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List of Latin and Greek Terms and Their Plurals
BookID 158386_ChapID 15_Proof# 1 -2
Vas
, pl.
vasa
, gen.
vasis
. Vessel. 3rd declension neut.
Vas deferens
vasa recta
vasa vasorum
Vasculum
, pl.
vascula
, gen.
vasculi
. Small vessel. 2nd declension neut.
Vastus
, pl.
vasti
, gen.
vasti
. Vast, huge. 2nd declension neut. (adj.: masc.
vas
tus
, fem.
vasta
, neut.
vasti
Vastus medialis
intermedius
lateralis m
Vasum
, pl.
vasa
, gen.
vasi
. Vessel. 2nd declension neut.
Velum
, pl.
veli
, gen.
veli
. Covering, curtain (lit.
). 2nd declension neut.
Vena
, pl.
venae
, gen.
venae
. Vein. 1st declension fem.
Vena cava
, pl.
venae cavae
, gen.
venae cavae
(from adj.
cavus
, hollow)
Ventriculus
, pl.
ventriculi
, gen.
ventriculi
. Ventricle (lit.
small belly
). 2nd
declension masc.
Venula
, pl.
venulae
, gen.
venulae
. Venule. 1st declension fem.
Vermis
, pl.
vermes
, gen.
vermis
. Worm. 3rd declension masc.
Verruca
, pl.
verrucae
, gen.
verrucae
. Wart. 1st declension fem.
Vertebra
, pl.
vertebrae
, gen.
vertebrae
. Vertebra. 1st declension fem.
Vertex
, pl.
vertices
, gen.
verticis
. Vertex (lit.
peak
). 3rd declension masc.
Vesica
, pl.
vesicae
, gen.
vesicae
. Bladder. 1st declension fem.
Vesicula
, pl.
vesiculae
, gen.
vesiculae
. Vesicle (lit.
lesser bladder
). 1st declen
sion fem.
Vestibulum
, pl.
vestibula
, gen.
vestibuli
. Entrance to a cavity. 2nd declension
neut.
Villus
, pl.
villi
, gen.
villi
. Villus (shaggy hair). 2nd declension masc.
Vinculum
, pl.
vincula
, gen.
vinculi
. Band, band-like structure (lit.
chain
). 2nd declension neut.
Virus
, pl. Lat.
viri
, pl. Engl.
viruses
, gen.
viri
. Virus. 2nd declension masc.
Viscus
, pl.
viscera
, gen.
visceris
. Viscus, internal organ. 3rd declension neut.
Vitiligo
, pl.
vitiligines
, gen.
vitiligis
. Vitiligo. 3rd declension masc.
Vomer
, pl.
vomeres
, gen.
vomeris
. Vomer bone. 3rd declension masc.
Vulva
, pl.
vulvae
, gen.
vulvae
. Vulva. 1st declension fem.
Zona
, pl.
zonae
, gen.
zonae
. Zone. 1st declension fem.
Zonula
, pl.
zonulae
, gen.
zonulae
. Small zone. 1st declension fem.
Zygapophysis
, pl.
zygapophyses
, gen.
zygapophysis
. Vertebral articular apo
physis. 3rd declension fem.
Unit XV
Latin and Greek Terminology
BookID 158386_ChapID 15_Proof# 1 -2
BookID 158386_ChapID 15_Proof# 1 -2
Trapezium
, pl.
trapezia
, gen.
trapezii
. Trapezium bone. 2nd declension
neut.
Trauma
, pl.
traumata
, gen.
traumatis
. Trauma. 3rd declension neut.
Triangularis
, pl.
triangulares
, gen.
triangularis
. Triangular. 3rd declension
masc. (adj.: masc.
triangularis
, fem.
triangularis
, neut.
triangulare
Triceps
, pl.
tricipes
, gen.
tricipis
. Triceps (from
ceps
, pl.
cipes
, gen.
cipis
headed). 3rd declension masc.
Trigonum
, pl.
trigona
, gen.
trigoni
. Trigonum (lit.
triangle
). 2nd declension
neut.
Triquetrum
, pl.
triquetra
, gen.
triquetri
. Triquetrum, triquetral bone,
pyramidal bone. 2nd declension neut. (adj.: masc.
triquetrus
, fem.
triquetra
neut.
triquetrum
. Three-cornered, triangular)
Trochlea
, pl.
trochleae
, gen.
trochleae
. Trochlea (lit.
pulley
). 1st declension
fem.
Truncus
, pl.
trunci
, gen.
trunci
. Trunk. 2nd declension masc.
Tuba
, pl.
, gen.
. Tube. 1st declension fem.
Tuberculum
, pl.
tubercula
, gen.
tuberculi
. Tuberculum, swelling, protuber
ance. 2nd declension neut.
Tubulus
, pl.
tubuli
, gen.
tubuli
. Tubule. 2nd declension masc.
Tunica
, pl.
, gen.
. Tunic. 1st declension fem.
Tylosis
, pl.
tyloses
, gen.
tylosis
. Tylosis (callosity). 3rd declension.
Tympanum
, pl.
tympana
, gen.
tympani
. Tympanum, eardrum (lit.
small
drum
). 2nd declension neut.
Ulcus
, pl.
ulcera
, gen.
ulceris
. Ulcer. 3rd declension neut.
Ulna
, pl.
, gen.
. Ulna (lit.
forearm
). 1st declension fem.
Umbilicus
, pl.
, gen.
. Navel. 2nd declension masc.
Uncus
, pl.
, gen.
. Uncus (lit.
hook
clamp
). 2nd declension masc.
Unguis
, pl.
, gen.
. Nail, claw. 3rd declension masc.
Uterus
, pl.
uteri
, gen.
uteri
. Uterus, womb. 2nd declension masc.
Utriculus
, pl.
utriculi
, gen.
utriculi
. Utriculus (lit.
wineskin
). 2nd declension
Uveitis
, pl.
uveitides
, gen.
uveitidis
. Uveítis. 3rd declension fem.
Uvula
, pl.
uvulae
, gen.
uvulae
. Uvula (lit.
small grape
, from
uva
, pl.
uvae
grape). 1st declension fem.
Vagina
, pl.
vaginae
, gen.
vaginae
. Vagina, sheath. 1st declension fem.
Vaginitis
, pl.
vaginitides
, gen.
vaginitidis
. Vaginitis. 3rd declension fem.
Vagus
, pl.
vagi
, gen.
vagi
. Vagus nerve. 2nd declension masc. (adj.: masc.
vagus
, fem.
vaga
, neut.
vagum
. Roving, wandering)
Valva
, pl.
valvae
, gen.
valvae
. Leaflet. 1st declension fem.
Valvula
, pl.
valvulae
, gen.
valvulae
. Valve. 1st declension fem.
Varix
, pl.
varices
, gen.
varicis
. Varix, varicose vein. 3rd declension masc.
List of Latin and Greek Terms and Their Plurals
BookID 158386_ChapID 15_Proof# 1 -2
Talus
, pl.
, gen.
. Talus. 2nd declension masc.
Tarsus
, pl.
tarsi
, gen.
tarsi
. Tarsus. 2nd declension masc.
Tectum
, pl.
tecta
, gen.
tecti
. Roof. 2nd declension neut.
Tegmen
, pl.
tegmina
, gen.
tegminis
. Roof, covering. 3rd declension neut.
Tegmentum
, pl.
tegmenta
, gen.
tegmenti
. Covering. 2nd declension neut.
Tela
, pl.
telae
, gen.
telae
. Membrane (lit.
web
). 1st declension fem.
Telangiectasis
, pl.
telangiectases
, gen.
telangiectasis
. Telangiectasis. 3rd
declension.
Temporalis m
., pl.
temporales
, gen.
temporalis
. 3rd declension masc. (adj.:
masc.
temporalis
, fem.
temporalis
, neut.
temporale
Tenaculum
, pl.
tenacula
, gen.
tenaculi
. Surgical clamp. 2nd declension neut.
Tendo
, pl.
tendines
, gen.
tendinis
. Tendon, sinew (from verb
tendo
, stretch).
3rd.
Tenia
, pl.
teniae
, gen.
teniae
. Tenia. 1st declension fem.
Tensor
, pl.
tensores
, gen.
tensoris
. Something that stretches, that tenses a
muscle. 3rd declension masc.
Tentorium
, pl.
tentoria
, gen.
tentorii
. Tentorium. 2nd declension neut.
Teres
, pl.
teretes
, gen.
teretis
. Round and long. 3rd declension masc.
Testis
, pl.
testes
, gen.
testis
. Testicle. 3rd declension masc.
Thalamus
, pl.
, gen.
. Thalamus (lit.
marriage bed
). 2nd
declension masc.
Theca
, pl.
thecae
, gen.
thecae
. Theca, envelope (lit.
case
box
). 1st declension fem.
Thelium
, pl.
thelia
, gen.
thelii
. Nipple. 2nd declension neut.
Thenar
, pl.
thenares
, gen.
thenaris
. Relative to the palm of the hand. 3rd
declension neut.
, pl.
, gen.
. Thesis. 3rd declension fem.
Thorax
, pl.
thoraces
, gen.
thoracos
thoracis
. Chest. 3rd declension masc.
Thrombosis
, pl.
thromboses
, gen.
thombosis
. Thrombosis. 3rd declension.
Thrombus
, pl.
thrombi
, gen.
thrombi
. Thrombus, clot (from Gr.
thrombos
).
2nd declension masc.
Thymus
, pl.
thymi
, gen.
thymi
. Thymus. 2nd declension masc.
Tibia
, pl.
tibiae
, gen.
tibiae
. Tibia. 1st declension fem.
Tonsilla
, pl.
tonsillae
, gen.
tonsillae
. Tonsil. 1st declension fem.
Tophus
, pl.
tophi
, gen.
tophi
. Tophus. 2nd declension masc.
Torulus
, pl.
toruli
, gen.
toruli
. Papilla, small elevation. 2nd declension masc.
Trabecula
, pl.
trabeculae
, gen.
trabeculae
. Trabecula (supporting bundle of
either osseous or fibrous fibers). 1st declension fem.
Trachea
, pl.
tracheae
, gen.
tracheae
. Trachea. 1st declension fem.
Tractus
, pl.
tractus
, gen.
tractus
. Tract. 4th declension masc.
Tragus
, pl.
tragi
, gen.
tragi
. Tragus, hircus. 2nd declension masc.
Transversalis
, pl.
transversales
, gen.
transversalis
. Transverse. 3rd declension.
(adj.: masc.
transversalis
, fem.
transversalis
, neut.
transversale
Transversus
, pl.
transversi
, gen.
transversi
. Lying across, from side to side.
2nd declension masc. (adj.: masc.
transversus
, fem.
transversa
, neut.
transversum
Unit XV
Latin and Greek Terminology
BookID 158386_ChapID 15_Proof# 1 -2
BookID 158386_ChapID 15_Proof# 1 -2
Splenunculus
, pl.
splenunculi
, gen.
splenunculi
. Accessory spleen. 2nd
declension masc.
Sputum
, pl.
sputa
, gen.
sputi
. Sputum. 2nd declension neut.
Squama
, pl.
squamae
, gen.
squamae
. Squama (scale, plate-like structure). 1st
declension fem.
Stapes
, pl.
stapedes
, gen.
stapedis
. Stapes. 3rd declension masc.
Staphylococcus
, pl.
staphylococci
, gen.
staphylococci
. Staphylococcus. 2nd
declension masc.
Stasis
, pl.
, gen.
. Stasis. 3rd declension masc.
Statoconium
, pl.
statoconia
, gen.
statoconii
. Statoconium. 2nd declension
neut.
Stenosis
, pl.
stenoses
, gen.
stenosis
. Stenosis. 3rd declension.
Stereocilium
, pl.
stereocilia
, gen.
stereocilii
. Stereocilium. 2nd declension
neut.
Sternocleidomastoideus m
., pl.
sternocleidomastoidei
, gen.
sternocleido
mastoidei
. 2nd declension masc.
Sternum
, pl.
sterna
, gen.
sterni
. Sternum. 2nd declension neut.
Stigma
, pl.
stigmata
, gen.
stigmatis
. Stigma (mark aiding in diagnosis). 3rd
declension neut.
Stimulus
, pl.
stimuli
, gen.
stimuli
. Stimulus (lit.
spur
). 2nd declension masc.
Stoma
, pl.
stomata
, gen.
stomatis
. Stoma, opening, hole. 3rd declension
neut.
Stratum
, pl.
strata
, gen.
strati
. Stratum. 2nd declension neut.
Stria
, pl.
striae
, gen.
striae
. Fluting, channel. 1st declension fem.
Stroma
, pl.
stromata
, gen.
stromatis
. Stroma. 3rd declension neut.
Struma
, pl.
strumae
, gen.
strumae
. Struma. 1st declension fem.
Subiculum
, pl.
subicula
, gen.
subiculi
. Subiculum. 2nd declension neut.
Substantia
, pl.
substantiae
, gen.
substantiae
. Substance. 1st declension fem.
Sulcus
, pl.
sulci
, gen.
sulci
. Sulcus. 2nd declension masc.
Supercilium
, pl.
supercilia
, gen.
supercilii
. Eyebrow. 2nd declension neut.
Superficialis
, pl.
superficiales
, gen.
superficialis
. Superficial. 3rd declension
masc. (adj.: masc.
superficialis
, fem.
superficialis
, neut.
superficiale
Superior
, pl.
superiores
, gen.
superioris
. Higher, upper, greater. 3rd declen
sion.
Sustentaculum
, pl.
sustentacula
, gen.
sustentaculi
. Sustentaculum. 2nd
declension neut.
Sutura
, pl.
suturae
, gen.
suturae
. Suture. 1st declension fem.
Symphysis
, pl.
symphyses
, gen.
symphysis
. Symphysis. 3rd declension.
Synchondrosis
, pl.
synchondroses
, gen.
synchondrosis
. Synchondrosis. 3rd
declension.
Syncytium
, pl.
syncytia
, gen.
syncytii
. Syncytium. 2nd declension neut.
Syndesmosis
, pl.
syndesmoses
, gen.
syndesmosis
. Syndesmosis. 3rd declen
sion.
Synechia
, pl.
synechiae
, gen.
synechiae
. Synechia. 1st declension fem.
Syrinx
, pl.
syringes
, gen.
syringis
. Syrinx. 3rd declension.
List of Latin and Greek Terms and Their Plurals
BookID 158386_ChapID 15_Proof# 1 -2
Sacculus
, pl.
sacculi
, gen.
sacculi
. Small pouch. 2nd declension masc.
Saccus
, pl.
sacci
, gen.
sacci
. Pouch. 2nd declension masc.
Sacrum
, pl.
sacra
, gen.
sacri
. Sacral bone (lit.
sacred vessel
). 2nd declension neut.
, pl.
salpinges
, gen.
salpingis
. Fallopian tube. 3rd declension.
Sartorius m
., pl.
sartorii
, gen.
sartorii
. Sartorius muscle (tailor’s muscle).
2nd declension masc.
Scalenus m
., gen.
scaleni
, pl.
scaleni
. Uneven. 2nd declension masc.
, pl.
, gen.
. Scapula, shoulder blade. 1st declension fem.
Sclerosis
, pl.
scleroses
, gen.
sclerosis
. Sclerosis . 3rd declension.
Scolex
, pl.
scoleces
