Microorganism
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  Microorganism



Microorganism

    An organism that can be seen only under a microscope. Categories of microorganisms include Algae, Bacteria, Fungi, Protozoa, Viruses, or Subviral Agents. Also referred to as microbe.

RELATED TERMS
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Organism
A living thing, such as an animal, a plant, a bacterium, or a fungus.

Microscope
A microscope (Greek: micron = small and scopos = aim) is an instrument for viewing objects that are too small to be seen by the naked or unaided eye. The science of investigating small objects using such an instrument is called microscopy, and the term microscopic means minute or very small, not easily visible with the unaided eye. In other words, requiring a microscope to examine.

Algae
A major group of lower plants that comprises, usually, photosynthetic plants of extremely varied morphology and physiology, and that is commonly considered to be a heterogeneous assemblage. They are freshwater and marine, terrestrial and subterranean; some are neustonic (living at the interface of water and the atmosphere). They live in various protozoa and within other plants. Among the vectors of aquatic algae are water movements (tides and currents), wind, ships, beetles, aquatic birds, etc. They live also in soil and on soil surfaces, on long-persistent snows, and in Antarctic rocks. Thermophilic algae inhabit hot springs. (From Webster, 3d ed; from Bold & Wynne, Introduction to the Algae, 2d ed, pp1-6)

Bacteria
Single-celled microorganisms which can exist either as independent (free-living) organisms or as parasites (dependent upon another organism for life).

Fungi
Plural of fungus.

Protozoa
Are microscopic animals that occur as single cells. Some protozoa can cause disease in humans. Protozoa form cysts, which are specialized cells like eggs that are very resistant to chlorine. Cysts can survive the disinfection process, then "hatch" into normal cells that can cause disease. Protozoa must be removed from drinking water by filtration, because they cannot be effectively killed by chlorine.

Microbe
Microscopic organism, especially one that transmits a disease.



SIMILAR TERMS
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Micrainin
Micrainin is a prescription or over-the-counter drug which is (or once was) approved in the United States and possibly in other countries. Active ingredient(s): aspirin; meprobamate.

Micro-k
Micro-k is a prescription or over-the-counter drug which is (or once was) approved in the United States and possibly in other countries. Active ingredient(s): potassium chloride.

Micro-k 10
Micro-k 10 is a prescription or over-the-counter drug which is (or once was) approved in the United States and possibly in other countries. Active ingredient(s): potassium chloride.

Micro-k ls
Micro-k ls is a prescription or over-the-counter drug which is (or once was) approved in the United States and possibly in other countries. Active ingredient(s): potassium chloride.

Microalbumin
Small amounts of protein in the urine that cannot be detected by the usual "dipstick" test done for routine urinanalysis testing for other reasons. Specialized dipsticks, or urine collections over a period of 12-24 hours, are used to measure the amount of microalbumin. If there is persistent microalbumin over several repeated tests at different times, the risk of diabetic nephropathy and macrovascular disease are both higher.

Microaneurysm
A small swelling that forms on the side of tiny blood vessels. These small swellings may break and bleed into nearby tissue. People with diabetes sometimes get microaneurysms in the retina of the eye.

Microangiopathy
See: Angiopathy.

Microbe
Microscopic organism, especially one that transmits a disease.

Microbiology
The study of living microbes, including bacteria, protozoa and molds.

Microcannula
A hair-thin glass tube so small that it can penetrate a single cell and deliver a minute drop of a liquid substance to the cell.

Microcephaly
A small skull with small cranial capacity. Usually indicates mental retardation.

Microcomedo
The first stage of comedo formation; a comedo so small that it can be seen only with a microscope.

Microcyst
A tiny cyst, frequently of such dimensions that a magnifying lens or microscope is required for observation.

Microderm
Microderm is a prescription or over-the-counter drug which is (or once was) approved in the United States and possibly in other countries. Active ingredient(s): chlorhexidine gluconate.

Microelectrode
An electrode made of a filament so hair-thin that it can penetrate a single cell, such as a nerve cell, and deliver to or receive from the cell a minute amount of electrical current.

Microelectrodes
Electrodes with an extremely small tip, used in a voltage clamp or other apparatus to stimulate or record bioelectric potentials of single cells intracellularly or extracellularly.

Microencephaly
Having an abnormally small brain.

Microgestin fe 1-20
Microgestin fe 1-20 is a prescription or over-the-counter drug which is (or once was) approved in the United States and possibly in other countries. Active ingredient(s): ethinyl estradiol; norethindrone acetate.

Microgestin fe 1.5-30
Microgestin fe 1.5-30 is a prescription or over-the-counter drug which is (or once was) approved in the United States and possibly in other countries. Active ingredient(s): ethinyl estradiol; norethindrone acetate.

Micrographia
A change in handwriting with the script becoming smaller and more cramped.

Microhepatia
A small liver.

Microlite
Microlite is a prescription or over-the-counter drug which is (or once was) approved in the United States and possibly in other countries. Active ingredient(s): technetium tc-99m albumin colloid kit.

Micromelia
A birth defect in which arms or legs are abnormally short.

Micronase
Micronase is a prescription or over-the-counter drug which is (or once was) approved in the United States and possibly in other countries. Active ingredient(s): glyburide.

