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Secondary Students : Glossary
Go to: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

Abdomen
(Abdominal)
The lower part of your body cavity
See film: Diagnosis and Treatment

Abortion
(Termination)
Deliberate ending of a pregnancy
Also see: Miscarriage
See film: Human Genetics, Puberty and Relationships

Achondroplasia
One kind of dwarfism

An inherited dominant condition
See film: Human Genetics

Addict
(Addicted,Addiction)
Can’t do without a drug
Also see: Alcohol, Nicotine, Opiate
See film: Fit and Healthy

ADHD
(Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
Poor concentration and behaviour

Aerobic fitness
(Stamina)
A measure of the ability to keep exercising
See film: Heart Disease, Fit and Healthy

Alcohol
A chemical that can be used as a drug
Also see: Alcoholic
See film: Heart Disease, Fit and Healthy

Alcoholic
A person who is addicted to alcohol
Also see: Addict, Alcohol
See film: Fit and Healthy

Allele
A form of a gene, e.g. the alleles for blue and for brown eyes are forms of one gene for eye colour
Also see: Genes
See film: Human Genetics

Amniocentesis
Medical procedure of taking a sample of fetal cells for genetic testing from the amniotic fluid surrounding a fetus

(Test carried out later in pregnancy than CVS – but safer for the fetus)
Also see: CVS
See film: Human Genetics

Amniotic fluid
The fluid surrounding a fetus
See film: Human Genetics

Antibiotic
Chemicals that kill bacteria in your body
Also see: Penicillin
See film: Outbreak!, Fit and Healthy

Antibody
A chemical made by white blood cells to destroy bacteria and other microorganisms
Also see: Antitoxin
See film: Outbreak!

Anti-social behaviour
Behaviour that causes harm or upset to other members of society; it is often unlawful
See film: Fit and Healthy

Antioxidant
A nutrient such as vitamin C that help to protect cells from damage
See film: Fit and Healthy

Antitoxin
A chemical made by white blood cells to neutralize toxins (poisons)
Also see: Antibody
See film: Outbreak!

Anxiety
Mental state of worry about future events
Also see: Depression
See film: Fit and Healthy

Artery
A blood vessel that carries blood away from the heart
See film: Heart Disease, Fit and Healthy

Atria
(Atrium)
The two upper chambers of the heart; one is called an atrium
See film: Heart Disease

Autosomal
Describes a chromosome that is not a sex chromosome
See film: Human Genetics

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B

Bacteria
Microorganism with a chromosome that is not in a nucleus; one is called a bacterium
See film: Outbreak! , Fit and Healthy

Balanced diet
A diet containing all the nutrients in the correct proportions; one that meets the needs for energy and materials
See film: Fit and Healthy

Blood
Liquid in the circulatory system
See film: Diagnosis and Treatment, Heart Disease, Human Genetics, Outbreak!, Fit and Healthy

Blood pressure
The pressure that blood exerts on artery walls, normally below 140/90; usually treated with drugs at 160/100
See film: Diagnosis and Treatment, Heart Disease, Fit and Healthy, Outbreak!

Body mass index
(BMI)
An estimate of body composition based on height to weight ratio
See film: Diagnosis and treatment, Heart Disease

Brain
An organ in the nervous system
See film: Human Genetics, Fit and Healthy

BRCA1 and BRCA2
Two of the genes that increase your risk of developing breast cancer
See film: Human Genetics

Breathing
Taking air in and out of the lungs
See film: Human Genetics, Outbreak!, Fit and Healthy

British Heart Foundation
Charity. See bhf.org.uk
See film: Heart Disease

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C

Calcium
Mineral needed for making bones, and in blood
See film: Fit and Healthy

Cancer
A disorder in which cells grow out of control
See film: Diagnosis and Treatment, Human Genetics, Fit and Healthy

Capillary
Narrow blood vessel with walls only one cell thick
See film: Heart Disease

Carbohydrate
A nutrient such as starch and sugars that provides your body with energy
See film: Fit and Healthy

