Glossary

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tissue

A group or layer of cells that work together to perform a specific function.

A

Animals in Research

Any live, vertebrate animal used or intended for use in research, research training, experimentation, or biological testing or for related purposes. The generation of custom antibodies and animals obtained or euthanized for tissue harvest constitute activities involving vertebrate animals. To learn more about policies and guidance on the use of animals in PHS funded research, training, and testing, see the NIH Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare.

C

cell

In biology, the smallest unit that can live on its own and that makes up all living organisms and the tissues of the body. 

Clinical Research

Research with human subjects that is:

1) Patient-oriented research. Research conducted with human subjects (or on material of human origin such as tissues, specimens, and cognitive phenomena) for which an investigator (or colleague) directly interacts with human subjects. Excluded from this definition are in vitro studies that utilize human tissues that cannot be linked to a living individual. It includes: (a) mechanisms of human disease, (b), therapeutic interventions, (c) clinical trials, or (d) development of new technologies.

2) Epidemiological and behavioral studies.

3) Outcomes research and health services research

Studies falling under 45 CFR 46.101(b) (4) (Exemption 4) are not considered clinical research by this definition.

D

degenerative diseases

A disease in which the function or structure of the affected tissues or organs changes for the worse over time. Osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer disease are examples.

E

Existing dataset

An existing dataset may be constructed of different types of data including but not limited to survey data, demographic information, health information, genomic information, etc. Also included would be data to be derived from existing samples of cells, tissues, or other types of materials that may have been previously collected for a different purpose or research question but will now be used to answer a new research question. In general, these will be studies meeting the NIH definition for clinical research with a prospective plan to analyze existing data and/or derive data from an existing resource and where no ongoing or future contact with participants is anticipated.

H

Human Subject

A living individual about whom an investigator (whether professional or student) conducting research obtains data through intervention or interaction with the individual or obtains identifiable private information. Regulations governing the use of human subjects in research extend to use of human organs, tissues, and body fluids from identifiable individuals as human subjects and to graphic, written, or recorded information derived from such individuals. (See Public Policy Requirements and Objectives-Human Subjects Protections).

N

nervous system

The organized network of nerve tissue in the body. It includes the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord), the peripheral nervous system (nerves that extend from the spinal cord to the rest of the body), and other nerve tissue.

S

spinal cord

A column of nerve tissue that runs from the base of the skull down the center of the back. It is covered by three thin layers of protective tissue called membranes. The spinal cord and membranes are surrounded by the vertebrae (back bones). The spinal cord and the brain make up the central nervous system (CNS). Spinal cord nerves carry messages between the brain and the rest of the body.

stroke

In medicine, a loss of blood flow to part of the brain, which damages brain tissue. Strokes are caused by blood clots and broken blood vessels in the brain. Symptoms include dizziness, numbness, weakness on one side of the body, and problems with talking, writing, or understanding language. The risk of stroke is increased by high blood pressure, older age, smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, atherosclerosis (a buildup of fatty material and plaque inside the coronary arteries), and a family history of stroke. Also called cerebrovascular accident and CVA.

T

tissue

A group or layer of cells that work together to perform a specific function.

tumors

An abnormal mass of tissue that results when cells divide more than they should or do not die when they should. Tumors may be benign (not cancer), or malignant (cancer).
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Form Approved OMB# 0925-0648 Exp. Date 05/31/2021