Amok: A syndrome first reported in the Malay people, usually male, consisting of a period of brooding followed by a sudden outburst of indiscriminate murderous frenzy, sometimes provoked by an insult, jealousy or sense of desperation. The person who runs amok may also die in a form of murder-suicide. Spelled also amuck. The Malay word for “furious attack.” Similar syndromes such as cafard in Polynesia and mal de pelea in Puerto Rico are known to occur in other peoples.
Amoeba: Also ameba. A single-celled (protozoan) organism that constantly changes shape. The word “ameba” is from the Greek “amoibe” meaning “change.” Ameba can infect the bowels to cause diarrhea and the liver to cause abscess formation.
Amphetamine: A drug that has a stimulant effect on the central nervous system that can be both physically and psychologically addictive when overused. Amphetamine has been much abused recreationally. The street term ‘speed’ refers to stimulant drugs such as amphetamine.
Amplification: An event that produces multiple copies of a gene or of any sequence of DNA. Gene amplification plays a role in cancer. Amplification can occur in vivo (in the living individual) or in vitro (in the laboratory).
- Amplification, DNA
Amplification, DNA: The production of multiple copies of a sequence of DNA. Repeated copying of a piece of DNA. DNA amplification plays a role in cancer cells. A tumor cell amplifies, or copies, DNA segments as a result of cell signals and sometimes environmental events. Amplification can occur in vivo (in the living individual) or […]
Ampulla: In anatomy, a sac-like enlargement of a canal or duct. The ampulla of Vater is the enlargement of the ducts from the liver and pancreas at the point where they enter the small intestine. Ampulla in Latin means flask. An ampulla was a flask used in ancient Rome to hold ointment, perfume, and wine.