Carbon dioxide
A gas in the air made in respiration
See film: Heart Disease, Fit and Healthy

Carbon monoxide
A poisonous gas
See film: Heart Disease, Fit and Healthy

Cardiac muscle
Heart muscle
See film: Heart Disease

Cardiovascular disease
A disease of the heart and blood vessels
See film: Heart Disease

Cardiovascular exercise
Exercise that increases your pulse and breathing rates
See film: Fit and Healthy

Carrier
A person who has a recessive allele of a gene for a disorder and can pass it on to their children but who does not have the disorder themselves
Also see: Allele
See film: Human Genetics

Cause
When there is evidence to link a factor and an outcome, and we can explain how it happens, we can say that the factor causes the outcome, e.g. smoking causes cancer
See film: Heart Disease, Outbreak!

Cell
The building block of plants and animals
See film: Fit and Healthy

Central nervous system
Comprising the brain and spinal cord, it is the part of the nervous system that coordinates activities
See film: Human Genetics, Fit and Healthy

Characteristic
A special features of an organism
See film: Human Genetics

Chemotherapy
Using toxic chemicals to treat a patient
See film: Diagnosis and Treatment

Cholesterol
Fat or lipid that your body needs – but too much causes problems
Also see: HDL cholesterol LDL cholesterol
See film: Heart Disease

Chorionic villus sampling/biopsy
(CVS)
A biopsy of the folds of the outer membrane of a fetus taken for genetic testing

(Earlier result than amniocentesis, however, less safe)
Also see: Amniocentesis
See film: Heart Disease, Human Genetics

Chromosome
A structure made of genes found in the nucleus of a cell
See film: Human Genetics

Cilia
Beating hairs on some cells that help to keep your airway clear; damaged by smoking
See film: Fit and Healthy

Circulation
The flow of blood around the body through the heart, arteries, capillaries and veins
See film: Heart Disease, Fit and Healthy, Outbreak!

Clone
Group of genetically identical living things
See film: Human Genetics

Contraceptive
A device or a drug to prevent pregnancy
See film: Puberty and Relationships

Contract
In the case of a muscle, to become shorter and fatter
See film: Heart Disease, Fit and Healthy

Core temperature
(Core body temperature)
Inner body temperature; in humans it is about 37 degrees Celsius
See film: Diagnosis and Treatment, Outbreak!

Coronary
To do with the arteries that surround and supply the heart
See film: Heart Disease

Coronary artery
Artery that takes blood to the heart muscle
See film: Heart Disease

Coronary heart disease
When one or more arteries to the heart muscle is blocked preventing proper working of the heart
See film: Heart Disease

Coronary vein
Vein that takes blood away from the heart muscle
See film: Heart Disease

Correlation
A link between a factor and an outcome, such as smoking and cancer
See film: Heart Disease

CVS
(Chorionic villus sampling/biopsy)
A biopsy of the folds of the outer membrane of a fetus taken for genetic testing

(Earlier result than amniocentesis, however, less safe)
Also see: Amniocentesis

Cystic fibrosis
An inherited disorder of cell membranes caused by a recessive allele
Also see: Allele
See film: Human Genetics

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D

Deoxygenated blood
Blood that has given up oxygen in the tissues
See film: Heart Disease, Fit and Healthy

Depressant
Drug that slows down the way your mind and body work
See film: Fit and Healthy

Depression
A mental state of feeling hopeless and worthless
See film: Human Genetics, Fit and Healthy

Designer baby
Baby with chosen characteristics grown from a genetically modified fertilised egg cell
See film: Human Genetics

Diabetic
Person with diabetes, a disorder caused by shortage of the hormone, insulin
See film: Heart Disease

Diagnosis
Finding out what is wrong, e.g. with a patient
See film: Human Genetics, Diagnosis and Treatment, Outbreak!