, gen.
scolecis
. Scolex. 3rd declension.
Scotoma
, pl.
scotomata
, gen.
scotomatis
. Scotoma. 3rd declension neut.
Scrotum
, pl.
scrota
, gen.
scroti
. Scrotum. 2nd declension neut.
Scutulum
, pl.
scutula
, gen.
scutuli
. Scutulum. 2nd declension neut.
Scybalum
, pl.
scybala
, gen.
scybali
. Scybalum. 2nd declension neut.
Segmentum
, pl.
segmenta
, gen.
segmenti
. Segment. 2nd declension neut.
Sella turcica
, pl.
sellae turcicae
, gen.
sellae turcicae
. Turkish chair. 1st declen
sion fem.
Semen
, pl.
semina
, gen.
seminis
. Semen. 3rd declension neut.
Semimembranosus m
., pl.
semimembranosi
, gen.
semimembranosi
. 2nd
declension masc.
Semitendinosus m
., pl.
semitendinosi
, gen.
semitendinosi
. 2nd declension
Sensorium
, pl.
sensoria
, gen.
sensorii
. Sensorium. 2nd declension neut.
Sepsis
, pl.
sepses
, gen.
sepsis
. Sepsis. 3rd declension.
Septum
, pl.
septa
, gen.
septi
. Septum. 2nd declension neut.
Sequela
, pl.
sequelae
, gen.
sequelae
. Sequela. 1st declension fem.
Sequestrum
, pl.
sequestra
, gen.
sequestri
. Sequestrum (from sequester, go-
between). 2nd declension neut.
Serosa
, pl.
serosae
, gen.
serosae
. Serosa. 1st declension fem.
Serratus m
., pl.
serrati
, gen.
serrati
. Serrated, toothed like a saw. 2nd declen
sion masc.
Serum
, pl.
sera
, gen.
seri
. Serum (lit.
whey
). 2nd declension neut.
Sinciput
, pl.
, gen.
sincipitis
. Sinciput. 3rd declension neut.
Sinus
, pl.
sinus
, gen.
sinus
. Sinus. 4th declension masc.
Soleus m
., pl.
solei
, gen.
solei
. Soleus. 2nd declension masc.
Spatium
, pl.
spatia
, gen.
spatii
. Space. 2nd declension neut.
Spectrum
, pl.
spectra
, gen.
spectri
. Spectrum. 2nd declension neut.
Sphincter
, pl. Lat.
sphincteres
, pl. Engl.
sphincters
, gen.
sphincteris
. Sphinc
ter. 3rd declension masc.
Spiculum
, pl.
, gen.
. Spike (lit.
sting
). 2nd declension neut.
, pl.
, gen.
. Spine. 1st declension fem.
Splenium
, pl.
splenia
, gen.
splenii
. Splenium. 2nd declension neut.
Splenius capitis
colli mm
Unit XV
Latin and Greek Terminology
BookID 158386_ChapID 15_Proof# 1 -2
BookID 158386_ChapID 15_Proof# 1 -2
Puerperium
, pl.
puerperia
, gen.
puerperii
. Puerperium. 2nd declension neut.
Pulmo
, pl.
pulmones
, gen.
pulmonis
. Lung. 3rd declension masc.
Punctata
, pl.
, gen.
. Pointed. 1st declension fem.
Punctum
, pl.
, gen.
puncti
. Point. 2nd declension neut.
Pylorus
, pl.
pylori
, gen.
pylori
. Pylorus. 2nd declension masc.
Pyramidalis m
., pl.
pyramidales
, gen.
pyramidalis
. Pyramidal. 3rd declen
sion masc. (adj.: masc.
pyramidalis
, fem.
pyramidalis
, neut.
pyramidale
Pyriformis m
., pl.
pyriformes
, gen.
pyriformis
. Pear-shaped. 3rd declension
masc. (adj.: masc.
pyriformis
, fem.
pyriformis
, neut.
pyriforme
Quadratus
, pl.
quadrati
, gen.
quadrati
. Square. 2nd declension masc. (adj.:
masc.
quadratus
, fem.
quadrata
, neut.
quadratum
Quadrigemina
, pl.
quadrigeminae
, gen.
quadrigeminae
. Fourfold, in four
parts. 1st declension fem. (adj.:
quadrigeminus
, fem.
quadrigemina
, neut.
quadrigeminum
Rachis
, pl. Lat.
rachides
, pl. Engl.
rachises
, gen.
rachidis
. Rachis, vertebral
column. 3rd declension.
Radiatio
, pl.
radiationes
, gen.
radiationis
. Radiation. 3rd declension fem.
Radius
, pl.
radii
, gen.
radii
. Radius. 2nd declension masc.
Radix
, pl.
radices
, gen.
radicis
. Root, base. 3rd declension fem.
Ramus
, pl.
rami
, gen.
rami
. Branch. 2nd declension masc.
Receptaculum
, pl.
receptacula
, gen.
receptaculi
. Receptacle, reservoir. 2nd
declension neut.
Recessus
, pl.
recessus
, gen.
recessus
. Recess. 4th declension masc.
Rectus
, pl.
recti
, gen.
recti
. Right, straight (adj.: masc.
rectus
, fem.
recta
, neut.
rectum
Rectus abdominis m
Regio
, pl.
regiones
, gen.
regionis
. Region. 3rd declension fem.
Ren
, pl.
renes
, gen.
renis
. Kidney. 3rd declension masc.
Rete
, pl.
retia
, gen.
Retis
. Network, net. 3rd declension neut.
Rete mirabilis
Reticulum
, pl.
reticula
, gen.
reticuli
. Reticulum. 2nd declension neut.
Retinaculum
, pl.
retinacula
, gen.
retinaculi
. Retinaculum (retaining band or
ligament). 2nd declension neut.
Rima
, pl.
rimae
, gen.
rima
. Fissure, slit. 1st declension fem.
Rostrum
, pl.
rostra
, gen.
rostri
. Rostrum (beak-shaped structure). 2nd
declension neut.
Rotundum
, pl.
rotunda
, gen.
rotundi
. Round declension (adj.: masc.
rotun
dus
, fem.
rotunda
, neut.
rotundum
Foramen rotundum
, pl.
foramina rotunda
Ruga
, pl.
rugae
, gen.
rugae
. Wrinkle, fold. 1st declension fem.
List of Latin and Greek Terms and Their Plurals
BookID 158386_ChapID 15_Proof# 1 -2
Placenta
, pl.
placentae
, gen.
placentae
. Placenta (lit.
cake
). 1st declension fem.
, pl.
, gen.
. Plant, sole. 1st declension fem.
, pl.
plantaria
, gen.
plantaris
. Relating to the sole of the foot. 3rd
declension neut.
Planum
, pl.
, gen.
. Plane. 2nd declension neut.
Platysma m
., pl.
platysmata
, gen.
platysmatis
. Platysma. 3rd declension neut.
Pleura
, pl.
pleurae
, gen.
pleurae
. Pleura. 1st declension fem.
, pl.
, gen.
. Fold. 1st declension fem.
Pneumoconiosis
, pl.
pneumoconioses
, gen.
pneumoconiosis
. Pneumoco
niosis. 3rd declension.
Pollex
, pl.
pollices
, gen.
pollicis
. Thumb. 3rd declension masc.
Polus
, pl.
poli
, gen.
poli
. Pole. 2nd declension masc.
Pons
, pl.
pontes
, gen.
pontis
. Pons (lit.
bridge
). 3rd declension masc.
Porta
, pl.
portae
, gen.
portae
. Porta (from Lat. verb
porto
, carry, bring). 1st
declension fem.
Portio
, pl.
portiones
, gen.
portionis
. Portion. 3rd declension fem.
Porus
, pl.
pori
, gen.
pori
. Pore. 2nd declension masc.
Posterior
, pl.
posteriores
, gen.
posterioris
. Coming after. 3rd declension.
Praeputium
, pl.
praeputia
, gen.
praeputii
. Prepuce, foreskin. 2nd declension
neut.
Princeps
, pl.
principes
, gen.
principis
. Princeps (first, foremost, leading). 3rd
declension masc.
Processus
, pl.
processus
, gen.
processus
. Process. 4th declension masc.
Profunda
, pl.
profundae
, gen.
profundae
. Deep. 1st declension fem. (adj.:
masc.
profundus
, fem.
profunda
, neut.
profundum
Vena femoralis profunda
, deep femoral vein
Prominentia
, pl.
prominentiae
, gen.
prominentiae
. Prominence. 1st declen
sion fem.
Promontorium
, pl.
promontoria
, gen.
promontorii
. Promontorium. 2nd
declension neut.
Pronator
, pl.
pronatores
, gen.
pronatoris
. A muscle that serves to pronate.
3rd declension masc.
Pronator teres m
.,
pronator quadratus m
Prophylaxis
, pl.
prophylaxes
, gen.
prophylaxis
. Prophylaxis (from Gr.
pro
phylasso
, take precaution). 3rd declension.
Proprius
, pl.
proprii
, gen.
proprii
. Own. 2nd declension masc. (adj.: masc.
proprius
, fem.
propria
, neut.
proprium
Prosthesis
, pl.
prostheses
, gen.
prosthesis
. Prosthesis. 3rd declension fem.
Psychosis
, pl.
psychoses
, gen.
psychosis
. Psychosis. 3rd declension fem.
Ptosis
, pl.
ptoses
, gen.
ptosis
. Ptosis. 3rd declension.
Pubes
, pl.
pubes
, gen.
. Pubis. 3rd declension fem.
Pudendum
, pl.
pudenda
, gen.
pudendi
. Relative to the external genitals (lit.
shameful
). 2nd declension neut. (adj.: masc.
pudendus
, fem.
pudenda
, neut.
pudendum
Puerpera
, pl.
puerperae
, gen.
puerperae
. Puerpera. 1st declension fem.
Unit XV
Latin and Greek Terminology
BookID 158386_ChapID 15_Proof# 1 -2
BookID 158386_ChapID 15_Proof# 1 -2
Paries
, pl.
parietes
, gen.
parietis
. Wall. 3rd declension masc.
Pars
, pl.
partes
, gen.
partis
. Part. 3rd declension fem.
Patella
, pl.
patellae
, gen.
patellae
. Patella. 1st declension fem.
Pectoralis m
., pl.
pectorales
, gen.
pectoralis
. Pectoralis muscle. 3rd declen
sion masc. (adj.: masc.
pectoralis
, fem.
pectoralis
, neut.
pectorale
Pectus
, pl.
pectora
, gen.
pectoris
. Chest. 3rd declension neut.
Pectus excavatum
pectus carinatum
Pediculus
, pl.
pediculi
, gen.
pediculi
. 1. Pedicle. 2. Louse. 2nd declension
Pedunculus
, pl.
pedunculi
, gen.
pedunculi
. Pedicle. 2nd declension masc.
Pelvis
, pl.
pelves
, gen.
pelvis
. Pelvis. 3rd declension fem.
Penis
, pl.
penes
, gen.
penis
. Penis. 3rd declension masc.
Perforans
, pl.
perforantes
, gen.
perforantis
. Something which pierces a
structure. 3rd declension masc.
Pericardium
, pl.
pericardia
, gen.
pericardii
. Pericardium. 2nd declension
neut.
Perimysium
, pl.
perimysia
, gen.
perimysii
. Perimysium (from Gr.
mysia
muscle). 2nd declension neut.
Perineum
, pl.
perinea
, gen.
perinei
. Perineum. 2nd declension neut.
Perineurium
, pl.
perineuria
, gen.
perineurii
. Perineurium (from Gr.
neuron
nerve). 2nd declension neut.
Periodontium
, pl.
periodontia
, gen.
periodontii
. Periodontium (from Gr.
odous
, tooth). 2nd declension neut.
Perionychium
, pl.
perionychia
, gen.
perionychii
. Perionychium (from Gr.
onyx
, nail). 2nd declension neut.
Periosteum
, pl.
periostea
, gen.
periosteii
. Periosteum (from Gr.
osteon
bone). 2nd declension neut.
Periostosis
, pl.
periostoses
, gen.
periostosis
. Periostosis. 3rd declension.
Peritoneum
, pl.
peritonea
, gen.
peritonei
. Peritoneum. 2nd declension
neut.
Peroneus m
., pl.
peronei
, gen.
peronei
. Peroneal bone. 2nd declension masc.
Pes
, pl.
pedes
, gen.
pedis
. Foot. 3rd declension masc.
Petechia
, pl.
petechiae
, gen.
petechiae
. Petechiae (tiny hemorrhagic spots).
1st declension fem.
Phalanx
, pl.
phalanges
, gen.
phalangis
. Phalanx (long bones of the digits).
3rd declension fem.
Os phalangi
, pl.
ossa phalangium
Phallus
, pl.
phalli
, gen.
phalli
. Phallus, penis. 2nd declension masc.
Pharynx
, pl.
pharynges
, gen.
pharyngis
. Pharynx. 3rd declension.
Philtrum
, pl.
philtra
, gen.
philtri
. Philtrum. 2nd declension neut.
Phimosis
, pl.
phimoses
, gen.
phimosis
. Phimosis. 3rd declension masc.
Phlyctena
, pl.
phlyctenae
, gen.
phlyctenae
. Phlyctena (small blister). 1st
declension fem.
Pia mater
, pl.
piae matres
, gen.
piae matris
. Pia mater (inner meningeal layer
of tissue). 1st declension fem. (adj.: masc.
, fem.
, neut.
, tender)
List of Latin and Greek Terms and Their Plurals
BookID 158386_ChapID 15_Proof# 1 -2
Obliquus
, pl.
obliqui
, gen.
obliqui
. Oblique. 2nd declension masc. (adj.:
masc.
obliquus
, fem.
obliqua
, neut.
obliquum
Occiput
, pl.
occipita
, gen.
occipitis
. Occiput (back of the head). 3rd declen
sion neut.
Oculentum
, pl.
oculenta
, gen.
oculenti
. Eye ointment. 2nd declension neut.
Oculus
, pl.
oculi
, gen.
oculi
. Eye. 2nd declension masc.
Oliva
, pl.
olivae
, gen.
olivae
. Rounded elevation (lit.
olive
). 1st declension fem.
Omentum
, pl.
omenta
, gen.
omenti
. Peritoneal fold. 2nd declension neut.
Oogonium
, pl.
oogonia
, gen.
oogonii
. Oocyte. 2nd declension neut.
Operculum
, pl.
opercula
, gen.
operculi
. Operculum, cover (lit.
lesser lid
). 2nd
declension neut.
Orbicularis m
., pl.
orbiculares
, gen.
orbicularis
. Muscle encircling a struc
ture. 3rd declension masc. (adj.: masc.
orbicularis
, fem.
orbicularis
, neut.
orbiculare
Organum
, pl.
organa
, gen.
organi
. Organ. 2nd declension neuter.
Orificium
, pl.
orificia
, gen.
orificii
. Opening, orifice. 2nd declension neuter.
, pl.
ora
, gen.
oris
. Mouth. 3rd declension neut.
+ genitive case:
os coccyges
(coccygeal bone),
os ischii
(ischium)
, pl.
, gen.
. Bone. 3rd declension neut.
Ossiculum
, pl.
