biological process

Definitions of biological process
  1. noun
    a process occurring in living organisms
    synonyms: organic process
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    adaptation, adaption, adjustment
    the process of adapting to something (such as environmental conditions)
    agglutination
    a clumping of bacteria or red cells when held together by antibodies (agglutinins)
    ageing, aging, senescence
    the organic process of growing older and showing the effects of increasing age
    anovulation
    the absence of ovulation due to immaturity or post-maturity or pregnancy or oral contraceptive pills or dysfunction of the ovary
    antisepsis, asepsis
    the process of inhibiting the growth and multiplication of microorganisms
    absorption, assimilation
    the process of absorbing nutrients into the body after digestion
    autoregulation
    (physiology) processes that maintain a generally constant physiological state in a cell or organism
    bacteriostasis
    inhibition of the growth of bacteria
    bloom, blooming
    the organic process of bearing flowers
    activity, bodily function, bodily process, body process
    an organic process that takes place in the body
    carbon cycle
    the organic circulation of carbon from the atmosphere into organisms and back again
    catabolism, destructive metabolism, dissimilation, katabolism
    breakdown in living organisms of more complex substances into simpler ones together with release of energy
    cell division, cellular division
    the process in reproduction and growth by which a cell divides to form daughter cells
    crossing over, crossover
    the interchange of sections between pairing homologous chromosomes during the prophase of meiosis
    defoliation
    the loss of foliage
    deossification
    the loss of the mineral content of bone tissue
    digestion
    the organic process by which food is converted into substances that can be absorbed into the body
    eburnation
    a change that occurs in degenerative joint disease in which bone is converted into a dense smooth substance resembling ivory
    ecchymosis
    the escape of blood from ruptured blood vessels into the surrounding tissue to form a purple or black-and-blue spot on the skin
    effacement
    shortening of the uterine cervix and thinning of its walls as it is dilated during labor
    erythropoiesis
    the process of producing red blood cells by the stem cells in the bone marrow
    eutrophication
    excessive nutrients in a lake or other body of water, usually caused by runoff of nutrients (animal waste, fertilizers, sewage) from the land, which causes a dense growth of plant life; the decomposition of the plants depletes the supply of oxygen, leading to the death of animal life
    evolution, organic evolution, phylogenesis, phylogeny
    (biology) the sequence of events involved in the evolutionary development of a species or taxonomic group of organisms
    expression
    (genetics) the process of expressing a gene
    extravasation
    the process of exuding or passing out of a vessel into surrounding tissues; said of blood or lymph or urine
    gastrulation
    the process in which a gastrula develops from a blastula by the inward migration of cells
    glycogenesis
    the formation in animals of glycogen from glucose
    development, growing, growth, maturation, ontogenesis, ontogeny
    (biology) the process of an individual organism growing organically; a purely biological unfolding of events involved in an organism changing gradually from a simple to a more complex level
    haematogenesis, haematopoiesis, haemogenesis, haemopoiesis, hematogenesis, hematopoiesis, hemogenesis, hemopoiesis, sanguification
    the formation of blood cells in the living body (especially in the bone marrow)
    heredity
    the biological process whereby genetic factors are transmitted from one generation to the next
    humification
    the process of the formation of humus from plant remains
    epistasis, hypostasis
    the suppression of a gene by the effect of an unrelated gene
    implantation, nidation
    (embryology) the organic process whereby a fertilized egg becomes implanted in the lining of the uterus of placental mammals
    inhibition
    (physiology) the process whereby nerves can retard or prevent the functioning of an organ or part
    infolding, introversion, intussusception, invagination
    the folding in of an outer layer so as to form a pocket in the surface
    involution
    reduction in size of an organ or part (as in the return of the uterus to normal size after childbirth)
    cytokinesis
    organic process consisting of the division of the cytoplasm of a cell following karyokinesis bringing about the separation into two daughter cells
    karyokinesis
    organic process consisting of the division of the nucleus of a cell during mitosis or meiosis
    keratinisation, keratinization
    organic process by which keratin is deposited in cells and the cells become horny (as in nails and hair)
    Krebs citric acid cycle, Krebs cycle, citric acid cycle, tricarboxylic acid cycle
    in all plants and animals: a series of enzymatic reactions in mitochondria involving oxidative metabolism of acetyl compounds to produce high-energy phosphate compounds that are the source of cellular energy
    lymphopoiesis
    the formation of lymphocytes in the bone marrow and lymph nodes and thymus and spleen
    lysogenisation, lysogenization
    the process by which a bacterium acquires a phage that becomes integrated into its genome
    maturation, maturement, ripening
    coming to full development; becoming mature
    metabolic process, metabolism
