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Glossary

An alphabetical glossary of technical terms used on the site.

Vaccinate

To use a vaccine to provide immunity and prevent a disease from occurring.

Vaccine

A substance that provides immunity to disease. Vaccines stimulate the immune system to recognise and destroy disease-causing agents, like bacteria or viruses.

Valid

Scientifically accurate.

Variant

A variant is different in some way from others of the same kind.

Vascular

Relating to blood vessels, for example veins and arteries.

Vector

A carrier, for example, a mosquito is a vector for malaria. In the context of biocontrol, a vector carries the control agent to the target organisms, for example, blowflies spread calicivirus amongst rabbits – the blowflies are the vectors. In genetic engineering, a vector is a tool used to carry a gene of interest. Vectors are small pieces of DNA, often a plasmid, and are used to carry foreign DNA into a cell.

Vertebrate

Animal with a back-bone.

Viability

Whether something is likely to work or not.

Viability

1. Whether something is likely to work or not. 2. The ability to live, grow and develop.

Virulence

Ability to cause disease.

Virus

A microscopic particle that can only multiply inside the cells of living organisms; they are totally inactive outside of a living host cell.

Viscous

Having a thick, sticky consistency between solid and liquid.

Vitamin C

An antioxidant found in fruits and vegetables, such as oranges, kiwifruit, berries, tomatoes and leafy greens.

Volatile

Vaporises readily at normal temperatures.

Vortexing

Mixing a sample in a tube by holding it on a vortex machine in a lab.

Voucher specimen

Representative specimens are collected in biological field surveys and research that are preserved to permit independent verification of results and to allow further study.

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