Digest
Break down food into small, soluble molecules that can be absorbed
See film: Human Genetics

Disease
(Disorder)
When some part of a plant or animal isn’t working properly
See film: Diagnosis and Treatment, Heart Disease, Human Genetics, Outbreak!, Fit and Healthy

DNA
The chemical that genes and chromosomes are made of
See film: Human Genetics

Dominant allele
An allele that can hide the effect of another (recessive) allele
See film: Human Genetics

Donor
Someone who gives blood or a body part for the benefit of someone else
See film: Human Genetics

Down’s syndrome
A disorder caused by an extra chromosome
See film: Human Genetics

Drug
A substance that can change the way your body works, or be used to treat a disease
See film: Diagnosis and Treatment, Heart Disease, Outbreak!, Fit and Healthy

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E

Egg cell
(Ova (plural))
Female sex cell or ovum
See film: Human Genetics

Embryo
A young plant or animal before all its organs have started to grow; up to 6-8 weeks in humans
See film: Human Genetics

Embryo selection
(PGD, Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis)
Embryos are fertilised outside the body and only those with certain genes are selected and implanted in the womb
See film: Human Genetics

Enzyme
A protein substance made in cells that speeds up chemical reactions such as digestion
See film: Human Genetics, Outbreak!

Ethics
A set of principles that may help us to know how to behave and inform our decision-making
See film: Human Genetics

Explosive exercise
Exercise for increasing speed of different movements such as running, jumping and throwing
See film: Fit and Healthy

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F

Family tree
A diagram showing the pattern of inheritance of a feature through several generations of a family
See film: Human Genetics

Fats
Nutrients that provide your body with energy

Also used to make cell membranes
See film: Heart Disease, Fit and Healthy

Fertilisation
When a male sex cell joins with a female sex cell to start a new plant or animal
See film: Human Genetics

Fetus
A baby in the uterus whose organs are all growing; after the age of 6–8 weeks
See film: Human Genetics

Fit
Able to exercise without getting tired
See film: Fit and Healthy

Flexibility training
Stretching exercises to improve flexibility or suppleness
See film: Fit and Healthy

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G

Gametes
(Sex cells)
Cells that join in sexual reproduction

They have half the normal number of chromosomes
See film: Human Genetics, Puberty and Relationships

Gene cloning
Making copies of genes
See film: Human Genetics

General practitioner
(GP)
A qualified doctor; usually the first point of contact in the NHS
See film: Diagnosis and Treatment, Heart Disease

Genes
These control the characteristics of plants and animals

They are passed on by parents in chromosomes

They are made of DNA
Also see: DNA
See film: Heart Disease, Human Genetics

Gene screening
(Genetic screening)
Testing a group of people or embryos for a particular gene
See film: Human Genetics

Gene therapy
A way of treating inherited disorders by putting normal alleles into cells
Also see: Allele
See film: Human Genetics

Genetic
To do with genes
Also see: Genes
See film: Human Genetics

Genetic disorder
Disorder caused by variant or mutant alleles that prevent your body working properly
See film: Human Genetics

Geneticist
Specialist in inheritance patterns and inherited disorders
See film: Human Genetics

Genetic modification
(Genetic engineering)
Transferring genes from the cells of one living organism into the cells of a different organism
See film: Human Genetics

Genetic predisposition
Inherited tendency to be at increased risk of a disorder such as cancer or heart disease
See film: Human Genetics

Genetic testing
Testing an individual or a fetus for a particular gene
See film: Human Genetics

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H

Haemoglobin
Chemical in red blood cells that carries oxygen
See film: Diagnosis and Treatment, Human Genetics

Haemophilia
A sex-linked inherited disorder in which blood doesn’t clot properly
See film: Human Genetics

Hallucinogen
Drug that makes you sense (see, hear) things that aren’t there
See film: Fit and Healthy

HDL cholesterol
A fat in the body, sometimes called good cholesterol
See film: Heart Disease

Health Protection Agency
(HPA)
National agency to protect us from disease
See film: Outbreak!