, gen.
. Ossicle, small bone. 2nd declension
Ostium
, pl.
ostia
, gen.
ostii
. Opening into a tubular organ, entrance. 2nd
declension neuter.
Ovalis
, pl.
ovales
, gen.
ovalis
. Oval. 3rd declension masc. (adj.: masc.
ovalis
fem.
ovalis
, neut.
ovale
Ovarium
, pl.
ovaria
, gen.
ovarii
. Ovary. 2nd declension neut.
Ovulum
, pl.
ovula
, gen.
ovuli
. Ovule. 2nd declension neut.
Palatum
, pl.
, gen.
palati
. Palate. 2nd declension neut.
Palma
, pl.
, gen.
. Palm. 1st declension fem.
Palmaris
, pl.
palmares
, gen.
palmaris
. Relative to the palm of the hand. 3rd
declension masc. (adj.: masc.
palmaris
, fem.
palmaris
, neut.
palmare
Palpebra
, pl.
palpebrae
, gen.
palpebrae
. Eyelid. 1st declension fem.
Pancreas
, pl.
pancreates
pancreata
, gen.
pancreatis
. Pancreas. 3rd declen
sion fem./neut.
Panniculus
, pl.
, gen.
. Panniculus (a layer of tissue, from
pannus
, pl.
panni
, cloth). 2nd declension masc.
Pannus
, pl.
, gen.
. Pannus (lit.
cloth
). 2nd declension masc.
Papilla
, pl.
papillae
, gen.
papillae
. Papilla (lit.
nipple
). 1st declension fem.
Paralysis
, pl.
paralyses
, gen.
paralysos
paralysis
. Palsy. 3rd declension fem.
Parametrium
, pl.
parametria
, gen.
parametrii
. Parametrium. 2nd declen
sion neut.
Unit XV
Latin and Greek Terminology
BookID 158386_ChapID 15_Proof# 1 -2
BookID 158386_ChapID 15_Proof# 1 -2
Mitochondrion
, pl.
mitochondria
, gen.
mitochondrium
. Mitochondrion.
3rd declension neut.
Mitosis
, pl.
mitoses
, gen.
mitosis
. Mitosis. 3rd declension (from Gr.
mitos
thread)
Mons
, pl.
montes
, gen.
montis
. Mons (lit.
mountain
). 3rd declension masc.
Mors
, pl.
mortes
, gen.
mortis
, acc.
mortem
. Death. 3rd declension fem.
Mucolipidosis
, pl.
mucolipidoses
, gen.
mucolipidosis
. Mucolipidosis. 3rd
declension masc./fem.
Mucro
, pl.
mucrones
, gen.
mucronis
. Sharp-tipped structure. 3rd declension
Mucro sterni
(sternal xyphoides)
Musculus
, pl.
musculi
, gen.
musculi
. Muscle. 2nd declension masc.
Mycelium
, pl.
mycelia
, gen.
mycelii
. Mycelium, mass of hyphae. 2nd declen
sion neut.
Mycoplasma
, pl.
mycoplasmata
, gen.
mycoplasmatis
. Mycoplasma. 3rd
declension neut.
Mylohyoideus m
., pl.
mylohyoidei
, gen.
mylohyoidei
. 2nd declension masc.
Myocardium
, pl.
myocardia
, gen.
myocardii
. Myocardium. 2nd declension
neut.
Myofibrilla
, pl.
myofibrillae
, gen.
myofibrillae
. Myofibrilla. 1st declension
fem.
Myrinx
, pl.
myringes
, gen.
myringis
. Eardrum. 3rd declension.
Naris
, pl.
nares
, gen.
naris
. Nostril. 3rd declension fem.
Nasus
, pl.
, gen.
. Nose. 2nd declension masc.
Navicularis
, pl.
naviculares
, gen.
navicularis
. Ship shaped. 3rd declension
Nebula
, pl.
nebulae
, gen.
nebulae
. Mist, cloud (corneal nebula. corneal opac
ity). 1st declension fem.
Neisseria
, pl.
neisseriae
, gen.
neisseriae
. Neisseria. 1st declension fem.
Nephritis
, pl.
nephritides
, gen.
nephritidis
. Nephritis 3rd declension.
Nervus
, pl.
nervi
, gen.
nervi
. Nerve. 2nd declension masc.
Neuritis
, pl.
neuritides
, gen.
neuritidis
. Neuritis. 3rd declension.
Neurosis
, pl.
neuroses
, gen.
neurosis
. Neurosis. 3rd declension.
Nevus
, pl.
nevi
, gen.
nevi
. Nevus (lit. mole on the body, birthmark). 2nd
declension masc.
Nidus
, pl.
, gen.
. Nidus (lit.
). 2nd declension masc.
Nodulus
, pl.
noduli
, gen.
noduli
. Nodule (small node, knot). 2nd declension
Nucleolus
, pl.
nucleoli
, gen.
nucleoli
. Nucleolus (small nucleus). 2nd declen
sion masc.
Nucleus
, pl.
nuclei
, gen.
nuclei
. Nucleus (central part, core, lit.
inside of a
nut
). 2nd declension masc.
List of Latin and Greek Terms and Their Plurals
BookID 158386_ChapID 15_Proof# 1 -2
Malleus
, pl.
mallei
, gen.
mallei
. Malleus (lit.
hammer
). 2nd declension masc.
Mamilla
, pl.
mamillae
, gen.
mamillae
. Mamilla. 1st declension fem.
Mamma
, pl.
, gen.
. Breast. 1st declension fem.
Mandibula
, pl.
mandibulae
, gen.
mandibulae
. Jaw. 1st declension fem.
Mandibular
, pl.
mandibulares
, gen.
mandibularis
. Relative to the jaw. 3rd
declension.
Manubrium
, pl.
manubria
, gen.
manubrii
. Manubrium (lit.
handle
). 2nd
declension neut.
Manubrium sterni
, pl.
manubria sterna
(superior part of the sternum)
Manus
, pl.
manus
, gen.
manus
. Hand. 4th declension fem.
Margo
, pl.
margines
, gen.
marginis
. Margin. 3rd declension fem.
Matrix
, pl.
matrices
, gen.
matricis
. Matrix (formative portion of a structure,
surrounding substance). 3rd declension fem.
Maxilla
, pl.
maxillae
, gen.
maxillae
. Maxilla. 1st declension fem.
Maximus
, pl.
, gen.
. The greatest, the biggest, the largest. 2nd
declension masc. (adj.: masc.
maximus
, fem.
maxima
, neut.
maximum
Meatus
, pl.
meatus
, gen.
meatus
. Meatus, canal. 4th declension masc.
Medialis
, pl.
mediales
, gen.
medialis
. Medial. 3rd declension masc./fem.
(adj.: masc.
medialis
, fem.
medialis
, neut.
mediale
Medium
, pl.
media
, gen.
medii
. Substance, culture medium, means. 2nd
declension neut.
Medulla
, pl.
medullae
, gen.
medullae
. Marrow. 1st declension fem.
Medulla oblongata
(caudal portion of the brainstem),
medulla spinalis
Membrana
, pl.
membranae
, gen.
membranae
. Membrane. 1st declension fem.
Membrum
, pl.
membra
, gen.
membri
. Limb. 2nd declension neut.
Meningitis
, pl.
meningitides
, gen.
meningitidis
. Meningitis. 3rd declension fem.
Meningococcus
, pl.
meningococci
, gen.
meningococci
. Meningococcus. 2nd
declension masc.
Meninx
, pl.
meninges
, gen.
meningis
. Meninx. 3rd declension.
Meniscus
, pl.
menisci
, gen.
menisci
. Meniscus. 2nd declension masc.
Mentum
, pl.
menti
, gen.
menti
. Chin. 2nd declension masc.
Mesocardium
, pl.
mesocardia
, gen.
mesocardii
. Mesocardium. 2nd declen
sion neut.
Mesothelium
, pl.
mesothelia
, gen.
mesothelii
. Mesothelium. 2nd declension
neut.
Metacarpus
, pl.
metacarpi
, gen.
metacarpi
. Metacarpus. 2nd declension
Metaphysis
, pl.
metaphyses
, gen.
metaphysis
. Metaphysis. 3rd declension.
Metastasis
, pl.
metastases
, gen.
metastasis
. Metastasis. 3rd declension
Metatarsus
, pl.
metatarsi
, gen.
metatarsi
. Metatarsus. 2nd declension masc.
Microvillus
, pl.
microvilli
, gen.
microvilli
. Microvillus (from
villus
, hair).
2nd declension masc.
Minimus
, pl.
, gen.
. The smallest, the least. 2nd declension
masc. (adj,: masc.
minimus
, fem.
, neut.
minimum
Minor
, pl.
minores
, gen.
minoris
. Lesser. 3rd declension masc.
Unit XV
Latin and Greek Terminology
BookID 158386_ChapID 15_Proof# 1 -2
BookID 158386_ChapID 15_Proof# 1 -2
Lemniscus
, pl.
lemnisci
, gen.
lemnisci
. Lemniscus (lit.
ribbon
). 2nd declen
sion masc.
Lentigo
, pl.
lentigines
, gen.
lentiginis
. Lentigo (lit.
lentil-shaped spot
). 3rd
declension.
Levator
, pl.
levatores
, gen.
levatoris
. Lifter (from Lat. verb
levo
, to lift). 3rd
declension masc.
Lien
, pl.
lienes
, gen.
lienis
. Spleen. 3rd declension masc.
Lienculus
, pl.
lienculi
, gen.
lienculi
. Accessory spleen. 2nd declension masc.
Ligamentum
, pl.
ligamenta
, gen.
ligamenti
. Ligament. 2nd declension neut.
Limbus
, pl.
, gen.
. Border, edge. 2nd declension masc.
Limen
, pl.
, gen.
. Threshold. 3rd declension neut.
Linea
, pl.
lineae
, gen.
lineae
. Line. 1st declension fem.
, pl.
, gen.
. Tongue. 1st declension fem.
, pl.
, gen.
. Relative to the tongue. 3rd declension
masc. (adj.: masc.
, fem.
, neut.
, pl.
, gen.
. Lingula (tongue-shaped). 1st declension fem.
Liquor
, pl.
liquores
, gen.
liquoris
. Fluid. 3rd declension masc.
Lobulus
, pl.
lobuli
, gen.
lobuli
. Lobule. 2nd declension masc.
Lobus
, pl.
lobi
, gen.
lobi
. Lobe. 2nd declension masc.
Loculus
, pl.
loculi
, gen.
loculi
. Loculus (small chamber). 2nd declension
Locus
, pl.
loci
, gen.
loci
. Locus (place, position, point). 2nd declension
Longissimus
, pl.
longissimi
, gen.
longissimi
. Very long, the longest. 2nd
declension masc. (Adj masc. longissimus, fem. longissima, neut. longissimum)
Longissimus dorsi
capitis mm
. (long muscle of the back/head)
Longus
, pl.
longi
, gen.
longi
. Long. 2nd declension masc. (adj.: masc.
fem.
longa
, neut.
Longus colli m
. (long muscle of the neck)
Lumbar
, pl.
lumbares
, gen.
lumbaris
. Lumbar. 3rd declension.
Lumbus
, pl.
lumbi
, gen.
lumbi
. Loin. 2nd declension masc.
Lumen
, pl.
lumina
, gen.
luminis
. Lumen. 3rd declension neut.
Lunatum
, pl.
lunata
, gen.
lunati
. Lunate bone, crescent-shaped structure.
2nd declension neut. (adj.: masc.
lunatus
, fem.
, neut.
lunatum
) Lunula,
pl. lunulae, gen. lunulae. Lunula. 1st declension fem.
Lymphonodus
, pl.
lymphonodi
, gen.
lymphonodi
. Lymph node. 2nd declen
sion masc.
Macula
, pl.
, gen.
. Macula, spot. 1st declension fem.
Magnus
, pl.
magni
, gen.
magni
. Large, great. 2nd declension masc. (adj.:
masc.
magnus
, fem.
magna
, neut.
magnum
Major
, pl.
majores
, gen.
majoris
. Greater. 3rd declension masc./fem.
Malleollus
, pl.
malleoli
, gen.
malleoli
. Malleollus (lit.
small hammer
). 2nd
declension masc.
List of Latin and Greek Terms and Their Plurals
BookID 158386_ChapID 15_Proof# 1 -2
Infundibulum
, pl.
infundibula
, gen.
infundibuli
. Infundibulum. 2nd declen
sion neut.
Insula
, pl.
insulae
, gen.
insulae
. Insula. 1st declension fem.
Intermedius
, pl.
intermedii
, gen.
intermedii
. In the middle of. 2nd declen
sion masc. (adj.: masc.
intermedius
, fem.
intermedia
, neut.
intermedium
Internus
, pl.
interni
, gen.
interni
. Internal. 2nd declension masc. (adj.: masc.
internus
, fem.
interna
, neut.
internum
Interosseus
, gen.
interossei
, pl.
interossei
. Interosseous. 2nd declension
masc. (adj.: masc.
interosseus
, fem.
interossea
, neut.
interosseum
Intersectio
, pl.
intersectiones
, gen.
intersectionis
. Intersection. 3rd declen
sion fem.
Interstitium
, pl.
interstitia
, gen.
interstitii
. Interstice. 2nd declension neut.
Intestinum
, pl.
intestina
, gen.
intestini
. Bowel. 2nd declension neut.
Iris
, pl.
irides
, gen.
iridis
. Iris. 3rd declension masc.
Ischium
, pl.
ischia
, gen.
ischii
. Ischium. 2nd declension neut.
Isthmus
, pl. Lat.
, pl. Engl.
isthmuses
, gen.
. Constriction, nar
row passage. 2nd declension masc.
Jejunum
, pl.
jejuna
, gen.
jejuni
. Jejunum (from Lat. adj.
jejunus
, fasting,
empty). 2nd declension neut.
Jugular
, pl.
jugulares
, gen.
jugularis
. Jugular vein (lit. relating to the throat,
from Lat.
, throat). 3rd declension.
Junctura
, pl.
juncturae
, gen.
juncturae
. Joint, junction. 1st declension fem.
Labium
, pl.
, gen.
. Lip. 2nd declension neut.
Labrum
, pl.
labra
, gen.
labri
. Rim, edge, lip. 2nd declension neut.
Lacuna
, pl.
, gen.
. Pond, pit, hollow. 1st declension fem.
Lamellipodium
, pl.
lamellipodia
, gen.
lamellipodii
. Lamellipodium. 2nd
declension neut.
Lamina
, pl.
, gen.
. Layer. 1st declension fem.
Lamina papyracea
lamina perpendicularis
Larva
, pl.
larvae
, gen.
larvae
. Larva. 1st declension fem.
Larynx
, pl. Lat.
larynges
, pl. Engl.
larynxes
, gen.
laryngis
. Larynx. 3rd
declension.
Lateralis
, pl.
laterales
, gen.
lateralis
. Lateral. 3rd declension masc. (adj.: masc.
lateralis
, fem.
lateralis
, neut.
laterale
Latissimus
, pl.
latissimi
, gen.
latissimi
. Very wide, the widest. 2nd declension
masc. (adj.: masc.
latissimus
, fem.
latissima
, neut.
latissimum
Latus
, pl.
latera