    the organic processes (in a cell or organism) that are necessary for life
    metabolism, metamorphosis
    the marked and rapid transformation of a larva into an adult that occurs in some animals
    nitrogen cycle
    the circulation of nitrogen; nitrates from the soil are absorbed by plants which are eaten by animals that die and decay returning the nitrogen back to the soil
    nitrogen fixation
    the assimilation of atmospheric nitrogen by soil bacteria and its release for plant use on the death of the bacteria
    nondevelopment
    failure of normal development to occur
    nutrition
    (physiology) the organic process of nourishing or being nourished; the processes by which an organism assimilates food and uses it for growth and maintenance
    organification
    the process of organ formation
    ossification
    the developmental process of bone formation
    ovulation
    the expulsion of an ovum from the ovary (usually midway in the menstrual cycle)
    oxidative phosphorylation
    an enzymatic process in cell metabolism that synthesizes ATP from ADP
    birth, birthing, giving birth, parturition
    the process of giving birth
    pathologic process, pathological process
    an organic process occurring as a consequence of disease
    perennation
    the process of living through a number of years (as a perennial plant)
    preservation
    a process that saves organic substances from decay
    quellung, quellung reaction
    the swelling of the capsule surrounding a microorganism after reaction with an antibody; the basis of certain tests for identifying microorganisms
    quickening
    the process of showing signs of life
    regeneration
    (biology) growth anew of lost tissue or destroyed parts or organs
    regulation
    (embryology) the ability of an early embryo to continue normal development after its structure has been somehow damaged or altered
    replication
    (genetics) the process whereby DNA makes a copy of itself before cell division
    reproduction
    the process of generating offspring
    reabsorption, resorption
    the organic process in which the substance of some differentiated structure that has been produced by the body undergoes lysis and assimilation
    ageing, aging, ripening
    acquiring desirable qualities by being left undisturbed for some time
    secernment, secretion
    the organic process of synthesizing and releasing some substance
    segregation
    (genetics) the separation of paired alleles during meiosis so that members of each pair of alleles appear in different gametes
    shedding, sloughing
    the process whereby something is shed
    summation
    (physiology) the process whereby multiple stimuli can produce a response (in a muscle or nerve or other part) that one stimulus alone does not produce
    symphysis
    a growing together of parts or structures
    synapsis
    the side by side pairing of homologous maternal and paternal chromosomes at the start of meiosis
    synezesis, synizesis
    the contraction of chromatin towards one side of the nucleus during the prophase of meiosis
    transcription
    (genetics) the organic process whereby the DNA sequence in a gene is copied into mRNA; the process whereby a base sequence of messenger RNA is synthesized on a template of complementary DNA
    transduction
    (genetics) the process of transfering genetic material from one cell to another by a plasmid or bacteriophage
    translation
    (genetics) the process whereby genetic information coded in messenger RNA directs the formation of a specific protein at a ribosome in the cytoplasm
    folding, protein folding
    the process whereby a protein molecule assumes its intricate three-dimensional shape
    translocation
    (genetics) an exchange of chromosome parts
    translocation
    the transport of dissolved material within a plant
    transpiration
    the emission of water vapor from the leaves of plants
    tumefaction
    the process of tumefying; the organic process whereby tissue becomes swollen by the accumulation of fluid within it
    ulceration
    the process of ulcer formation; the process of becoming ulcerated
    vascularisation, vascularization
    the organic process whereby body tissue becomes vascular and develops capillaries
    blistering, vesication, vesiculation
    the formation of vesicles in or beneath the skin
    fixation, fixing
    (histology) the preservation and hardening of a tissue sample to retain as nearly as possible the same relations they had in the living body
    embalmment
    preservation (of a dead body) by treating with balsams and drugs and other chemicals
    control
    (physiology) regulation or maintenance of a function or action or reflex etc
    cellular respiration, internal respiration, respiration
    the metabolic processes whereby certain organisms obtain energy from organic molecules; processes that take place in the cells and tissues during which energy is released and carbon dioxide is produced and absorbed by the blood to be transported to the lungs
    breathing, external respiration, respiration, ventilation
    the bodily process of inhalation and exhalation; the process of taking in oxygen from inhaled air and releasing carbon dioxide by exhalation
    respiration
    a single complete act of breathing in and out
    breath
    the process of taking in and expelling air during breathing
    consumption, ingestion, intake, uptake
    the process of taking food into the body through the mouth (as by eating)
    sex, sex activity, sexual activity, sexual practice
    activities associated with sexual intercourse
    insemination
    the introduction of semen into the genital tract of a female
