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General Medicine Terms

- G -

  • Gait

  • Pattern of locomotion.

  • Gamete

  • Mature male or female reproductive cell (sperm or ovum) with a haploid set of chromosomes (23 for humans).

  • Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT)

  • Method of treating infertility by removing eggs from a woman's ovaries, combining them with sperm from her partner or a donor in the laboratory, and placing the eggs and sperm together in one of her fallopian tubes, where fertilization can occur.

  • Gamma (G) Glutamyl Transferase

  • One of a family of enzymes involved in transporting amino acids from the exterior to the cytoplasm of a cell. High serum levels of this enzyme serve as an indicator for liver disease.

  • Ganglion

  • A cluster of nerve cells.

  • Ganglion cysts

  • Non-cancerous, fluid-filled cysts are common masses or lumps in the hand and usually found on the back of the wrist.

  • Gardner's syndrome

  • Condition in which many polyps form throughout the digestive tract.

  • Gas

  • Air that comes from the normal breakdown of food and is passed out of the body through the rectum (flatus) or the mouth (belch).

  • Gastric

  • Related to the stomach.

  • Gastric juices

  • Liquids produced in the stomach to help break down food and kill bacteria.

  • Gastrocolic reflex

  • Increase of muscle movement in the gastrointestinal tract when food enters an empty stomach; may cause the urge to have a bowel movement right after eating.

  • Gastroenteritis

  • Infection or irritation of the stomach and intestines, which may be caused by bacteria or parasites from spoiled food or unclean water, or eating food that irritates the stomach lining and emotional upsets such as anger, fear, or stress.

  • Gastroenterologist

  • Physician who specializes in digestive diseases.

  • Gastroenterology

  • Field of medicine concerned with the function and disorders of the digestive system.


  • A large, muscular tube that extends from the mouth to the anus, where the movement of muscles and release of hormones and enzymes digest food.

  • Gastrostomy

  • An artificial opening from the stomach to a hole (stoma) in the abdomen where a feeding tube is inserted. (See also enteral nutrition.)

  • Gated blood pool scan

  • A nuclear scan to see how the heart wall moves and how much blood is expelled with each heart beat just after the patient has walked on a treadmill or ridden on a stationary bike.

  • Gene

  • A unit of inheritance; a working subunit of DNA. Each of the body's 50,000 to 100,000 genes contains the code for a specific product, typically, a protein such as an enzyme.

  • Gene amplification

  • Any process by which specific DNA sequences are replicated disproportionately greater than their representation in the parent molecules; during development, some genes become amplified in specific tissues.

  • Gene deletion

  • The total loss or absence of a gene.

  • Gene expression

  • The process by which a gene's coded information is translated into the structures present and operating in the cell (either proteins or RNAs).

  • Gene families

  • Groups of closely related genes that make similar products.

  • Gene library

  • See genomic library.

  • Gene mapping

  • Determining the relative positions of genes on a chromosome and the distance between them.

  • Gene markers

  • Landmarks for a target gene, either detectable traits that are inherited along with the gene, or distinctive segments of DNA.

  • Gene product

  • The biochemical material, either RNA or protein, resulting from expression of a gene. The amount of gene product is used to measure how active a gene is; abnormal amounts can be correlated with disease- causing alleles.

  • Gene testing

  • Examining a sample of blood or other body fluid or tissue for biochemical, chromosomal, or genetic markers that indicate the presence or absence of genetic disease.

  • Gene therapy

  • Treatment that alters genes (the basic units of heredity found in all cells in the body). In early studies of gene therapy for cancer, researchers are trying to improve the body's natural ability to fight the disease or to make the tumor more sensitive to other kinds of therapy. Addition of a functional gene or group of genes to a cell by gene insertion to correct an hereditary disease.

  • General anesthetic

  • An anesthetic which causes the patient to become unconscious during surgery.

  • Genes

  • Basic, functional units of heredity, each occupying a specific place on a chromosome.