, gen.
lateris
. Flank. 3rd declension neut.
Latus
, pl.
lati
, gen.
lati
. Wide, broad. 2nd declension masc. (adj.: masc.
latus
fem.
, neut.
latum
Unit XV
Latin and Greek Terminology
BookID 158386_ChapID 15_Proof# 1 -2
BookID 158386_ChapID 15_Proof# 1 -2
Glomus
, pl.
glomera
, gen.
glomeris
. Glomus (ball-shaped body). 3rd declension.
Glottis
, pl.
glottides
, gen.
glottidis
. Glottis. 3rd declension.
Gluteus m
., pl.
glutei
, gen.
glutei
. Buttock. 2nd declension masc.
Gracilis m
., pl.
graciles
, gen.
gracilis
. Graceful. 3rd declension masc (adj.:
masc.
gracilis
, fem.
gracilis
, neut.
gracile
Granulatio
, pl.
granulationes
, gen.
granulationis
. Granulation. 3rd declension.
Gumma
, pl.
, gen.
gummatis
. Syphiloma. 3rd declension neut.
Gutta
, pl.
guttae
, gen.
guttae
. Gout. 1st declension fem.
Gyrus
, pl.
gyri
, gen.
gyri
. Convolution. 2nd declension masc.
Gastrocnemius
., pl.
gastrocnemii
, gen.
gastrocnemii
. Calf muscle. 2nd declension masc.
Hallux
, pl.
halluces
, gen.
hallucis
. First toe. 3rd declension masc.
Hamatus
, pl.
hamati
, gen.
hamati
. Hamate bone. 2nd declension masc. (adj.:
masc.
hamatus
, fem.
, neut.
hamatum
. Hooked)
Hamulus
, pl.
hamuli
, gen.
hamuli
. Hamulus (lit.
small hook
). 2nd declension
Haustrum
, pl.
haustra
, gen.
haustri
. Pouch from the lumen of the colon. 2nd
declension neut.
Hiatus
, pl.
, gen.
. Gap, cleft. 4th declension masc.
Hilum
, pl.
, gen.
. Hilum (the part of an organ where the neurovascu
lar bundle enters). 2nd declension neut.
Hircus
, pl.
hirci
, gen.
hirci
. Hircus (armpit hair, lit.
goat
). 2nd declension
Humerus
, pl.
humeri
, gen.
humeri
. Humerus. 2nd declension masc.
Humor
, pl.
humores
, gen.
humoris
. Humor, fluid. 3rd declension masc.
Hypha
, pl.
hyphae
, gen.
hyphae
. Hypha, tubular cell (lit. Gr.
web
). 1st declen
sion fem.
Hypophysis
, pl.
hypophyses
, gen.
hypophysis
. Pituitary gland (lit.
under
growth
). 3rd declension.
Hypothenar
, pl.
hypothenares
, gen.
hypothenaris
. Hypothenar (from Gr.
thenar
, the palm of the hand). 3rd declension.
Ilium
, pl.
, gen.
. Iliac bone. 2nd declension neut.
In situ
. In position (from
situs
, pl.
situs
, gen.
situs
, site). 4th declension masc.
Incisura
, pl.
incisurae
, gen.
incisurae
. Incisure (from the verb
incido
, cut
into). 1st declension fem.
Incus
, pl.
incudes
, gen.
. Incus (lit.
anvil
). 3rd declension fem.
Index
, pl.
indices
, gen.
. Index (second digit, forefinger), guide. 3rd
declension masc.
Indusium
, pl.
indusia
, gen.
indusii
. Indusium (membrane, amnion). 2nd
declension neut.
Inferior
, pl.
inferiores
, gen.
inferioris
. Inferior. 3rd declension masc.
List of Latin and Greek Terms and Their Plurals
BookID 158386_ChapID 15_Proof# 1 -2
Flagellum
, pl.
flagella
, gen.
flagelli
. Flagellum (whip-like locomotory
organelle). 2nd declension neut.
Flexor
, pl.
flexores
, gen.
flexoris
. A muscle whose action flexes a joint. 3rd
declension masc.
Flexor carpi radialis
ulnaris mm
.,
flexor pollicis longus
brevis mm
., etc.
Flexura
, pl.
flexurae
, gen.
flexurae
. Flexure, curve, bow. 1st declension fem.
Folium
, pl.
folia
, gen.
folii
. Leaf-shaped structure (lit.
). 2nd declension
neut.
Folliculus
, pl.
folliculi
, gen.
folliculi
. Follicle. 2nd declension masc.
Foramen
, pl.
foramina
, gen.
foraminis
. Foramen, hole. 3rd declension neut.
Foramen rotundum
foramen ovale
Foramina cribrosa
, pl. (multiple pores in lamina cribrosa)
Formula
, pl.
formulae
, gen.
formulae
. Formula. 1st declension fem.
Fornix
, pl.
fornices
, gen.
fornicis
. Fornix (arch-shaped structure). 3rd declen
sion masc.
Fossa
, pl.
fossae
, gen.
fossae
. Fossa, depression. 1st declension fem.
Fovea
, pl.
foveae
, gen.
foveae
. Fovea, depression, pit. 1st declension fem.
Frenulum
, pl.
frenula
, gen.
frenuli
. Bridle-like structure. 2nd declension
neut.
Fungus
, pl.
fungi
, gen.
fungi
. Fungus (lit.
mushroom
). 2nd declension masc.
Funiculus
, pl.
, gen.
. Cord, string. 2nd declension masc.
Furfur
, pl.
furfures
, gen.
furfuris
. Dandruff. 3rd declension masc.
Furunculus
, pl.
furunculi
, gen.
furunculi
. Furuncle. 2nd declension masc.
Galea
, pl.
galeae
, gen.
galeae
. Cover, a structure shaped like a helmet (lit.
helmet
). 1st declension fem.
Galea aponeurotica
, pl.
galeae aponeuroticae
(epicranial aponeurosis)
Ganglion
, pl.
ganglia
, gen.
ganglii
. Node. 2nd declension masc.
Geniculum
, pl.
genicula
, gen.
geniculi
. Geniculum (knee-shaped structure).
2nd declension neut.
Geniohyoideus m
., pl.
geniohyoidei
, gen.
geniohyoidei
. Glenohyoid muscle.
2nd declension masc.
Genu
, pl.
genua
, gen.
genus
. Knee. 4th declension neut.
Genus
, pl.
genera
, gen.
generis
. Gender. 3rd declension neut.
Gestosis
, pl.
gestoses
, gen.
gestosis
. Gestosis (pregnancy impairment). 3rd
declension.
Gingiva
, pl.
gingivae
, gen.
gingivae
. Gum. 1st declension fem.
Glabella
, pl.
glabellae
, gen.
glabellae
. Small lump/mass. 1st declension fem.
Glandula
, pl.
glandulae
, gen.
glandulae
. Gland. 1st declension fem.
Glans
, pl.
glandes
, gen.
glandis
. Glans (lit.
acorn
). 3rd declension fem.
Glans penis
Globus
, pl.
globi
, gen.
globi
. Globus, round body. 2nd declension masc.
Glomerulus
, pl.
glomeruli
, gen.
glomeruli
. Glomerule. 2nd declension masc.
Unit XV
Latin and Greek Terminology
BookID 158386_ChapID 15_Proof# 1 -2
BookID 158386_ChapID 15_Proof# 1 -2
Ecchymosis
, pl.
ecchymoses
, gen.
ecchymosis
. Ecchymosis. 3rd declension.
Effluvium
, pl.
effluvia
, gen.
effluvii
. Effluvium (fall). 2nd declension neut.
Encephalitis
, pl.
encephalitides
, gen.
encephalitidis
. Encephalitis. 3rd
declension fem.
Endocardium
, pl.
endocardia
, gen.
endocardii
. Endocardium. 2nd declen
sion neut.
Endometrium
, pl.
endometria
, gen.
endometrii
. Endometrium. 2nd declen
sion neut.
Endothelium
, pl.
endothelia
, gen.
endothelii
. Endothelium. 2nd declension
neut.
Epicondylus
, pl.
epicondyli
, gen.
epicondyli
. Epicondylus. 2nd declension
Epidermis
, pl.
epidermides
, gen.
epidermidis
. Epidermis. 3rd declension.
Epididymis
, pl.
epididymes
, gen.
epididymis
. Epididymis. 3rd declension.
Epiphysis
, pl.
epiphyses
, gen.
epiphysis
. Epiphysis. 3rd declension.
Epithelium
, pl.
epithelia
, gen.
epithelii
. Epithelium. 2nd declension neut.
Esophagus
, pl.
esophagi
, gen.
esophagi
. Esophagus. 2nd declension masc.
Exostosis
, pl.
exostoses
, gen.
exostosis
. Exostosis. 3rd declension.
Extensor
, pl.
extensores
, gen.
extensoris
. A muscle the contraction of which
stretches out a structure. 3rd declension masc.
Extensor carpi ulnaris m
.,
extensor digitorum communis m
.,
extensor hal
lucis longus/brevis m
., etc.
Externus
, pl.
externi
, gen.
externi
. External, outward. 2nd declension masc
(adj.: masc.
externus
, fem.
externa
, gen.
externum
Facies
, pl.
, gen.
faciei
. Face. 5th declension fem.
Falx
, pl.
falces
, gen.
. Sickle-shaped structure. 3rd declension fem.
Falx cerebrii
Fascia
, pl.
, gen.
. Fascia. 1st declension fem.
Fasciculus
, pl.
, gen.
. Fasciculus. 2nd declension masc.
Femur
, pl.
femora
, gen.
femoris
. Femur. 3rd declension neut.
Fenestra
, pl.
fenestrae
, gen.
fenestrae
. Window, hole. 1st declension fem.
Fetus
, pl.
feti
fetus
, gen.
feti
fetus
. Fetus. 2nd declension masc/4th declen
sion masc.
Fibra
, pl.
fibrae
, gen.
fibrae
. Fiber. 1st declension fem.
Fibula
, pl.
fibulae
, gen.
fibulae
. Fibula. 1st declension fem.
Filamentum
, pl.
filamenta
, gen.
filamentii
. Filament. 2nd declension neut.
Filaria
, pl.
filariae
, gen.
filariae
. Filaria. 1st declension fem.
Filum
, pl.
, gen.
. Filamentous structure. 2nd declension neut.
Filum terminale
Fimbria
, pl.
fimbriae
, gen.
fimbriae
. Fimbria (lit.
fringe
). 1st declension fem.
Fistula
, pl.
, gen.
. Fistula (lit.
pipe, tube
). 1st declension fem.
List of Latin and Greek Terms and Their Plurals
BookID 158386_ChapID 15_Proof# 1 -2
Cranium
, pl.
crania
, gen.
cranii
. Skull. 2nd declension neut.
Crisis
, pl.
crises
, gen.
crisos
crisis
. Crisis. 3rd declension fem.
Crista
, pl.
cristae
, gen.
cristae
. Crest. 1st declension fem.
Crista galli
(from
gallus
, pl.
galli
, rooster. The midline process of the
ethmoid bone arising from the cribriform plate).
Crus
, pl.
crura
, gen.
cruris
. Leg, leg-like structure. 3rd declension neut.
Crura diaphragmatis
Crusta
, pl.
crustae
, gen.
crustae
. Crust, hard surface. 1st declension fem.
Crypta
, pl.
cryptae
, gen.
cryptae
. Crypt. 1st declension fem.
Cubitus
, pl.
cubiti
, gen.
cubiti
. Ulna (lit.
forearm
). 2nd declension masc.
Cubitus
, pl.
, gen.
. State of lying down. 4th declension masc.
De cubito supino
prono
Culmen
, pl.
, gen.
. Peak, top (
culmen
. Top of cerebellar
lobe). 3rd declension neut.
Cuneiforme
, pl.
cuneiformia
, gen.
cuneiformis
. Wedge-shaped structure.
3rd declension neut. (adj.: masc.
cuneiformis
, fem.
cuneiformis
, neut.
cunei
forme
, pl.
, gen.
dati
. 2nd declension neut.
Decussatio
pl.
decussationes,
gen.
decussationis
. Decussation. 3rd declen
sion fem.
Deferens
, pl.
deferentes
, gen.
deferentis
. Spermatic duct (from the verb
defero
, to carry). 3rd declension masc.
Dens
, pl.
dentes
, gen.
dentis
. Tooth, pl. Teeth. 3rd declension masc.
Dermatitis
, pl.
dermatitides
, gen.
dermatitis
. Dermatitis. 3rd declension.
Dermatosis
, pl.
dermatoses
, gen.
dermatosis
. Dermatosis. 3rd declension.
Diaphragma
, pl.
diaphragmata
, gen.
diaphragmatis
. Diaphragm. 3rd
declension neut.
Diaphysis
, pl.
Diaphyses
, gen.
diaphysis
. Shaft. 3rd declension.
Diarthrosis
, pl.
diarthroses
, gen.
diarthrosis
. Diarthrosis. 3rd declension.
Diastema
, pl.
diastemata
, gen.
diastematis
. Diastema (congenital fissure).
3rd declension.
Digastricus m.
, pl.
digastrici
, gen.
digastrici
. Digastric (having two bellies).
2nd declension masc.
Digitus
, pl.
digiti
, gen. sing.
digiti
, gen. pl.
digitorum
. Finger. 2nd declension
Extensor digiti minimi
flexor superficialis digitorum
Diverticulum
, pl.
diverticula
, gen.
diverticuli
. Diverticulum. 2nd declension neut.
Dorsum
, pl.
dorsa
, gen.
dorsi
. Back. 2nd declension neut.
, pl.
ductus
, gen.
ductus
. Duct. 4th declension masc.
Ductus arteriosus
ductus deferens
Duodenum
, pl.
duodena
, gen.
duodeni
. Duodenum (lit.
twelve
. The duode
num measures 12 times a finger). 2nd declension neut.
Unit XV
Latin and Greek Terminology
BookID 158386_ChapID 15_Proof# 1 -2
BookID 158386_ChapID 15_Proof# 1 -2
Cicatrix
, pl.
cicatrices
, gen.
cicatricis
. Scar. 3rd declension fem.
Cilium
, pl.
, gen.
. Cilium (lit.
upper eyelid
). 2nd declension neut.
Cingulum
, pl.
, gen.
. Cingulum (belt-shaped structure, lit.
belt
). 2nd declension neut.
Cisterna
, pl.
cisternae
, gen.
cisternae
. Cistern. 1st declension fem.
Claustrum
, pl.
claustra
, gen.
claustri
. Claustrum. 2nd declension neut.
Clitoris
, pl.
clitorides
, gen.
clitoridis
. Clitoris. 3rd declension
Clivus
, pl.
clivi
, gen.
clivi
. Clivus (part of the skull, lit.
slope
). 2nd declension
Clostridium
, pl.
clostridia
, gen.
clostridii
. Clostridium (genus of bacteria).
2nd declension neut.
Coccus
, pl.
cocci
, gen.
cocci
. Coccus (rounded bacterium, lit.
a scarlet dye
).
2nd declension masc.
