- Naming things is essential for people to understand
- one another, no matter what language or field of
- interest is involved. This is as true for enzymes, genes
- and chemicals as it is for birds, food, flowers, etc.
- Keith Tipton and Sinéad Boyce1(p34)
Molecules and their interactions underlie every area of medicine. Many classes of molecules are described according to rules or conventions, some of which are covered in other sections of this chapter. The Joint Commission on Biochemical Nomenclature (JCBN) formulates nomenclature policy for classes of biochemicals; see http://www.chem.qmul.ac.uk/iupac/jcbn/index.html#1. (JCBN enzyme nomenclature is described in 15.10.3, Enzyme Nomenclature.) The National Center for Biotechnology Information (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/) is a searchable information resource on molecular biology with links to databases.
This section provides information on various molecular terms, including expansions, derivations, typography, and usage information (but not rules for naming molecules). It is meant to assist the editor or reader encountering an unfamiliar term and to guide the author in employing such terms. For terms not described herein, helpful sources include the MeSH database of the National Library of Medicine (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=mesh), medical texts and dictionaries, and internet searches. For a review of molecular biology databases, see the 2005 Database Issue of Nucleic Acids Research.2