  • Genetic code

  • The sequence of nucleotides, coded in triplets (codons) along the mRNA, that determines the sequence of amino acids in protein synthesis. The DNA sequence of a gene can be used to predict the mRNA sequence, and the genetic code can in turn be used to predict the amino acid sequence.

  • Genetic counseling

  • The educational process that helps individuals, couples, or families to understand genetic information and issues that may have an impact on them.

  • Genetic engineering technologies

  • See recombinant DNA technologies.

  • Genetic linkage map

  • A chromosome map showing the relative positions of the known genes on the chromosomes of a given species.

  • Genetic map

  • See linkage map.

  • Genetic material

  • See genome.

  • Genetic screening

  • Testing groups of individuals to identify defective genes capable of causing hereditary conditions.

  • Genetic variation

  • A phenotypic variance of a trait in a population attributed to genetic heterogeneity.

  • Genetics

  • The scientific study of heredity how particular qualities or traits are transmitted from parents to offspring.

  • Genital herpes

  • A sexually transmitted disease caused by the herpes simplex virus.

  • Genome

  • All the genetic material in the chromosomes of a particular organism; its size is generally given as its total number of base pairs.

  • Genome maps

  • Charts that indicate the ordered arrangement of the genes or other DNA markers within the chromosomes.

  • Genome projects

  • Research and technology development efforts aimed at mapping and sequencing some or all of the genome of human beings and other organisms.

  • Genomic library

  • A collection of clones made from a set of randomly generated overlapping DNA fragments representing the entire genome of an organism.

  • Genotype

  • Genetic constitution of an organism.

  • Genu valgum

  • Commonly known as 'knock knees.'

  • Genu varum

  • Commonly known as 'bowed legs.'

  • Germ cells

  • The reproductive cells of the body, either egg or sperm cells.

  • Germline mutation

  • See Hereditary mutation.

  • Globulin

  • A family of proteins found in abundance in plasma. They include the gamma globulins, which in turn include the various antibody molecules produced by the immune system.

  • Glomerulonephritis

  • Kidney disease characterized by bilateral inflammatory changes in the glomeruli (tufts of capillary loops associated with the nephrons, the functional units of the kidney). The disorder is not caused by infection. It is considered an autoimmune disease.

  • Glucose

  • A simple sugar, which is the body’s main source of energy.

  • Glucose

  • A simple sugar which is actively transferred into the blood following the digestive breakdown of starch and other carbohydrates in the gut.

  • Gluten intolerance

  • See celiac disease.

  • Gluten sensitive enteropathy (CELIAC SPRUE OR CELIAC DISEASE)

  • A sensitivity to gluten - a wheat protein. Individuals with this disease must avoid gluten-containing grains, which include all forms of wheat, oats, barley, and rye.

  • Gluteus maximus

  • The large, superficial buttock muscle.

  • Glycogen

  • Converted glucose for storage. Glycogen plays a role in controlling blood sugar levels.

  • Gonadotropins

  • Luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone, produced by the pituitary gland.

  • Gonads

  • Ovaries and testes.

  • Grades of movement

  • Standardized means of documenting techniques of mobilization, relating it to the true feel of joint movement.

  • Grading

  • A process for classifying cancer cells to determine the growth rate of the tumor. The cancer cells are measured by how closely they look like normal cells.

  • Granuloma

  • Mass of red, irritated tissue in the gastrointestinal tract found in Crohn's disease.

  • Granulomatous colitis

  • Another name for Crohn's disease of the colon.

  • Granulomatous enteritis

  • Another name for Crohn's disease of the small intestine.

  • Gray matter

  • The darker-colored tissues of the central nervous system; in the brain, the gray matter includes the cerebral cortex, the thalamus, the basal ganglia, and the outer layers of the cerebellum.

  • Guided imagery

  • Envisioning a certain goal to help cope with health problems.

  • Gustation

  • Act or sensation of tasting.

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General Medicine Terms

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