Coccyx
, pl.
coccyges
, gen.
coccygis
. Coccyx. 3rd declension masc.
Cochlea
, pl.
cochleae
, gen.
cochleae
. Cochlea (lit.
snail shell
). 1st declension fem.
Collum
, pl.
colla
, gen.
colli
. Neck. 2nd declension neut.
Comedo
, pl.
comedones
, gen.
comedonis
. Comedo (a dilated hair follicle
filled with keratin). 3rd declension masc.
Comunis
, pl.
comunes
, gen.
comunis
. Common. 3rd declension masc. (adj.:
masc./fem.
comunis
, neut.
comune
Concha
, pl.
conchae
, gen.
conchae
. Concha (shell-shaped structure). 1st
declension fem.
Condyloma
, pl.
condylomata
, gen.
condylomatis
. Condyloma. 3rd declen
sion neut.
Condyloma acuminatum
Conjunctiva
, pl.
conjunctivae
, gen.
conjunctivae
. Conjunctiva. 1st declen
sion fem.
Constrictor
, pl.
constrictores
, gen.
constrictoris
. Sphincter. 3rd declension
Conus
, pl.
coni
, gen.
coni
. Cone. 2nd declension masc.
Conus medullaris
(from
medulla
, pl.
medullae
, the tapering end of the
spinal cord).
Cor
, pl.
corda
, gen.
cordis
. Heart. 3rd declension neut.
Corium
, pl.
coria
, gen.
corii
. Dermis (lit.
). 2nd declension neut.
Cornu
, pl.
Cornua
, gen.
cornus
. Horn. 4th declension neut.
Corona
, pl.
coronae
, gen.
coronae
. Corona (lit.
crown
). 1st declension fem.
Corona radiata
, pl.
coronae radiatae
, gen.
coronae radiatae
Corpus
, pl.
corpora
, gen.
corporis
. Body. 3rd declension neut.
Corpus callosum
corpus cavernosum
(penis)
Corpusculum
, pl.
corpuscula
, gen.
corpusculi
. Corpuscle. 2nd declension
neut.
Cortex
, pl.
cortices
, gen.
corticis
. Cortex, outer covering. 3rd declension
Coxa
, pl.
coxae
, gen.
coxae
. Hip. 1st declension fem.
List of Latin and Greek Terms and Their Plurals
BookID 158386_ChapID 15_Proof# 1 -2
Caecum
, pl.
caeca
, gen.
caeci
. Blind. 2nd declension neut. (adj.: masc.
fem.
, neut.
Calcaneus
, pl.
calcanei
, gen.
calcanei
. Calcaneus (from
, heel). 2nd
declension masc.
Calculus
, pl.
, gen.
. Stone (lit. pebble). 2nd declension masc.
Calix
, pl.
calices
, gen.
. Calix (lit.
goblet
). 3rd declension masc.
Calx
, pl.
calces
, gen.
. Heel. 3rd declension masc.
Canalis
, pl.
, gen.
. Channel, conduit. 3rd declension masc.
Cancellus
, pl.
cancelli
, gen.
cancelli
. Reticulum, lattice, grid. 2nd declension
Cancer
, pl.
cancera
, gen.
canceri
. Cancer. 3rd declension neut.
Capillus
, pl.
capilli
, gen.
capilli
. Hair. 2nd declension masc.
Capitatus
, pl.
capitati
, gen.
capitati
. Capitate, having or forming a head. 2nd
declension masc. (adj.: masc.
capitatus
, fem.
, neut.
capitatum
Capitulum
, pl.
, gen.
. Head of a structure, condyle. 2nd
declension neut.
Caput
, pl.
, gen.
capitis
. Head. 3rd declension neut.
Carcinoma
, pl. Lat.
carcinomata
, pl. Engl.
carcinomas
, gen.
carcinomatis
Carcinoma (epithelial cancer). 3rd declension neut.
Carina
, pl.
carinae
, gen.
carinae
. Carina (lit.
keel
bottom of ship
). 1st declen
sion fem.
Cartilago
, pl.
cartilagines
, gen.
cartilaginis
. Cartilage. 3rd declension neut.
Cauda
, pl.
, gen.
. Tail. 1st declension fem.
Cauda equina
(adj.: masc.
equinus
, fem.
, neut.
equinum
. Concern
ing horses)
Caverna
, pl.
cavernae
, gen.
cavernae
. Cavern. 1st declension fem.
Cavitas
, pl.
cavitates
, gen.
cavitatis
. Cavity. 3rd declension fem.
Cavum
, pl.
cava
, gen.
cavi
. Cavum (hole, pit, depression). 2nd declension
neut.
Cella
, pl.
cellae
, gen.
cellae
. Cell (lit.
cellar
wine storeroom
). 1st declension fem.
Centrum
, pl.
centra
, gen.
centri
. Center. 2nd declension neut.
Cerebellum
, pl.
cerebella
, gen.
cerebelli
. Cerebellum. 2nd declension neut.
Cerebrum
, pl.
cerebra
, gen.
cerebri
. Brain. 2nd declension neut.
Cervix
, pl.
cervices
, gen.
cervicis
. Neck. 3rd declension fem.
Chiasma
, pl.
chiasmata
, gen.
chiasmatis
chiasmatos
. Chiasm. 3rd declen
sion neut.
Choana
, pl.
choanae
, gen.
choanae
. Choana. 1st declension fem.
Choanae narium
. Posterior opening of the nasal fossae (
naris
, gen.
narium
Nose)
Chorda
, pl.
chordae
, gen.
chordae
. String. 1st declension fem.
Chorda tympani
. A nerve given off from the facial nerve in the facial
canal that crosses over the tympanic membrane (
tympanum
, gen.
tympani
Eardrum)
Chorion
, pl.
choria
, gen.
chorii
. Chorion (membrane enclosing the fetus).
2nd declension neut.
Unit XV
Latin and Greek Terminology
BookID 158386_ChapID 15_Proof# 1 -2
BookID 158386_ChapID 15_Proof# 1 -2
Apex
, pl.
apices
, gen.
apices
. Apex (top, summit, cap). 3rd declension masc.
Aphtha
, pl.
aphthae
, gen.
aphthae
. Aphtha (small ulcer). 1st declension fem.
Aponeurosis
, pl.
aponeuroses
, gen.
aponeurosis
. Aponeurosis. 3rd. declension
Apophysis
, pl.
apophyses
, gen.
apophysos
apophysis
. Apophysis. 3rd declen
sion fem.
Apparatus
, pl.
apparatus
, gen.
apparatus
. Apparatus, system. 4th declension
Appendix
, pl.
appendices
, gen.
appendicis
. Appendage. 3rd declension fem.
Area
, pl.
areae
, gen.
areae
. Area. 1st declension fem.
Areola
, pl.
areolae
, gen.
areolae
. Areola (lit.
little area
). 1st declension fem.
Arrector
, pl.
arrectores
, gen.
arrectoris
. Erector, tilt upwards. 3rd declension
Arteria
, pl.
arteriae
, gen.
arteriae
. Artery. 1st declension fem.
Arteriola
, pl.
arteriolae
, gen.
arteriolae
. Arteriola (small artery). 1st declen
sion fem.
Arthritis
, pl.
arthritides
, gen.
arthritidis
. Arthritis. 3rd declension fem.
Articularis
, pl.
articulares
, gen.
articularis
. Articular, affecting the joints. 3rd
declension masc. (adj.: masc.
articularis
, fem.
articularis
, neut.
articulare
Articulatio,
articulationes,
gen.
articulationis. Joint.
3rd declension fem.
Atlas
, pl.
atlantes
, gen.
atlantis
. First cervical vertebra. 3rd declension masc.
Atrium
, pl.
atria
, gen.
atrii
. Atrium. 2nd declension neut.
Auricula
, pl.
auriculae
, gen.
auriculae
. Auricula (ear flap). 1st declension fem.
Auricularis m
., pl.
auriculares
, gen.
auricularis
. Pertaining to the ear. 3rd
declension masc.
Auris
, pl.
aures
, gen.
auris
. Ear. 3rd declension fem.
Axilla
, pl.
axillae
, gen.
axillae
. Armpit. 1st declension fem.
Axis
, pl.
axes
, gen.
. Second cervical vertebra, axis. 3rd declension masc.
Bacillus
, pl.
bacilli
, gen.
bacilli
. Stick-shape bacterium (lit.
small stick
). 2nd
declension masc.
Bacterium
, pl.
bacteria
, gen.
bacterii
. Bacterium. 2nd declension neut.
, pl.
, gen.
. Basis, base. 3rd declension fem.
Biceps m
., pl.
bicipites
, gen.
bicipitis
. A muscle with two heads. 3rd declen
sion masc.
Biceps + genitive. Biceps
brachii
brachium
. Arm)
Borborygmus
, pl.
borborygmi
, gen.
borborygmi
. Borborygmus (gastroin
testinal sound). 2nd declension masc
Brachium
, pl.
brachia
, gen.
brachii
. Arm. 2nd declension neut.
Brevis
, pl.
breves
, gen.
brevis
. Short, little, small. 3rd declension masc. (adj.:
masc.
brevis
, fem.
brevis
, neut.
breve
Bronchium
, pl.
bronchia
, gen.
bronchii
. Bronchus. 2nd declension neut.
Buccinator m
., pl.
buccinatores
, gen.
buccinatoris
. Buccinator m. (trum
peter’s muscle). 3rd declension masc.
Bulla
, pl.
bullae
, gen.
bullae
. Bulla. 1st declension fem.
Bursa
, pl.
bursae
, gen.
bursae
. Bursa (bag, pouch). 1st declension fem.
List of Latin and Greek Terms and Their Plurals
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List of Latin and Greek Terms and Their Plurals
Abbreviations:
adjective
Engl
English
fem
feminine
gen
genitive
Greek
Lat
Latin
literally
muscle
masc.
neut.
neuter
pl
plural
Abdomen
, pl.
abdomina
, gen.
abdominis
. Abdomen. 3rd declension neut.
Abducens
, pl.
abducentes
, gen.
abducentis
(from the verb
abduco
, to detach,
to lead away)
Abductor
, pl.
abductores
, gen.
abductoris
(from the verb
abduco
, to detach,
to lead away). 3rd declension masc.
Acetabulum
, pl.
acetabula
, gen.
acetabuli
. Cotyle. 2nd declension neut.
Acinus
, pl.
, gen.
. Acinus. 2nd declension masc.
Adductor
, pl.
adductores
, gen.
adductoris
. Adductor. 3rd declension masc.
Aditus
, pl.
, gen.
. Entrance to a cavity. 4th declension masc.
Aditus ad antrum
aditus glottidis inferior
, etc.
Agendum
, pl.
agenda
, gen.
agendi
. To-do list. 2nd declension neut.
Agger
, pl.
aggeres
, gen.
aggeris
. Agger (prominence). 3rd declension masc.
Agger valvae venae
agger nasi
agger perpendicularis
, etc.
Ala
, pl.
, gen.
. Wing. 1st declension fem.
Alga
, pl.
algae
, gen.
algae
. 1st declension fem.
Alveolus
, pl.
alveoli
, gen.
alveoli
. Alveolus (lit.
basin
). 2nd declension masc.
Alveus
, pl.
alvei
, gen.
alvei
. Cavity, hollow. 2nd declension masc.
Amoeba
, pl.
amoebae
, gen.
amoebae
. Ameba. 1st declension fem.
Ampulla
, pl.
ampullae
, gen.
ampullae
. Ampoule, blister. 1st declension fem.
Anastomosis
, pl.
anastomoses
, gen.
anastomosis
. Anastomosis. 3rd declension.
Angulus
, pl.
, gen.
. Angle, apex, corner. 2nd declension neut.
Annulus
, pl.
annuli
, gen.
annuli
. Ring. 2nd declension masc.
Ansa
, pl.
, gen.
. Loop, hook, handle. 1st declension fem.
Anterior
, pl.
anteriores
, gen.
anterioris
. Foremost, that is before, former. 3rd
declension masc.
Antrum
, pl.
antra
, gen.
antri
. Antrum, hollow, cave. 2nd declension neut.
Anus
, pl.
, gen.
. Anus (lit.
ring
). 2nd declension masc.
Aorta
, pl.
Aortae
, gen.
aortae
. Aorta. 1st declension fem.
Unit XV
Latin and Greek Terminology
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Words ending in -
change to -
or -
(3rd declension neuter words
of Greek origin):
sarcoma
sarcomata
sarcomas
Words ending in -
change to -
(3rd declension masculine or feminine
words):
metastasis
metastases
Words ending in -
itis
change to -
itides
(3rd declension masculine or feminine
words):
arthritis
arthritides
Words ending in -
change to -
ces
(3rd declension masculine or feminine
words):
pneumothorax
pneumothoraces
Words ending in -
change to -
cyges
(3rd declension masculine or feminine
words):
coccyx
coccyges
Words ending in -
change to -
(2nd declension neuter words, most of
Greek origin):
criterion
criteria
Table 2.
List of Latin expressions and abbreviations used in scientic writing
Expression
Abbreviation
Translation
Circa
c.
ca.
About (in reference to approximate date or time)
Con fero
c.f.
Compare, consult
Plural Rules
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The endings of the adjectives change according to one of these two patterns:
Singular: masc. -
, fem. -
, neut. -
. Plural: masc. -
, fem. -
, neut. -
Singular: masc. -
, fem. -
, neut. -
. Plural: masc. -
, fem. -
, neut. -
Plural Rules
It is far from our intention to replace medical dictionaries and Latin or Greek text
books. Conversely, this unit is aimed at giving some tips related to Latin and Greek
terminology that can provide a consistent approach to this challenging topic.
Our rst piece of advice on this subject is that whenever you write a Latin
or Greek word, rstly, check its spelling and, secondly, if the word you want to
write is a plural one, never make it up. Although guessing the plural form could
be acceptable as an exercise in itself, double-check the word by looking it up in a
medical or scientic dictionary.
The following plural rules are useful to at least give us self-condence in the
use of usual Latin or Greek terms such as
metastasis