Healthy
Free from disease and pain
See film: Fit and Healthy

Heart
An organ which pumps blood
See film: Heart Disease, Fit and Healthy

Heart attack
Sudden failure of the oxygen supply to part of the heart, which damages heart muscle; painful and can be fatal
See film: Heart Disease, Fit and Healthy

Hormone
Chemical secreted in small amounts, which coordinates growth and activities
See film: Puberty and Relationships

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority
(HFEA)
Interprets the law on reproductive technology, e.g. PGD
See film: Human Genetics

Human Genetics Commission
(HGC)
Advises the UK Government on ethical, legal, social and economic aspects of developments in genetics
See film: Human Genetics

Human genome project
Project to map the human genome
See film: Human Genetics

Huntington’s disease
An inherited disorder of the nervous system caused by a dominant allele
Also see: Allele
See film: Human Genetics

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I

Immunity
When your body stops you catching a particular infection
See film: Outbreak!

Implantation
The settling of an embryo in the lining of the uterus (womb)
See film: Human Genetics, Puberty and Relationships

Infection
When microorganisms get into your body and cause a disease
See film: Diagnosis and Treatment, Outbreak!

Inherit
(Inheritance)
Passing on of genes from parents
Also see: Genes
See film: Human Genetics

Inherited characteristic
Feature that is inherited, or passed on, from parents
See film: Human Genetics

In-vitro fertilisation
(IVF)
Fertilisation of eggs outside the body (to produce so-called test tube babies)
See film: Human Genetics

Iron
Mineral needed for making the haemoglobin in red blood cells
See film: Fit and Healthy

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L

Lactic acid
A chemical produced in anaerobic respiration in muscles
See film: Fit and Healthy

LDL cholesterol
A fat in the body, sometimes called bad cholesterol because too much in the blood increases the risk of heart disease
See film: Heart Disease

Lifestyle
Way of life in terms of diet, exercise, smoking etc.
See film: Heart Disease, Human Genetics, Fit and Healthy

Lungs
Organs for gas exchange between the air and the blood
See film: Heart Disease, Human Genetics, Fit and Healthy, Outbreak!

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M

Malaria
A disease caused by a parasite spread by Anopheles mosquitoes; it kills many people
See film: Human Genetics, Outbreak!

Meningitis
Inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord

Can be cause by bacteria or viruses
See film: Outbreak!

Meningococcal meningitis
Meningitis caused by bacteria called meningococci {meningococcal bacteria)
See film: Outbreak!

Meningococcal septicaemia
Life-threatening infection in which meningococcal bacteria release toxins that poison the blood
See film: Outbreak!

Menstrual cycle
Monthly cycle controlled by hormones in the human female reproductive system
See film: Puberty and Relationships

Menstruation
(Period)
Loss of lining of the uterus (womb) about once a month if an egg cell is not fertilised
See film: Puberty and Relationships

Microbes
(Microorganisms)
Microscopic living things
See film: Outbreak!

Microbiologist
Person who does work or research on microorganisms
See film: Outbreak!

Mineral
In the diet it is an essential nutrient such as iron or calcium
See film: Fit and Healthy

Miscarriage
Loss of an unborn baby - a natural abortion
See film: Human Genetics, Puberty and Relationships

Mucus
Sticky fluid made by some cells, e.g. in the bronchi to trap microbes and dirt
See film: Human Genetics, Outbreak!

Multi-factorial disorder
Disorder caused by a combination of factors, genetic and environmental/lifestyle, e.g. heart disease
See film: Heart disease, Human Genetics

Muscle
Tissue or organ made of muscle cells, which contract to do work
See film: Heart Disease, Human Genetics, Fit and healthy

Mutant
(Mutate, Mutation)
An organism with a change in a chromosome or a gene
See film: Human Genetics

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N

Nerve fibre
Part of a nerve cell that carries nerve impulses
See film: Human Genetics

Nerve impulse
How information passes along a nerve fibre; like a tiny electrical charge
See film: Human Genetics

Nicotine
The addictive drug in tobacco
See film: Heart Disease, Fit and healthy

Nucleus
The part of a cell that controls what happens in the cell; it contains the chromosomes
See film: Human Genetics

Nutrition
Obtaining the materials needed for energy and making new cells
See film: Fit and Healthy