Micronor
Micronor is a prescription or over-the-counter drug which is (or once was) approved in the United States and possibly in other countries. Active ingredient(s): norethindrone.

Micronutrient
Vitamins and minerals that have no caloric value and little direct impact on hormonal response.

Micropenis
A birth defect in which the penis is extremely small. The maximum stretched length is not greater than .5 standard deviation units (SDU) below the mean for age, and possibly as small as 5.0 SDU below. The diameter is correspondingly small, with extreme hypoplasia of the corpora cavernosa. As compared with a micropenis, the average adult penis's stretched length is 6.6 inches (16.7 cm), with a standard deviation of 0.77 inches ([1.95 cm) (Money, Lehne, and Pierre-Jerome, 1984) an exceptionally small penis that resembles the clitoris in size. A micropenis may carry the urethral tube or may be hypospadiac. Typically, it is formed mostly of skin, the body (corpora cavernosa) of the penis being hypoplastic. The condition is also known as microphallus or penile agenesis.

Microphallus
See micropenis.

Microphthalmus
A congenital problem in which the eye(s) is (are) smaller than normal. Vision is often reduced because other problems present within such an eye. No treatment is available.

Micropsia
The visual perception that objects are smaller than they actually are.

Microscope
A microscope (Greek: micron = small and scopos = aim) is an instrument for viewing objects that are too small to be seen by the naked or unaided eye. The science of investigating small objects using such an instrument is called microscopy, and the term microscopic means minute or very small, not easily visible with the unaided eye. In other words, requiring a microscope to examine.

Microscopy
Investigation of minute objects by means of a microscope.

Microspectrophotometry (MSP)
A procedure that involves the passage of a narrow measuring beam through the outer segments of individual photoreceptors to measure absorbance spectra in excised retinas.

Microsul
Microsul is a prescription or over-the-counter drug which is (or once was) approved in the United States and possibly in other countries. Active ingredient(s): sulfamethizole.

Microsurgery
Precise, delicate surgery performed to unblock Fallopian tubes or to reverse a vasectomy or tubal ligation.

Microvascular Disease
Disease of the smallest blood vessels that sometimes occurs when a person has had diabetes for a long time. The walls of the vessels become abnormally thick but weak, and therefore they bleed, leak protein, and slow the flow of blood through the body. Then some cells, for example, the ones in the center of the eye, may not get enough blood and may be damaged.

Microzide
Microzide is a prescription or over-the-counter drug which is (or once was) approved in the United States and possibly in other countries. Active ingredient(s): hydrochlorothiazide.



PREVIOUS AND NEXT TERMS
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Mucus
A substance secreted by various tissues in the body (the mucous membranes) made up of water, mucin (a glycoprotein), salts, and some cells. In the lungs, mucus serves to lubricate the insides of the airways and to trap inhaled foreign particles so that they can be coughed out. In asthma, however, an excess of mucus is produced and can actually block airways. Mucus also tends to be thicker and more viscous in asthmatics.

Membrane
A flexible layer surrounding a cell, organelle (such as the nucleus), or other bodily structure. The movement of molecules across a membrane is strictly regulated in both directions.

Mesothelioma
Malignant spreading tumour of the mesothelium of the pleura, pericardium, or peritoneum, arising as a result of the presence of asbestos fibres. It is diagnostic of exposure to asbestos.

Mesothelium
Tissue formed by specialized cells lining the chest, abdominal cavities, and the outer surface of most internal organs. Mesothelium helps protect the organs by producing a lubricating fluid that allows the organs to move.

Measles
Childhood infectious disease causing rash and fever. A viral infection that may cause hearing loss. It does not always lead to hearing loss, but it can cause a wide range of sensorineural hearing loss from monaural to binaural and mild to profound in degree. Measles has historically been a common childhood disease with rare complications. Mass vaccination has resulted in a dramatic decline in measles incidence, but outbreaks now occur in older populations and in infants born to women whose immunity from vaccination has deteriorated. Periodic epidemics continue to occur. The vaccine is associated with serious adverse reactions including permanent nervous system damage and thrombocytopenia (a decrease in blood platelets responsible for blood clotting with accompanying spontaneous bleeding) all resulting from autoimmune disease triggered by the vaccine. Long-term effects are unknown.

Microorganism

Microbe
Microscopic organism, especially one that transmits a disease.

Melanoma
The most dangerous of all skin cancers, melanoma is characterized by the uncontrolled growth of pigment-producing tanning cells (melanocytes). If detected in the early stages, melanoma can often be treated successfully, but in the later stages it spreads to other organs and can result in death.

Monoploid
A cell having only one chromosome set (usually as an aberration) or an organism composed of such cells.

Molecular
Refers to the basic building blocks of the genetic material, such as DNA, genes and the other chemicals involved with the functioning of genes.

Microscope
A microscope (Greek: micron = small and scopos = aim) is an instrument for viewing objects that are too small to be seen by the naked or unaided eye. The science of investigating small objects using such an instrument is called microscopy, and the term microscopic means minute or very small, not easily visible with the unaided eye. In other words, requiring a microscope to examine.

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