metastases
pelvis

pelves
bronchus
bronchi
, etc.
Some overseas doctors do think that
metastasis
and
metastases
are equiva
lent terms, and they are absolutely wrong; the difference between a unique liver
metastasis and multiple liver metastases is so obvious that no additional com
ment is needed.
There are many Latin and Greek words whose singular forms are almost
never used as well as Latin and Greek terms whose plural forms are seldom
said or written. Let us think, for example, about the singular form of
viscera
viscus
). Very few scientists are aware that the liver is a
viscus
whereas the liver
and spleen are
viscera
. From a colloquial standpoint this discussion might be
considered futile, but those who write papers do know that Latin/Greek ter
minology is always a nightmare and needs thorough revision, and that terms
seldom used on a day-to-day basis have to be properly written in a scientic
article. Again, let us consider the plural form of
pelvis
pelves
). To talk about
several pelves is so rare that many doctors have never wondered what the
plural form of pelvis is.
Although there are some exceptions, the following general rules can be helpful
with plural terms:
Words ending in -
change to -
(2nd declension masculine words):
bronchus
bronchi
Words ending in -
change to -
(2nd declension neuter words):
acetabulum
acetabula
Words ending in -
change to -
(1st declension feminine words):
vena
venae
Unit XV
Latin and Greek Terminology
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This unit provides an extensive Latin glossary that includes the singular and
plural nominative, and the genitive singular forms of each word as well as the
declension and gender of each word. In some terms, additional items have been
added, such as English plural endings when widely accepted (e.g.,
fetus
, Latin
plural
feti
, English plural
fetuses
), and Greek-origin endings kept in some Latin
words (e.g.,
thorax
, pl.
thoraces
, gen.
thoracos
thoracis
: chest)
The endings of Latin substantives listed by case and declension are shown in
Table
Examples:
1st declension:
Feminine words:
patella
(nom. sing.),
patellae
(gen.),
patellae
(nom. pl).
English
patella
2nd declension:
Masculine words:
humerus
(nom. sing.),
humeri
(gen.), humeri (nom. pl.).
English
humerus
Neuter words:
interstitium
(nom. sing.),
interstitii
(gen.),
interstitia
(nom.
pl.). English
interstice
3rd declension:
Masculine or feminine words:
Pars
(nom. sing.),
partis
(gen.),
partes
(nom.
pl.). English
part
Neuter words:
(nom. sing.),
oris
(gen.),
ora
(nom. pl.). English
mouth
4th declension:
Masculine words:
processus
(nom. sing.),
processus
(gen.),
processus
(nom.
pl). English
process
Neuter words:
cornu
(nom. sing.),
cornus
(gen.),
cornua
(nom. pl.).
English
horn
5th declension:
Feminine words:
facies
(nom. sing.),
faciei
(gen.),
facies
(nom. pl.).
English
face
Table 1.
The endings of Latin substantives listed by case and declension
Case
Declension
3rd
Fem.
Masc.
Neut.
Masc./fem.
Neut.
Masc.
Neut.
Fem.
Nominative sing.
Genitive sing.
Nominative pl.
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Unit XV
Latin and Greek Terminology
Introduction
Latin and Greek terminology is another obstacle to be overcome on our way to
becoming uent in medical English. Many English scientic terms come from
Latin and Greek. For this reason, romance-language speakers (Spanish, French,
Italian, etc.) are undoubtedly at an advantage. This advantage, however, can
become a great drawback in terms of pronunciation and, particularly, in the use
of the plural forms of Latin and Greek.
Since most Latin words used in medical and scientic English keep the Latin
plural ending – e.g., metastasis,
. metastases; viscus,
. viscera – it is essential
to understand the basis of plural rules in Latin.
All Latin nouns and adjectives have different endings for each gender (mas
culine, feminine, or neuter), number (singular or plural), and case – the case is
a special ending that reveals the function of the word in a particular sentence.
Latin adjectives must correlate with the nouns they modify in case, number, and
gender. Although we can barely remember it from our days in high school, there
are ve different patterns of endings, each one of them is called a declension.
The nominative case indicates the subject of a sentence. The genitive case
denotes possession or attachment. Dropping the genitive singular ending gives
the base to which the nominative plural ending is added to build the medical
English plural form.
For example:
Corpus
(nominative singular),
corporis
(genitive singular),
corpora
(nomina
tive plural). This is a third-declension neuter noun that means body. The
corresponding forms for the accompanying adjective
callosus
are
callosum
callosa
, respectively. Thus
corpus callosum
(nominative, singular, neuter),
corpora callosa
(nominative, plural, neuter).
Another example:
Cox
var
(feminine singular),
cox
var
(feminine plural), but
genu var
(neuter, singular),
genu
var
(neuter, plural)
R. Ribes et al.,
English for Biomedical Scientists,
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-77127-2_15, © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009
BookID 158386_ChapID 15_Proof# 1 -2
UNIT XV
Additional Resources
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countries around the world. The 3Rs promotes the responsible use of animals
in research.
Replacement
– avoid using animals whenever it is scientically possible. Replace
animals with computer modeling, established animal cell lines, etc.
Renement
– rene procedures to reduce any discomfort, pain, or distress that
an experiment may have caused the animal; and improve animal welfare.
Reduction
– reduce the overall number of animals in a study to a minimum
without sacricing the statistical validity of the results.
The use of animals in research is a privilege and should not be abused.
Researchers
should regard experimental animals as a limited precious resource. All scientists
working with animals must treat them as humanely as possible because good
animal care is essential to ensure good quality scientic results!
Additional Resources
If your area of work in your new English-speaking lab deals directly with
animals, you can nd more detailed information about their care and use from
the following websites:
ww.nc3rs.org.uk
ww.rds-online.org.u
ww.nal.usda.gov
ww.ccac.ca
ww.aalas.org/index.asp
ww.environment.sa.gov.au/animalwelfare/index.htm
ww.biosecurity.govt.nz/legislation/animal-welfare-act/index.ht
ww.lal.org.uk/pdfles/lafel6.pd
ww.last-ireland.org
ww.frame.org.uk
ttp://altweb.jhsph.edu
ttp://caat.jhsph.edu
Unit XIV
Laboratory Animal Work
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Management of Stress and Pain in Animals
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Piloerection – erection of the hair (hair does not lie down smoothly)
Excess scratching a particular area – animal scrapes at itself (as to relieve itching)
Loss of appetite – eats and drinks less
Vocalization – communicates making sounds (e.g., squeals, cries, or whines
when moved)
Quiet – no vocalization
Abnormal resting postures – the way an animal holds and positions their
body
Clinical signs – major changes in heart rate, respiration rate, and temperature
Stress and pain are undesirable variables in most research studies. Careful obser
vation of your research animals will tell you whether they are experiencing pain
or stress. Please keep in mind that the signs of pain and stress can vary among
species, and even among individuals within species. The best way to recognize
the signs is to be familiar with the normal and abnormal behavior of the species
and individual animals.
Classifications of Drugs to Relieve or Control Pain and Stress
There is some confusion in the terminology surrounding the classication of
drugs. Many non-English speakers, including some native English speakers,
often misuse or confuse the terms listed below. A brief description for each
term is provided to eliminate the confusion or misunderstandings surround
ing the denitions.
Analgesics – are drugs that relieve pain without causing loss of consciousness
(e.g. aspirin, Paracetamol)
Anesthetics – drugs that cause a loss of sensation to pain or awareness. There
are two main types: Local and General. Local anesthetics (also known as
regional anesthetics) cause a loss of feeling in a specific part of the body with
out affecting consciousness. General anesthetics put the entire body to sleep;
therefore the animal is in a state of total unconsciousness.
Sedatives are drugs having a calming and relaxing effect. Although, they do
not relieve pain but can relieve stress and anxiety. They normally cause drow
siness (a strong desire to fall asleep).
Tranquilizers are drugs very similar to sedatives; however, they do not cause
drowsiness.
Usage Examples
The choice of
or
general anesthesia
also depends on the level of pain after
surgery.
Sedatives
were given to reduce the resistance level of the animal.
Generally, only vets are authorized to handle or administer animal
tranquilizers
Unit XIV
Laboratory Animal Work
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Injections given directly into the blood stream via a vein are called
intravenous
injections
(i.v.).
Injections given between the skin layers or just under the top layer of skin are
called
intradermal injections
(i.d.). Another name for this type of injection
intracutaneous injection
Injection of a substance into the body cavity is called
intraperitoneal injection
(i.p.).
An injection into the joints is called
intra-articular injection
Administering oral uids into the stomach via a tube is called
gavage
. Gavage
does NOT require a needle. It requires a catheter that is passed gently down the
esophagus.
Usage Examples
The vaccine was administered by
subcutaneous injection
Insulin is administered by
sub-Q injection
The clinical dosage of epinephrine given by
intravenous injection
is less than that
given by
intramuscular injection
Intradermal injection
is often used for conducting skin allergy tests.
Mice were anesthetized with
intraperitoneal injection
of 60 mg/kg ketamine.
Intra-articular injection
of corticosteroids is an effective treatment of chronic
arthritis.
Gavage
feeding is a way to feed pups (i.e. young, baby mice) who are not gaining
weight because they are not able to suck or swallow.
Management of Stress and Pain in Animals
Both stress and pain can cause suffering in animals. Researchers working with
lab animals have an obligation to alleviate unnecessary stress and pain that their
experimental animals may experience. This sections aims to give you insight
into vocabulary and English usage in this area.
Signs of Stress and Pain in Animals
Animals, of course, cannot tell us how they feel, so it is up to researchers to rec
ognize the signs of pain and stress. In this section we list the signs of stress and
pain, and their descriptions.
Lack of grooming – unkempt appearance
Activity – animal may be reluctant to move or may be over active
Eyes may be sunken – eye area does not look healthy, eyes appears deeply recessed
Administrative Techniques
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Insertion of a foreign gene anywhere in the genome is known as random gene
insertion; whereas, the insertion of a foreign gene at a precise or specic part of
the genome is called targeted gene insertion. Pronuclear microinjection results
in random gene insertion. Blastocyst injection involves injecting gene-targeted
ES cells into 4-day-old blastocysts.
Animals that have been developed from the direct insertion of a foreign gene
into its genome are called
founders
. Founders are also referred to as F
genera
tion. Founder animals are then mated to establish a transgenic line. Offspring
resulting from mating the founder animal are referred to as the F1 (rst) genera
tion of animals. Offspring resulting from the mating of the F1 individuals are
known as the F2 generation of animals. F1 is the rst generation of animals, F2
is the second generation, F3 is the third generation, etc. Blastocyst injection pro
duces animals that contain tissues from both the host embryo and the ES cells.
These animals are known as
chimeras
Chimera was “a thing of immortal make, not human, lion-fronted and snake
behind, a goat in the middle, and snorting out the breath of the terrible ame
of bright re,” as Homer described it in the Iliad. In biology, chimera is used to
dene an animal that has two or more different populations of genetically dis
tinct cells that originated in different zygotes.
Usage Examples
The frequency of
targeted gene insertion
in mouse ES cells increases with increas
ing amounts of sequence homology.
Targeted gene insertion
makes it possible to introduce new genetic information
into specic sites on the genome.
Positional effects often occur due to
random gene insertion
The lack of precision due to
random gene insertion
may lead to positional effects
such as gene silencing.
Administrative Techniques
The act of giving a substance (e.g., medication) by the use of a syringe and
needle is called injection. There are several methods of injection. Below is a list
of the English names for the most common methods and devices to administer
substances into a body, and usage examples.
Injections given just under the skin and into the fat are called
subcutaneous injec
tions
(s.c.), subcut or sub-Q for short.
Injections given directly into a muscle are called
intramuscular injections
Unit XIV
Laboratory Animal Work
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This sample data record form is useful for keeping track of small transgenic
animals such as mice and rats.
STRAIN
DATE
LITTER #
MOTHER
FATHER
GENERATION
GENOTYPING
OBSERVATIONS
Denition of terms:
LINE NAME: the name of the founder and its offspring carrying the particular
foreign gene
LITTER#: A number used to identify the litter
GENERATION: the sequence of generations following the parental generation
MARKING: A distinguishable mark used to identify the individual animals
GENOTYPING: record whether animals carry the specic transgene.
OBSERVATIONS: Record any observable characteristics of the animals
Transgenic Animals
Animals in which their genomes (genetic makeup) have been deliberately modi
ed are called transgenic animals. Generally, transgenic animals carry one or
more fragments of foreign DNA in their genomes. The most commonly used
techniques to produce transgenic animals are:
Pronuclear microinjection
– this technique involves inserting a foreign gene
directly into one of the two pronuclei of a single-cell fertilized egg using an
ultra-thin glass needle.
Blastocyst injection
– this technique involves inserting a foreign gene into
embryonic stem (ES) cells, and then inserting the ES cells into blastocysts.
Record Keeping
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ANIMAL CODE
: P101
DATE
: May 10, 2009
PROJECT LICENCE
: 9456320M
: Dr.A. Frade
: Jackson Laboratory
CHARGE ACCOUNT
: 102407
: Mouse
STRAIN
: C57BL/6J
: M
: April 7, 2009
: 36-1 36-2 36-3 36-4
NOTES:
Vasectomised June 24, 2009
TM injection (4 mg/40 g) July 1, 2009
BrdU injection (50mg/kg) July 10, 2009
Denition of terms:
ANIMAL CODE: animal line name
DATE: the date when the mice were placed in the cage
PROJECT LICENCE: is the project licence number
PI: Principal Investigator
SUPPLIER: where the animals came from (source)
CHARGE ACCOUNT: a fund where money is withdrawn to pay for the care of
SPECIES: Type of animal
STRAIN: a group of organisms of the same species sharing certain traits that are
not shared with other members of the same species.
SEX: Male (M) or Female (F). You can use symbols (
#: Number of mice in the cage
DOB: Date of birth
ID#: Identication numbers of the mice in the cage
NOTES: Record information regarding procedures
Data Record Form
A separate data record form should be used to keep tract of individual animals,
their parents, siblings and offspring, tissues obtained from individual animals,
pertinent dates, etc. A data record form contains much more information than
the cage card. Keeping a record of all this is important for good management
and vital to good science. You are responsible to keep the information up-to-
date. Record keeping is a requirement, and records should be kept for a certain
amount of time. For example, records of all procedures carried out on regu
lated animals must be kept for a period of ve years from the time of death or
time released from the establishment. Records are maintained either electroni
cally or in hard copy. Familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations of the
institution and country you plan to carry out your animal work. A sample data
record form is shown below:
Unit XIV
Laboratory Animal Work
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Permanent Marking to Identify Individual Animals
It is usually important to be able to identify individual animals in a study.
Without identication, it is difcult to keep track of which animals are receiv
ing which treatments or procedures. Animals may be identied using a variety
of methods. Listed below are the English names and their descriptions for the
different types of methods used to identify animals.
A distinguishable mark, figure, letter, number, or bars made by puncturing
the skin and introducing some ink is called a
tattoo
A metal or plastic identification disk attached to the collar of an animal is a
collar tag
A tiny, rice-sized, electronic device that is implanted under the skin and
encoded with a unique and unalterable identification number is a
microchip
(sometimes called a
chip
). This type of permanent marking is “read” by a
scanner. The chip transmits the identification number to the scanner, which
is then displayed on the screen of the scanner.
A small plastic or metal object clipped onto the ear is known as an
ear tag
. Ear
tags usually carry the individual identification number.
Clipping off a small tip of the external ear by following an identifica
tion chart so that the animal can be identified is known as
ear notching/
punching
A metal or plastic identification disk attached to the leg of an animal is a
leg ring
Toe-clipping
, also known as
toe amputation
, is a method involving the
removal of a toe on one or more limbs, following an identification chart.
It should be noted that toe clipping may not be widely accepted. Usu
ally, it is only used when no other individual identification method is
feasible.
Cage Cards
All animals used in research must be identied, individually or in groups, with
cage cards (also known as cage labels). A cage card (or cage label) is a slip of
paper used to identify animal(s) in a cage. It contains information about the
animal(s) such as supplier, breed or strain, date entry made, investigator’s name,
project licence number, identication of animals, number of animals, sex, date
of birth, etc. Female animals with litters should always have the date of birth of
the litter on the cage card. This card is placed on the front of each cage. A sample
cage card is shown below:
Record Keeping
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Behavioral testing rooms
are experimental rooms used for the study of cogni
tive processes in animals. These rooms are equipped with various types of
mazes, activity boxes, startle response systems, video-tracking systems that
record the behavior of animals, among other types of behavioral testing
equipment. Behavioral test rooms are generally soundproofed.
Usage Example
The transfer of foreign DNA into single-cell fertilized eggs is carried out in the
transgenic room
; whereas the implantation of these eggs into a surrogate mother
is carried out in the
surgical room
Service Rooms
Service rooms are also known as support facility rooms. These types of rooms
are used primarily by animal-care staff. They include:
Feed and bedding storage rooms
provides space to store and protect a limited
amount of bulk food for the animals in the facility. The room is designed to
protect the bulk food from contamination and infestation.
Feed mixing room
is a room for preparing special meals/diets in batches.
Cage washing rooms
contains equipment for cleaning cages, racks, water
bottles, etc.
Cage storage rooms
provide space to store clean cages until needed.
Sterilization rooms
contain equipment, such as autoclaves, needed to sterilize items.
Waste disposal rooms
, also known as disposal facility, are areas where animal
refuse is stored before it is removed from the animal facility. The dead bodies
of animals, called carcasses, are stored in a freezer before they are removed
from the animal facility.
Since both the animal-care staff and scientists need to work within the facility,
it is important that they are able to work without bumping into each other
all the time. Therefore, procedure rooms provide the scientic needs for the
research staff, whereas the service rooms provide operational needs for the
animal-care staff.
Record Keeping
Record keeping is important for good management. It is a requirement and
should be carried out according to the rules of the institution and the federal
regulations of the country where you work.
Unit XIV
Laboratory Animal Work
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In addition to the length of stay, the status of a holding room depends on the
health status of the animals contained in that room. For instance, health status of
rodents in all holding rooms within an animal facility is checked using sentinel
rodents. Every holding room contains sentinel rodents, which are primarily used
to detect the presence of infectious agents. The number of sentinel animals used
in each room depends on the total number of animals in the room. For infec
tion screening, sentinel animals receive dirty material from a portion of other
rodent cages in the room during routine cage cleaning for approximately 3–4
months. They are subsequently removed from the room and tested for various
common lab-associated mouse viruses such as mouse hepatitis virus (MHV),
Sendai virus, mouse parvovirus (MPV), and various parasites such as pinworms
and fur mites. Based on the health status of the animals contained in a holding
room, they can be also classied as:
Quarantine/isolation - holding of animals in a separate room for a period of
time and until their health status is tested to ensure they are free of disease.
Clean – animals in this type of room have a clean bill of health.
Dirty – animals in this type of room have at least one known or suspected
Usage Examples
Animals obtained from non-commercial sources (e.g., universities, research
institutions, etc.) must undergo a quarantine period for a minimum of 6–8
weeks and have a negative serological testing result before they can be released
from the
quarantine holding room
and placed in a
clean holding room
Procedure Rooms
Rooms where experimental manipulations are conducted on animals are called
procedure rooms. Each room has its own function and contains equipment for
conducting experiments such as lab benches, fume hoods, and biosafety cabi
nets, among others. Listed below are the English names for the different types of
procedure rooms found in a typical animal facility.
Surgical rooms
or
operating theatres
are sterile rooms where surgical proce
dures are carried out.
Preparation room
pre-surgical preparation room
or simply a
prep-room
, where
the preparation of an animal for surgery takes place.
Recovery rooms
or
post-operative recovery rooms
are equipped for the care and
observation of animals immediately following surgery.
Transgenic room
is the room where foreign DNA, viruses or cells are deliber
ately inserted into the genome of fertilized animal eggs in order to generate
animals carrying the foreign material.
Space Description
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It is your responsibility to know and carry out animal work according to the laws
of that country.
Animal Research Facility and Its Staff
A laboratory that holds animals for experimental and diagnostic research is known
as an animal facility. This type of facility is also known as an animal house or a vivar
ium; however, the latter term is used less often now days. A typical animal facility not
only holds animals but is also responsible for the daily oversight of animal care.
Employees whose job entails feeding, watering, grooming, cleaning and dis
infecting cages, changing bedding, or sterilizing equipment in an animal facility
are called animal technicians. Animal technicians, also known as animal-care
staff, animal caretakers, animal attendants, or veterinary technologists, may also
carry out other duties such as administering prescribed medicines to animals,
vaccinating newly admitted animals, recording information regarding an ani
mal’s weight, diet, food and water intake, temperature, urine and fecal output,
general appearance, etc. Animal technicians work very closely with
veterinarians,
veterinary surgeons, or informally vets.
Animal research facilities within biomedical institutions are generally located
on the top oors or in independent, detached units in order to minimize
public
access and to prevent unrestricted personnel trafc within the building. The
reason for this is to ensure tight security, to reduce allergen and other types
of contamination to public areas, and to ensure a calm and quiet environment
for the animals. Only animals being used in studies that have been formally
approved may be maintained in animal research facility.
Space Description
Animal facilities consist of a number of types of rooms for various purposes.
In English, the main types are known as:
Holding rooms, which contain animals in cages
Procedure rooms, where specific experiments or studies are carried out
Service rooms
Holding Rooms
Holding rooms, also known as housing rooms, are rooms where animals are
normally kept, either for breeding or stocking. The humidity, pressure, tempera
ture and light-cycles are controlled in this type of room. Based on the length of
time that the animals are kept in holding rooms, they can be referred to as
term holding rooms
short-term holding rooms
Unit XIV
Laboratory Animal Work
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Where do fat cells (adipocytes) arise from?
How does the mammalian brain develop during embryogenesis?
How does the hippocampus contribute to memory?
What is the most effective drug against HIV?
Can angiogenesis inhibitors destroy fat tissue?
Can caffeine protect against Alzheimer’s?
The rst three questions are examples of questions asked in basic research and
the last three are examples of questions asked in applied research.
Animals commonly used in research are non-human primates, cats, guinea
pigs, sh, frogs, rabbits, mice, and rats. Mice and rats make up 80%–90% of all
animals used in biomedical research. They make good research subjects for a
variety of reasons: they are genetically close to humans, they are small in size,
they are relatively inexpensive to breed and maintain, and they reproduce large
litters. In addition, mice and rats have short life cycles so they can be easily
studied throughout their whole life span or across several generations.
Animal Work Licences
Scientists wishing to carry out research involving live animals must seek the
necessary licences before starting any animal work. Carrying out research
involving animals is considered unlawful without a licence in English-speaking
countries. It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the laws in the
particular country where you wish to carry out animal work. What is this
licence? It is a formal authority or ofcial permission granted to the applicant
that details the rights to perform certain experiments on animals. For example,
experimentation requiring animals in the UK is very tightly controlled and
requires approval from the Home Ofce. In fact, it requires three separate
licenses granted by the Home Ofce: (1) Certicate of designation, (2) project
licence, and (3) personal licence. What are these licenses?
Certificate of designation
The establishment itself, where the regulated experi
ments involving animals are carried out, must be licensed. It lists all the
rooms in the facility where animals may be held, and the procedures that can
be
carried out there.
Project licence
All projects involving animal work must have a licence. This
licence is held by the principal investigator.
Personal licence
Each person who carries out regulated procedures on animals
must also have a licence. They must undergo formal training and are super
vised until they are competent to carry out work under the project licence.
This licence lasts for a maximum of 5 years.
Each country has its own rules and regulations. We cannot stress enough the
importance of understanding and complying with the rules and regulations
of the country in which you wish to carry out experiments using animals.
BookID 158386_ChapID 14_Proof# 1 -
Unit XIV
Laboratory Animal Work
The use of animals has become essential for nearly all areas in modern
biomedical
research. Major advances in this eld would not have been possible without their
use. Today, the number of animal models genetically engineered for
biomedical
research is increasing rapidly.
The breeding, supply, and use of animals in research are highly regulated in
English-speaking countries. For example, the Home Ofce (one of the most
important UK government departments) is responsible for regulating animal
research in the UK, and the US Department of Agriculture (a Federal Execu
tive Department) is responsible for regulating the use and care of animals for
scientic purposes.
Misunderstandings that violate animal work policies may result in profes
sional misconduct, penalties, and even loss of all privileges to conduct animal
research for the entire laboratory. Therefore, we thought it was important to
write a chapter dedicated to animal research. This chapter is not intended to
provide you with detailed regulations and protocols for the care and use of
laboratory animals since this will vary among different countries and institu
tions. It will, however, focus on providing you with expressions, terminology,
general guidelines commonly used among researchers, animal facility staff,
and veterinarians.
What Is Animal Research?
The use of animals in scientic experiments is called animal research. It
includes any scientic procedure, test, investigation, or study involving ani
mals. Animal experimentation generally falls into one or both of the follow
ing two types: basic research and applied research. Basic animal research is
carried out with a focus on the discovery of nature as it is, the way it works
or evolves. The main goal is knowledge on its own. Applied research shifts
the focus onto using our
knowledge to solve practical problems. Consider the
following questions:
R. Ribes et al.,
English for Biomedical Scientists,
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-77127-2_14, © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009
BookID 158386_ChapID 14_Proof# 1 -
Unit XIII
What does GMO mean?
Genetically Modified Organisms
B.
General Modification of Organisms
Genetic Model Organisms
D.
None of the above
Which type of fire extinguisher should NOT be used on a fire involving
electrical equipment such as computers?
Foam
B.
Water
Dry chemical/powder
D.
Answer key:
Part 1
1) T, 2) F, 3) F, 4) F, 5) T, 6) F, 7) F, 8) F, 9) F, 10) T
Part 2
1) B, 2) C, 3) A, 4) C, 5) D, 6) B, 7) A, 8) D, 9) A, 10) B
For further information about safety please see the websites below.
ttp://bmbl.od.nih.gov
BSL U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institutes of Health
ww.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/occup-travail/whmis-simdut/index-eng.ph
Health
Canada
ww.osha.gov
U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Admin
istration
ttp://hsis.ascc.gov.au/Default.asp
Australia’s Hazardous Substances Informa
tion System