    sleeping
    the suspension of consciousness and decrease in metabolic rate
    reaction, response
    a bodily process occurring due to the effect of some antecedent stimulus or agent
    crying, tears, weeping
    the process of shedding tears (usually accompanied by sobs or other inarticulate sounds)
    culture
    (biology) the growing of microorganisms in a nutrient medium (such as gelatin or agar)
    ablactation
    the cessation of lactation
    abscission
    shedding of flowers and leaves and fruit following formation of scar tissue in a plant
    acclimation, acclimatisation, acclimatization
    adaptation to a new climate (a new temperature or altitude or environment)
    agenesia, agenesis
    imperfect development; nondevelopment of a part
    amelogenesis
    the developmental process of forming tooth enamel
    amitosis
    the direct method of cell division characterized by simple division of the nucleus without formation of chromosomes
    anabolism, constructive metabolism
    the synthesis in living organisms of more complex substances (e.g., living tissue) from simpler ones together with the storage of energy
    anamorphism, anamorphosis
    the evolution of one type of organism from another by a long series of gradual changes
    anastalsis
    muscular action of the alimentary tract in a direction opposite to peristalsis
    angiogenesis
    the formation of new blood vessels
    anthropogenesis, anthropogeny
    the evolution or genesis of the human race
    apposition
    (biology) growth in the thickness of a cell wall by the deposit of successive layers of material
    agamogenesis, asexual reproduction
    reproduction without the fusion of gametes
    auxesis
    growth from increase in cell size without cell division
    basal metabolism
    the amount of energy required to maintain the body of an individual in a resting state
    anthesis, blossoming, efflorescence, florescence, flowering, inflorescence
    the time and process of budding and unfolding of blossoms
    brooding, incubation
    sitting on eggs so as to hatch them by the warmth of the body
    calving
    giving birth to a calf
    catabiosis
    normal aging of cells
    caenogenesis, cainogenesis, cenogenesis, kainogenesis, kenogenesis
    introduction during embryonic development of characters or structure not present in the earlier evolutionary history of the strain or species (such as the addition of the placenta in mammalian evolution)
    accouchement, childbearing, childbirth, vaginal birth
    the parturition process in human beings; having a baby; the process of giving birth to a child
    cleavage, segmentation
    (embryology) the repeated division of a fertilised ovum
    cohesion
    (botany) the process in some plants of parts growing together that are usually separate (such as petals)
    cultivation
    the process of fostering the growth of something
    cytogenesis, cytogeny
    the origin and development and variation of cells
    dedifferentiation
    the loss of specialization in form or function
    discharge, emission, expelling
    any of several bodily processes by which substances go out of the body
    domestication
    adaptation to intimate association with human beings
    emergent evolution
    the appearance of entirely new properties at certain critical stages in the course of evolution
    expectoration
    the process of coughing up and spitting out
    farrow, farrowing
    the production of a litter of pigs
    fat metabolism
    a metabolic process that breaks down ingested fats into fatty acids and glycerol and then into simpler compounds that can be used by cells of the body
    feminisation, feminization
    the process of becoming feminized; the development of female characteristics (loss of facial hair or breast enlargement) in a male because of hormonal disorders or castration
    festering, maturation, suppuration
    (medicine) the formation of morbific matter in an abscess or a vesicle and the discharge of pus
    foliation, leafing
    (botany) the process of forming leaves
    fructification
    the bearing of fruit
    galactosis
    the secretion of milk
    gametogenesis
    the development and maturation of sex cells through meiosis
    gastric digestion
    the process of breaking down proteins by the action of the gastric juice in the stomach
    germination, sprouting
    the process whereby seeds or spores sprout and begin to grow
    glycolysis
    a metabolic process that breaks down carbohydrates and sugars through a series of reactions to either pyruvic acid or lactic acid and releases energy for the body in the form of ATP
    habit
    the general form or mode of growth (especially of a plant or crystal)
    hatch, hatching
    the production of young from an egg
    healing
    the natural process by which the body repairs itself
    haemagglutination, hemagglutination
    agglutination of red blood cells
    hemimetabolism, hemimetaboly, hemimetamorphosis
    incomplete or partial metamorphosis in insects
    heterometabolism, heterometaboly
    development of insects with incomplete metamorphosis in which no pupal stage precedes maturity
    holometabolism, holometaboly
    complete metamorphosis in insects
    hypersecretion
    excessive secretion
    hypostasis
    the accumulation of blood in an organ
    infection
    (medicine) the invasion of the body by pathogenic microorganisms and their multiplication which can lead to tissue damage and disease
    infructescence
    the fruiting stage of the inflorescence
    intussusception
    (biology) growth in the surface area of a cell by the deposit of new particles between existing particles in the cell wall
