Glossary – C

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C

cancer
Malignant disease caused by uncontrolled growth of transformed cells. Cancer is derived from tumors that have gained the potential to invade adjacent tissues and form metastasis.

cDNA
Complementary DNA (cDNA) is DNA that has been generated from RNA by reverse transcription. cDNA can form base pairs with RNA because of its complementarity.

cloning
A method for the production of genetically identical individuals. In cell biology, cloning means to grow large cell numbers derived from a single ancestor cell. In molecular biology and genetics, cloning of DNA describes a method for the generation of artificial DNA.

cryosection
A method used to cut frozen samples into thin slices that can be used for further analysis.

CTL
See cytotoxic T cell

cytokine
Cytokines are proteins secreted by cells of the immune system. They act as signals that can trigger specific events in other cells. As immunomodulating agents they are important for the communication between different immune cells.

cytotoxic T cell (CTL)
These cells form a subgroup of T lymphocytes characterized by the expression of the molecule CD8. CTLs are leukocytes and can kill cells that are damaged, dysfunctional, or infected with pathogens. They are even able to kill tumor cells.