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How to look
for other unfamiliar pharmaceutical terms
Comments? Questions? Revisions? Mary Chitty firstname.lastname@example.org
Last revised October 30, 2013
But lots of terms aren't here yet. (Some
never will be.) The following sources are particularly suggested. * Most
generally useful for all types of subjects. I may not list/have the
William, Biotechnology A-Z, Oxford University
Press, 2003. About 400 entries/ definitions. Particularly good at explaining
variant meanings and contexts. To order: http://www.oup.co.uk/isbn/0-19-852498-6
Illustrated Medical Dictionary,
W. B. Saunders Co., 29th edition, 2000. 121,160 definitions.
FAO Glossary of Biotechnology for Food and
Agriculture, Food and Agricultural Organization, 2002, 3196 terms http://www.fao.org/biotech/index_glossary.asp
Not just for food or agriculture.
Glick, David M., Glossary of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
(3,000+ definitions in 1996 paper edition) http://db.portlandpress.com/glick/search.htm
* Google definitions
Use define: word or phrase you want http://www.googleguide.com/glossary.html
* IUPAC Comp International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, Compendium
of Chemical Terminology: Recommendations, compiled by Alan D. McNaught
and Andrew Wilkinson, Blackwell Science, 1997. "Gold Book" http://www.chemsoc.org/chembytes/goldbook/
See the bibliography for other IUPAC print
and web compilations.
Robert C. and William D. Stansfield, Dictionary of
Genetics, Oxford University Press, 1997. About 6600 definitions.
JM and JAT Dow, Dictionary of Cell & Molecular
Biology, Academic Press, 3rd ed., 1999 7,000+ definitions.
Medical Subject Headings, (PubMed Browser) National Library
of Medicine, Revised annually. 250,000 entry terms, 19,000 main headings.
You can also look for terms in the titles or text words of PubMed Medline
Dictionaries, handbooks, textbooks, websites
(National Human Genome Research Institute), Glossary
of Genetic Terms, ongoing revision. 170+ definitions. http://www.nhgri.nih.gov/DIR/VIP/Glossary/pub_glossary.cgi
Includes extended audio definitions.
* Onelook Dictionaries, Bob Ware http://onelook.com/index.html
An index to 700+ online dictionaries.
Dictionary of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology,
Oxford University Press, 2000. Over 17,000 main entries. T
Functional Genomics Resources: Educational
resources: A guide to some useful online glossaries http://www.sciencemag.org/feature/plus/sfg/education/glossaries.shtml
Categories cover genetics and genomics, general biology and molecular biology,
post- genomics biotech and bioinformatics, medical genomics and specific
organisms. Includes this Genomic glossaries.
can be very useful. I particularly like the disambiguation pages and the
* Recommended Search Engines
I use Google http://www.google.com
(a lot) more
than any other search engines. Google now has a limited Boolean OR capability
(it cannot be combined with an AND) available in Advanced Search See
also FAQ #2 for examples. Scirus
and Teoma http://www.teoma.com/ can
also be helpful.
The Glossary FAQ question
#3 has information
on using search engines to quantitate variant forms of a word of phrase.
Databases, free and for fee
Electronic databases are great for tracking down current use of terms
and tracing how far back theyíve been used. With a very limited budget I use
free PubMed http://www4.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed/
for the most part. But fee based database vendors such as Dialog http://www.dialog.com/
can be cost effective and quick.
Additional recommendations for background
Lewin, Benjamin GENES
Online Online (full- text) and updated http://www.ergito.com
Lodish, Harvey, Molecular Cell Biology 4e, WH Freeman & Co.,1999
and website. http://www.whfreeman.com/lodish/
links to websites for general patient and disease related
This is a work in progress. I find new (at least to me) words
and phrases nearly every day. Some would be familiar to a specialist. Others
are newly coined. No single source Iíve found is comprehensive in this
interdisciplinary area. And the web isnít always the best place to find
a clear definition. I particularly recommend the Oxford Dictionary
of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, King's Dictionary
of Genetics and William Bain's Biotechnology from A to Z,
and frequently consult my copies. (And the Oxford English Dictionary
edition and supplements) is a surprisingly fruitful source as well.) A medical
dictionary can also be quite helpful. And Onelook.com is always
But there are a number of terms which Iíd be hard-pressed to figure
out without the web. Hence the Recommended Search Engines and Databases, free and for fee
as well as the above particularly helpful and extensive resources.