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O

Obese
Someone with excessive fat stores in the body; a risk to health
See film: Heart Disease, Fit and Healthy

Opiate
Drugs derived from the opium poppy, such as heroin, that are both depressants and hallucinogens
See film: Fit and Healthy

Ovary
An organ that makes female sex cells, and the hormones oestrogen and progesterone
See film: Puberty and Relationships

Overweight
Someone with large fat stores in the body, but less than obese
See film: Heart Disease, Fit and Healthy

Ovum
(Ova (plural))
An egg cell
See film: Human Genetics, Puberty and Relationships

Oxygen
A gas in the air used in aerobic respiration and produced in photosynthesis
See film: Heart Disease, Fit and Healthy

Oxygenated blood
Blood containing plenty of oxygen as oxyhaemoglobin
See film: Heart Disease, Fit and Healthy

Oxyhaemoglobin
Chemical formed when oxygen joins with haemoglobin in red blood cells
See film: Fit and Healthy

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P

Parasite
A living thing that feeds on or in another living thing, e.g. a malaria parasite
See film: Human Genetics

Passive smoking
Breathing in someone else’s tobacco smoke
See film: Fit and Healthy

Peer pressure
Pressure from people your own age to join in with what they do
See film: Puberty and Relationships

Penicillin
An antibiotic made by a mould called Penicillium

Penis
Organ in male reproductive system
See film: Puberty and Relationships

PGD
(Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis)
Used with IVF. Eggs are fertilised outside the body and the embryos are tested for genetic disorders
See film: Human Genetics

Placenta
Organ through which a fetus gets food and oxygen and gets rid of waste
See film: Human Genetics

Platelets
Bits of cells needed for clotting blood
See film: Diagnosis and Treatment

PND
(Prenatal diagnosis)
Genetic testing of cells obtained by amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling
See film: Human Genetics

Pregnancy
The time between fertilisation and the birth of a baby
See film: Human Genetics, Puberty and Relationships, Fit and Healthy

Pregnant
Expecting a baby
See film: Human Genetics, Puberty and Relationships

Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis
(PGD)
Used with IVF

Eggs are fertilised outside the body and the embryos are tested for genetic disorders
Also see: In-vitro fertilisation
See film: Human Genetics

Prenatal diagnosis
(PND)
Genetic testing of cells obtained by amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling
See film: Human Genetics

Prescription drug
Drug available only on prescription from a doctor or other authorised person
See film: Fit and Healthy

Primary health care
Care in the community at the first point of contact with a health team
Also see: General practitioner
See film: Diagnosis and Treatment, Heart Disease, Outbreak!

Protein
The part of your food that you need for growth and repair
See film: Fit and Healthy

Puberty
When boys and girls start to make sex cells and are able to reproduce
See film: Puberty and Relationships

Pulse
The stretching of an artery each time your heart beats
See film: Diagnosis and Treatment, Heart Disease, Outbreak!, Fit and Healthy

Pulse rate
The rate of heart beat
See film: Diagnosis and Treatment, Heart Disease, Outbreak!, Fit and Healthy

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R

Radiotherapy
Using radiation to treat a patient
See film: Diagnosis and Treatment

Recessive allele
An allele that does not show up if the dominant allele is present
Also see: Allele
See film: Human Genetics

Recovery time
The time it takes for your pulse rate to fall back to normal after exercise
See film: Fit and Healthy

Red blood cell
A cell in blood which carries oxygen as oxyhaemoglobin
See film: Diagnosis and Treatment, Heart Disease, Human Genetics, Fit and Healthy

Reproductive cloning
Cloning to produce genetic copies of organisms by dividing early embryos or by replacing the nucleus of a fertilised egg cell with a nucleus from a body cell
See film: Human Genetics

Resistance training
Training to increase muscle size and strength such as weight training
See film: Fit and Healthy

Respiration
The breakdown of food to release energy in living cells
See film: Fit and Healthy

Risk factors
Factors that increase the likelihood of something happening; so smoking is a risk factor for cancer and heart disease
See film: Heart Disease, Human Genetics, Fit and Healthy

