the liver; promotes solubilization and digestion of fat in small intestine

Biolistics A means of introducing DNA into cells that involves bombardment with high-velocity microprojectiles coated with DNA

Biological containment One of the precautionary measures taken to prevent the replication of recombinant DNA molecules in microorganisms in the natural (outer) environment. Biological containment involves the use of vectors and host organisms that have been modified so that they will not survive outside of the laboratory

Biomembrane Permeability barrier, surrounding cells or organelles, that consists of a phospholipid bilayer, associated membrane proteins, and in some cases cholesterol and glycolipids.

Bioreactor Culture vessel for large-scale production of cells, either anchored to substrate or propagated in suspension.

Biostat Culture vessel where physical, physicochemical, and physiological conditions, and cell concentration, are kept constant, usually by perfusion and monitoring.

The use of living organisms, often but not always microbes, in industrial and pharmaceutical processes.

Biotin A molecule of MW 244.32 and that can be incorporated into dUTP and used as a non-radioactive label for a DNA probe. Biotin also has high affinity of binding to avidin

Blood-brain barrier Group of anatomical barriers and transport systems that controls kinds of substances entering brain extracellular space from blood and their rates of entry.

Blood coagulation = Blood clotting.

Blunt end or Flush end An end of a double-stranded DNA molecule at which both strands terminate at the same nucleotide position with no single-stranded extension.

Bone marrow
Highly vascular, cellular substance in central cavity of some bones; site of erythrocyte, leukocyte, and platelet synthesis.

Bradykinin A vasoactive nonapeptide which is the most important mediator generated by the kinin system; Protein formed by action of the enzyme kallikrein on precursor that dilates vessels, increases capillary permeability, and probably stimulates pain receptors.

Broth culture Growth of microorganisms in a liquid medium.

Buffering Reversible hydrogen-ion binding by anions when H+ concentration changes; tends to minimize changes in acidity of a solution when acid is added or removed.

Buoyant density The density possessed by a molecule or particle when suspended in an aqueous salt or sugar solution

Bursa of Fabricius A lymphoepithelial organ found at the junction of the hind gut and cloaca in birds that is the site of B-cell maturation.

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