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C. Proper Personal Equipment
D. Proper Procedures for Equipment
4)

Class A fire extinguishers are suitable for:
A. Fire involving electrical equipment
B. Fire involving flammable liquids, such as petrol, oil, and diesel
C. Fire involving ordinary combustibles, such as wood, paper, and fabric
D. Fire involving flammable metals, such as aluminium, magnesium, and sodium
5)

If the following symbol is depicted on a label, the material found in the

container is:
A. Corrosive
B. Dangerously reactive
C. Irritant
D. Poisonous
6)

Which item should not be found in a typical first aid kit?
A. Plasters
B. Prescription drugs
C. Disposable gloves
D. Safety pins
7)

What does the following symbol mean?
A.

Flammable
B.

Oxidizer
C.

Explosive
D.

Compressed Gas

8)

Chemical safety data sheets should be consulted:
A.

If a hazardous material is ingested
B.

Before working with a chemical
C.

For the requirement of specific PPE
D.

All the above
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The following quiz is made up of two parts: the true and false part and the
multiple choice part.
Part 1:

Simply answer TRUE or FALSE to the following statements:

1)

A laboratory coat is the standard minimum PPE in most laboratories. T/F

2)

A white coat can be worn in common areas such as seminar rooms, staff
rooms, and cafeteria. T/F

3)

Latex gloves provide protection against all toxic chemicals and solvents. T/F

4)

Class A water-based fire extinguishers should be used to control fires involv-
ing electrical equipment. T/F

5)

Gloves should be selected on the basis of the material being handled. T/F

6)

A person can be fired for asking questions about how to do their job safely
or reporting unsafe working conditions? T/F

7)

A radiation safety training course is often not mandatory for personnel who
wish to work with radioactive materials. T/F

8)

Geiger counters are used to monitor radiation exposure over an extended
period of time. T/F

9)

Plexiglas shields are protective barriers against all types of radiation. T/F
10)

The following graphic symbol shown below indicates an oxidizing hazard. T/F
Part 2:

Choose the correct answer for each question. One answer only.
1)

What would immediately be used if your clothing caught fire or if a large
chemical spill had occurred on your clothing?
A. Fire extinguisher
B. Safety shower
C. Laboratory sinks
D. Eye-wash fountain
2)

What should be done if a chemical gets in the eye(s)?
A. Use the safety shower
B. Immediately put your safety goggles on
C. Immediately begin rinsing the eye(s) in the eye wash station
D. Nothing, unless the chemical causes discomfort
3)

What does PPE mean?
A. Personal Protective Equipment
B. Proper Protective Procedures
(a license giving ofcial permission) and you will need to attend a basic radia
tion safety training seminar.
Here are some terms you will encounter, the meaning of which may not be
immediately obvious to the non-native English speaking scientist:
Radioactive dosimeter badges
(sometimes referred to as
film badges
are used to monitor radiation exposure over an extended period of time.
These badges are worn when working with or in areas where radioactive
materials are being used. It is usually in the shape of a small badge or
pack which is clipped to a person’s laboratory coat. It is used to deter
mine whether the radiation level one is exposed to falls within established
safety limits.
Geiger counter
(also known as a
Survey meter
) is an instrument used
to detect radiation in an area or object and measure its intensity. A tiny drop
of contamination of a radioactive isotope can be easily detected with this
instrument.
Plexiglas shields
are clear plastic materials used as protective barriers against
radiation generated by beta-producing radioactive isotopes. These shields
are placed between the user and the radioactive source. The most common
beta-producing isotope used in biomedical research is 32 phosphorus (
P).
Plexiglas shields are not appropriate shields for gamma or X-ray producing
sources.
Decontamination versus Decommissioning
– The use of these words in
radiation protection may cause some confusion for non-English speak
ing individuals. Decontamination refers to the clean-up of loose or fixed
surface radioactivity, whereas decommissioning is used when a radioactive
work space or area is no longer used for radioactive work. See the examples
below:
All radioactive spills must be
decontaminated
using a special cleaning deter
gent
The radioactive room was
decommissioned
and has now been transformed
into a seminar room
Unit XIII
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assessment before the project can begin. This generally involves submission
of a GMO risk assessment form to the local GMO Safety Committee and
approval of the risk assessment.
Biocontainment levels
are control measures used to lessen or completely
prevent the escape of biological hazardous agents. There are four types
of biocontainment levels. These four levels are designated as Biosafety Level
(BSL) 1, 2, 3, and 4, Biosafety level 1 being the lowest BSL and level 4 the
highest. A typical laboratory is a BSL 1 facility. BSL-1 is appropriate for work
ing with micro-organisms that are not known to consistently cause disease
in healthy adults (e.g.,
E.coli
). BSL-2 is appropriate for working with micro-
organisms that are known to cause mild disease to humans (e.g., Salmonella).
BSL-3 is appropriate for micro-organisms that may be transmitted by the res
piratory route which can cause serious and potentially lethal infection (e.g.,
SARS coronavirus). BSL-4 is appropriate for working with micro-organisms
that pose a high risk of life-threatening disease and can be transmitted via the
airborne route (e.g., Ebola virus). BSL-4 laboratories are difcult to design,
build, and operate; therefore, most countries have only a few of these types of
laboratories (e.g., Canada has two BSL-4 type laboratories; Australia and the
UK both have three).
Biological safety cabinets
(or simply
hoods
) are safety equipment used to
contain biological agents and protect the operator and the environment.
These cabinets come in three different classes: class 1, 2, and 3:
Class 1 cabinets protect the operator from the biological agent but not the
agent from the environment.
Class 2 cabinets provide protection to both the operator and the biological agent.
Class 3 cabinets are totally enclosed to prevent the release of airborne
particles. This type of cabinet is designed to be completely air-tight in
order to completely contain the hazardous material.
Biological Waste
Any unwanted solid or liquid materials that are contami
nated with biological agents are referred to as biological waste (note, neither
garbage nor rubbish, as we refer to discarded material outside the lab). Safe
disposal of biological waste is extremely important to the health and safety of
our environment. Improper disposal of this type of waste may cause infection
to spread outside the laboratory. Policies for correct disposal of this type of
waste can vary, and once again it is important for you to familiarize yourself
with the rules and procedures for the proper disposal of biological waste in
your institution.