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S

SCID
(Severe Combined Immunodeficiency)
A genetic disorder of the immune system
See film: Human Genetics

Sex cells
(Gametes)
Cells that join in sexual reproduction

They have half the normal number of chromosomes
See film: Human Genetics, Puberty and Relationships

Sex-linked disorder
A disorder such as haemophilia caused by a gene on the non-paired part of a sex chromosome

The inheritance pattern is different in males and females
Also see: Haemophilia
See film: Human Genetics

Sexually transmitted infection
(STI)
Infection passed on during sexual intercourse or contact
See film: Puberty and Relationships

Sexual reproduction
Reproduction in which two gametes join to form a new cell; the offspring produced vary
See film: Human Genetics, Puberty and Relationships

Sickle cell disorder
An inherited disorder of the red blood cells caused by a recessive allele
Also see: Allele
See film: Human Genetics

SMA
(Spinal muscular atrophy)
Genetic disorder of the nervous system that affects coordination
See film: Human Genetics

Sperm
Male sex cell or gamete
Also see: Gametes
See film: Human Genetics, Puberty and Relationships

Spinal muscular atrophy
(SMA)
Genetic disorder of the nervous system that affects coordination
See film: Human Genetics

Stem cells
Immature cells with the potential to develop into specialised cells
See film: Human Genetics

Stethoscope
Instrument that doctors use to listen to breathing, heartbeat etc.
See film: Diagnosis and Treatment, Heart Disease

Stimulant
Drug that speeds up the way your body works
See film: Fit and Healthy

Symptom
What a patient feels and describes about a disease, such as a headache or nausea
See film: Heart Disease, Diagnosis and Treatment, Human Genetics, Outbreak!

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T

Termination
(Abortion)
Ending a pregnancy
See film: Human Genetics

Therapeutic cloning
Cloning of stem cells, e.g. from embryos, cord blood, etc. to provide cells for treating disorders such as diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
See film: Human Genetics

Thorax
The chest; the part of the body which contains the heart and lungs
See film: Diagnosis and Treatment, Heart Disease

Treatment
Using drugs, chemotherapy, radiotherapy etc. to try to make a patient better
See film: Diagnosis and Treatment, Outbreak!

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U

Ultrasound scanner
A device that uses sound signals used to see inside the body
See film: Diagnosis and Treatment

Urine
The liquid containing water, salts and urea excreted by the kidneys
See film: Diagnosis and Treatment

Uterus
(Womb)
Where a baby develops before birth
See film: Human Genetics, Puberty and Relationships

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V

Vaccinated
(Immunisation)
Injected with a weakened disease organism, a vaccine, to make a person immune to that disease
See film: Outbreak!

Vagina
Opening of the human female reproductive system
See film: Puberty and Relationships

Valve
This stops blood flowing the wrong way
See film: Heart Disease

Vein
A blood vessel that carries blood towards the heart
See film: Heart Disease

Ventricles
The two thick-walled lower chambers of the heart
See film: Heart Disease

Virus
A microorganism that can only live inside other cells
See film: Outbreak!

Vitamin
Substance in food, which we need in small amounts for cells to stay healthy
See film: Fit and Healthy

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W

Weight-bearing exercise
Exercise in which the limbs bear all your weight – good for bone strength
See film: Fit and Healthy

White blood cell
A cell in blood that helps to destroy microorganisms and the toxins they produce
See film: Outbreak!

Womb
(Uterus)
Where a baby develops before birth
See film: Puberty and Relationships

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X

X chromosome
Human sex chromosome; males have one, females have two
See film: Human Genetics

X-SCID
Rare genetic disorder in which the immune system doesn’t work (bubble-babies)
See film: Human Genetics

XX
The pair of sex chromosomes found in human females
See film: Human Genetics

XY
The pair of sex chromosomes found in human males

The Y chromosome is shorter than the X
See film: Human Genetics

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Y

Y chromosome
Human sex chromosome causing maleness
See film: Human Genetics

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