    isoagglutination
    agglutination of an agglutinogen of one individual by a serum from another individual of the same species
    juvenescence
    the process of growing into a youth
    lachrymation, lacrimation, tearing, watering
    shedding tears
    lactation
    the production and secretion of milk by the mammary glands
    egg laying, laying
    the production of eggs (especially in birds)
    life cycle
    the course of developmental changes in an organism from fertilized zygote to maturity when another zygote can be produced
    macroevolution
    evolution on a large scale extending over geologic era and resulting in the formation of new taxonomic groups
    malabsorption
    abnormal absorption of nutrients from the digestive tract
    masculinisation, masculinization, virilisation, virilization
    the abnormal development of male sexual characteristics in a female (usually as the result of hormone therapies or adrenal malfunction)
    meiosis, miosis, reduction division
    (genetics) cell division that produces reproductive cells in sexually reproducing organisms; the nucleus divides into four nuclei each containing half the chromosome number (leading to gametes in animals and spores in plants)
    mellowing
    the process of becoming mellow
    metastasis
    the spreading of a disease (especially cancer) to another part of the body
    microevolution
    evolution resulting from small specific genetic changes that can lead to a new subspecies
    mitosis
    cell division in which the nucleus divides into nuclei containing the same number of chromosomes
    ecdysis, molt, molting, moult, moulting
    periodic shedding of the cuticle in arthropods or the outer skin in reptiles
    morphallaxis
    regeneration on a reduced scale of a body part; observed especially in invertebrates such as certain lobsters
    morphogenesis
    differentiation and growth of the structure of an organism (or a part of an organism)
    myelinisation, myelinization
    the development of a myelin sheath around a nerve fiber
    neoplasia
    the pathological process that results in the formation and growth of a tumor
    neurogenesis
    the development of nerve tissues
    opsonisation, opsonization
    process whereby opsonins make an invading microorganism more susceptible to phagocytosis
    overactivity
    excessive activity
    palingenesis, recapitulation
    emergence during embryonic development of various characters or structures that appeared during the evolutionary history of the strain or species
    pathogenesis
    the origination and development of a disease
    peristalsis, vermiculation
    the process of wavelike muscle contractions of the alimentary tract that moves food along
    diaphoresis, hidrosis, perspiration, sudation, sweating
    the process of the sweat glands of the skin secreting a salty fluid
    phagocytosis
    process in which phagocytes engulf and digest microorganisms and cellular debris; an important defense against infection
    pinocytosis
    process by which certain cells can engulf and incorporate droplets of fluid
    placentation
    the formation of the placenta in the uterus
    plastination
    a process involving fixation and dehydration and forced impregnation and hardening of biological tissues; water and lipids are replaced by curable polymers (silicone or epoxy or polyester) that are subsequently hardened
    proliferation
    growth by the rapid multiplication of parts
    psilosis
    falling out of hair
    psychogenesis
    a general term for the origin and development of almost any aspect of the mind
    psychogenesis
    the development in the life of an individual of some disorder that is caused by psychological rather than physiological factors
    psychomotor development
    progressive acquisition of skills involving both mental and motor activities
    psychosexual development
    (psychoanalysis) the process during which personality and sexual behavior mature through a series of stages: first oral stage and then anal stage and then phallic stage and then latency stage and finally genital stage
    infrigidation, refrigeration
    the process of cooling or freezing (e.g., food) for preservative purposes
    rooting
    the process of putting forth roots and beginning to grow
    salivation
    the secretion of saliva
    amphimixis, sexual reproduction
    reproduction involving the union or fusion of a male and a female gamete
    differentiation, specialisation, specialization
    (biology) the structural adaptation of some body part for a particular function
    speciation
    the evolution of a biological species
    suppression
    the failure to develop some part or organ
    tanning
    process in which skin pigmentation darkens as a result of exposure to ultraviolet light
    dentition, odontiasis, teething
    the eruption through the gums of baby teeth
    teratogenesis
    the development of defects in an embryo
    transpiration
    the process of giving off or exhaling water vapor through the skin or mucous membranes
    vegetation
    the process of growth in plants
    childbed, confinement, labor, labour, lying-in, parturiency, travail
    concluding state of pregnancy; from the onset of contractions to the birth of a child
    blood extravasation
    the leakage of blood from a vessel into tissues surrounding it; can occur in injuries or burns or allergic reactions
    urocele
    extravasation of urine into the scrotal sac
    type of:
    physical process, process
    a sustained phenomenon or one marked by gradual changes through a series of states
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