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There are many hazards associated with working with biological materials. The
purpose of this section is to familiarize you with English vocabulary and usage
associated with biological safety. Biological safety training is mandatory for
those working in laboratories with biological agents. Learning the vocabulary
associated with this area will pave your way to more easily learning your
institutes biological safety policy. The main topics covered in this section of
the chapter are genetically modied organisms risk assessment, biocontainment
levels, biological safety cabinets, and disposal of biological waste.
�L

Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) risk assessment
looks at the risk of
infection from a GMO to humans, animals, and the environment. A genetically
modified organism is an organism whose genetic material has been altered by
gene technology. All projects involving GMOs are required to undergo a risk
D
Toxic or Poisonous
Material
Materials causing immediate and
serious toxic effects
D
Poisonous and Infectious
Material
Materials causing other toxic effects
D
Poisonous and Infectious
Material
Biohazardous infectious material
E
Corrosive Material
May cause chemical burns(e.g., acids,
bases, phenols)
F
Dangerously Reactive
Material
Materials that are very unstable
and may explode as a result of shock,
friction, or increase in temperature
(e.g., benzoyl peroxide)
Class
Symbol
Hazard
Description of Hazard
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speaking countries labeling of any container that holds a hazardous substance
is regulated by a governing body. These labels include basic information such
as product name, ingredients, suppliers name, storage measures, reference to
a MSDS, hazard symbols, risk phrases, precautionary measures, and rst aid
measures. It is extremely important to read and understand the label for the
safe use of the hazardous substance. If you require more detailed information
about the chemical you are using, you should refer to the MSDS. Labels
contain basic information due to lack of space and therefore should not replace

the MSDS.
Hazard symbols are often found on chemical labels. These symbols provide
the user with a guide for quick recognition of the hazards associated with a spe-
cic chemical. A chemical might be labeled with more than one hazard sym-
bol. One must be able to recognize and understanding the meaning of hazard
symbols for the safe use of hazardous substances. The table below contains the
Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) classication
of chemicals and their hazard symbols. There are six classes, several of which
have subdivisions. Each class has a specic symbol to indicate the nature of the
hazardous material, and includes a brief explanation of the type of danger they
refer to.
Many different additional hazard symbols exist; however, a comprehensive
review of all the symbols is beyond the scope of this unit. Those of you who want
more information on hazard symbols can look at the websites located at the end
of this unit. We also strongly recommend you to check your workplace safety
manual or ask your safety ofcer.
Class
Symbol
Hazard
Description of Hazard
A
Compressed Gas
Contents under pressure (e.g., nitrogen)
B
Flammable and
Combustible Material
May catch on fire easily in the presence
of a spark or open flame (e.g., propane)
C
Oxidizing Material
May increase the risk of a fire or
explosion when in contact with other
combustible material
Adhesive strip (as known as ‘bandage’ or ‘band aid’ in North America and
‘plasters’ in the UK), is a material that you can place directly over a small
cut in the skin in order to protect the wound and keep it clean. Various
sizes are generally included in the kit.
Various types and sizes of gauze dressing (or simply called gauze) — a cloth
for covering a wound. It is usually made from cotton.
Safety pins.
Bottle of antiseptic solution.
Eye pads.
Disposable gloves.
First aid book.
Names of first aiders (these are people who have received basic training on
how to give simple medical emergency treatment to injured persons) and
how to contact them.
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Emergency eyewash stations
provide on-the-spot elimination of accidental
chemical or biological splashes to the eyes. They are designed to flush the eyes
and face only.
Safety showers
provide on-the-spot removal of massive chemical or biologi
cal splashes on clothing or body. Safety showers are designed to have water
sprayed over the entire body. Safety showers, however, are not designed to
flush the user’s eyes because the high rate or pressure of the water flow could
cause damage.
Fire blankets
are, as the name implies, fire-resistant sheets of fabric that one
uses to wrap around a person whose cloths are on fire.
Fire extinguishers
are essential portable fire-fighting tools used to control or
put out small fires; however, they are not designed for large or spreading fires.
There are different types of fire extinguishers, each of which are designed
to put out different types of fires. The types and labeling of fire extinguish
ers vary among countries. For example, North America generally uses a pic
ture labeling system to indicate which types of fires they are to be used on,
whereas the UK uses a color coding system on their extinguishers. Using the
wrong type of extinguisher can be dangerous; in some cases, it can cause a
fire to spread. Therefore, it is extremely important to familiarize yourself in
your institution with the types and labeling of fire extinguishers For example,
water expelling type-A fire extinguishers should not be used on fires involv
ing electrical equipment.
For your personal safety and the safety of others, you should know where the
nearest re extinguishers, re alarm pull boxes, and re exits are located. Fire
alarm pull boxes are bright red boxes with handles generally located on walls
near re exits or in stairwells. In addition, you should know your institution’s
policy on re safety. It is also important for the non-native English-speaking
scientist to know that there are some common words associated with re safety
that are different in American and British English. For instance, a ‘re check’ in
Britain is a ‘re safety inspection’ in America. The organization that is respon
sible for preventing and extinguishing unwanted res is called a ‘re brigade’
in Britain and a ‘re department’ in America. A man or woman whose job is to
stop unwanted res is called a ‘reman’ in Britain and a ‘reghter’ in America.
The building that houses the re trucks or re engines is called a ‘re station’ in
Britain and a ‘rehouse’ in America.
First Aid Kits
(also known as First Aid Box) contain emergency supplies for
the treatment of unexpected minor injuries such as small cuts. Most first aid
kits are labeled with a white cross on a green background; however, some kits
are labelled with a red cross on a white background. First aid kits should be
readily available to laboratory staff at all times. First aid kits can contain dif
ferent items depending on the type of work performed in a laboratory. The
names of the main contents found in a first aid kit are below:
and thumb. Safety gloves are worn in biomedical research laboratories and ani
mal rooms to protect the wearer from contact with damaging material. Gloves are
provided by the laboratory for all its researchers. There are hundreds of different
types of safety gloves. However, only a few different types of safety gloves are gener
ally used in most biomedical research laboratories. Cryogenic gloves, heat resistant
gloves, and chemical resistant gloves are the most common types found in bio
medical laboratories. Cryogenic gloves are designed to provide protection to the
hands from the dangers encountered when handling extremely cold items or sub
stances, like liquid nitrogen. Liquid nitrogen can cause severe frostbites and cold
burns. Gloves intended for liquid nitrogen use are generally not made to allow the
hands to be put into the liquid. They only provide protection from accidental spills
or contact with the liquid. These gloves are also designed to work with dry ice.
Heat resistant protective gloves are designed to protect hands from intense heat
and prevent heat burns. Biomedical research laboratories involved in RNA stud
ies: glassware is often oven-baked at 200°C for at least 4 h to ensure it is free from
enzymes that can degrade RNA (i.e., RNases). In order to remove glassware from
these very hot ovens, one must use heat resistant gloves to protect hands from heat
burns. Disposable chemical gloves are the most commonly used gloves in biomedi
cal research laboratories and animal care facilities. These gloves may be made from
latex, rubber, nitrile, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), or polyvinyl chloride (PVC), etc. The
type of chemical glove one will use should depend on the chemical being used.
For example, nitrile gloves provide protection against oil based chemicals, whereas
PVC gloves provide protection against aqueous chemicals. It is important to bear
in mind that for chemical protection the wearer should determine the appropriate
glove material to provide the desired protection. Some chemicals will rapidly pen
etrate some glove materials; therefore, incorrect selection or use of protective gloves
can lead to chemical burns. One type of glove will not work in all situations.
Face masks, as the name implies, is a cover or partial cover for the face used for
protection. It provides protective covering for the mouth and nose. Face masks
generally found in biomedical research laboratories are called dust masks. These
masks are the white disposable kind with two elastic bands, one that goes above
the ears and the other below the ears. Dust masks block large airborne particles.
They are often used when weighing out powders and during animal work. There
are many different kinds of dust masks; therefore, know the limitation of the
protection and wear the proper mask suitable for the job.
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Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
It is vital that lab workers wear the correct protective equipment for the experi
ment they intend to carry out in order to avoid injury. Personal protective equip
ment includes lab coats (also known as white coats), safety glasses and goggles,
face shields, gloves, and masks. When used properly, PPE minimizes personal
exposure to hazardous material. Failure to use personal protective equipment is
generally seen as a violation of safety rules or procedures.
Lab coats are loose knee-length white coats with deep pockets. Throughout
the world, lab coats have become mandatory in research and medical institu
tions. They must be worn correctly at all times within laboratory areas and
always be removed immediately on leaving the laboratory area. A badly stained
or torn coat is a hazard and should be replaced immediately. Lab coats are gener
ally provided and cleaned regularly by the institution at no charge.
Protective eyewear, as the name implies, protects the eye area in order to pre
vent particles or dangerous materials from entering the eye. Protective eyewear
must always be worn whenever there is a chance of eye injury. Anyone working
in or passing through areas that pose eye hazards should wear eye protection.
Eye injuries in the laboratory are very common and can result in serious eye
damage or blindness. Most forms of eye protection are light in weight and made
from highly impact-resistant material (such as polycarbonate). The main types
of protective eyewear are safety glasses, safety goggles, and face shields.
Safety glasses look just like regular eyeglasses; however, the lenses are more
durable and provide better protection against ying debris. Safety goggles are
different from safety glasses in that they are tight-tting and have side shields
and also provide an extra level of protection beyond safety glasses; they provide
full coverage to the eyes. When safety goggles are worn correctly, they will pro
vide protection to the eye and skin immediately surrounding the eyes from dust
and splashes of liquid coming from any direction (above, below, side, or face-
on). A face shield is a hard, clear plastic sheet that that covers the eyes and face
completely. It generally covers the forehead, extends below the chin, and wraps
around the side of face. It is intended to cover the entire face from accidental
splashes of harmful liquids and some even protect against excessive exposure
to ultraviolet radiation (to avoid a sunburned face). Not all face shields protect
against UV; be sure that the item is specied by the manufacturer as providing
protection at the wave length(s) you intend to use. The type of eye protection
needed depends on the circumstances. For example, when the entire face needs
protection, a face shield is used. It is important that you wear eye protection
any time you are exposed to a potentially hazardous situation. For maximum
protection, select the appropriate protective eyewear designed for the specic
experiment you carry out and make sure you wear the appropriate eye protec
tion throughout the entire experiment.
Hand protection: careful attention must be given to protecting your hands
when working with potentially dangerous chemical or biological materials. Safety
gloves are coverings used to protect the hands, with a separate part for each nger
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Unit
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Short Notes
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needs to be diluted to a lower concentration for actual use.
Final conc
. refers to
the working concentration of the chemical. Quantity needs to be specied as
volume or weight. All reagent recipes must have a name to identify what you
are making. The notes section is used to record information regarding storage
conditions or any special care that must be taken into consideration. Scientists
often write reagent recipes on blank cue cards.
Below you will nd an example of a reagent recipe for TE buffer and Extrac
tion buffer:
Tail EXTRACTION BUFFER
Component
Stock Conc.
Final Conc.
Quantity
Tris (pH 7.5)
EDTA (pH 8.0)
NaCl
Make up volume to 500 ml with distilled H
Notes
Autoclave solution before adding SDS. Store at room temperature.
TE Buffer
Component
Stock Conc.
Final Conc.
Quantity
Tris (pH 7.5)
EDTA (pH 8.0)
Bring volume to 500 ml with ddH
Notes
Autoclave solution and store at room temperature.
Short Notes
When writing short informal notes or instructions, articles, subject or object
pronouns, and prepositions are often left out. This is usually done in order to
save time or space.
Sample:
I am having lunch in the cafeteria. I will be back at 1:30 p.m. (long version)
Gone to lunch. Back at 1:30. (condensed version)
The above sentence has been condensed in just a few words; however, the essential
message/point is clear.
Unit XII
Laboratory Writing
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Discussion
section is where you interpret and discuss your results in detail. This
section is generally long. Here you can discuss the validity of your results, how
the experiment can be improved, the signicance of the ndings, and how they
t into current knowledge.
Conclusion
states the outcome of the experiment in a few sentences. It should
highlight the key ndings in your report.
Reference
section contains a list of all books and journals referred to in the text
of your lab report. Although there are many ways to organize your references
(see
nit I
), we would recommend keeping it simple in alphabetical order for
a lab report.
Examples of cited papers:
MacKenzie, A., Abbott, J. and Macdonald, J.A. (2008) Identication and charac
terization of the mouse PDGFR
gene. Nature 800, 454-466.
Stronzo, S., Bennett, R.B., MacKenzie, A., Chang, L., Wang, F. and Miller, A.
(2004) PAC modication and generation of Sox10-Cre transgenic mice. Genesis
64, 335-346.
An example of citing a reference in the body of your paper:
“EGFP expression was found to be expressed in a restricted region within the
ventral telencephalon and spinal cord corresponding to known regions of OL
specication (Stronzo et al., 2004).”
Acknowledgements
(if applicable) thank all the people who helped with your
experiment.
For example,
“I thank Dr. Sirolli for the Sox10-GFP embryos; Tina Alongi for the Sox10 in situ
probe; and Adelia Frade for antibodies against PDGFR
and PLP.”
“I am grateful to Marisa Di Prata for her technical assistance.”
Appendix
(optional) contains non-mandatory supplemental and background
information relating to the experiment. Often this includes details that your
reader may need to know in order to repeat your experiment
Reagent Recipes
A reagent recipe is a record of chemicals and the amounts needed to prepare a
reagent or solution. Chemicals used are generally written in the order they are
combined.
Stock conc
. refers to the concentration of the stock solution. A stock
solution is a common reagent or chemical at a standardized concentration that
Laboratory Reports
BookID 158386_ChapID 12_Proof# 1 - 21
Below are examples of a table and a gure:
Table I.
CCR7/CD45RA subset distribution of expanded antigen-specic CTL’s.
VIRUS Ag
EPITOPE
Tem
CCR7–
CD45RA–
Teff
CCR7–
CD45RA+
CCR7+
CD45RA–
CCR7+
CD45RA+
NLV
NLV
NLV
NLV
EBV–EBNA3A
EBV–EBNA3A
EBV–EBNA3A
EBV–LMP2
CLG
EBV–LMP2
CLG
EBV–LMP2
CLG
EBV–LMP2
CLG
EBV–LMP2
CLG
EBV–LMP2
CLG
EBV–LMP2–
CLG
Tem: Effector memory; Teff: Terminal effectors; Tcm: Central memory; Tn: Naïve; Ag: Antigen
Fig. 1.
Cytotoxic
Chrominum-release assay.
Efcient lysis at E:T ratio of 10:1 mediated
by CMV and EBV-specic CTL lines after 12 days culture with peptide-pulsed DC. CTL
raised against HLA A2- restricted CMV epitope NLV and EBVLMP2a epitope CLG were
incubated with NLV- and CLG-pulsed T2 cells respectively and peptide-pulsed PHA blasts
were used as targets for HLA B8 restricted FLR-specic CTL. Hatched columns represent
peptide-specic lysis and shaded columns non-specic lysis of unpulsed target cells.
Unit XII
Laboratory Writing
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Laboratory Reports
This section is designed particularly for students and researchers at very early
stages in their scientic careers. In these early stages, laboratory reports are a
common way to document your ndings and communicate their signicance.
Different professors/tutors/lab heads have different rules about the style or format of
a laboratory report. Here we provide you with a general guideline on how to write a
laboratory report that will have to be adapted to the specic settings of your lab.
Lab reports are generally divided into the following sections:
Title Page
Aim/Objective
Introduction
Material & Methods
Results
Discussion
Conclusion
References
Title Page
is the rst page of the report. The title of the experiment, your full
name, instructor or supervisor’s name, and date should be included.
Aim
is the purpose of the experiment.
Here are examples of expressions used in this section:
“The aim of this experiment/practical is to determine…”
“To investigate the effects of…”
“To determine if …”
“To measure…”
“To verify…”
Introduction
is an overview of what the experiment is about. It is used to inform
the reader about the topic of the report. It should contain relevant background
information that may be needed to make sense of the information in the report.
Material & Methods
is a description of the procedures used to collect data in
the experiment. In reports, protocols should always be written in complete sen
tences and should be written in past tense.
For example,
“All sections were mounted on glass slides and air-dried for at least 1 hour, and
either stored at –80
C or used immediately. After sections were air-dried,
the slides were rst immersed in 1× phosphate-buffered saline containing
0.1% Triton X-100 for 5 minutes to remove excess embedding medium.”
Results
section contains experimental data in a form that is easy to read and fol
low for the reader. Tables and gures are often used to present this information.
All tables and gures should be numbered consecutively and should have a title
and a brief description.
Lab Notebook Entries
BookID 158386_ChapID 12_Proof# 1 - 21
In the US, this would read as the 8th of February 2008
It is always best to spell out the month, either in full or in the abbreviated
form:
August 2, 2008 or Aug. 2, 2008
February 8, 2008 or Feb. 8, 2008
Below is a good example of a laboratory notebook entry:
Unit XII
Laboratory Writing
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by the institution you work for. In English-speaking countries, laboratory
notebooks are generally, if not always, owned by the institution or company
where the work is carried out.
All entries should be accurate and detailed. Include successful and unsuccess
ful experiments. Write down the names of people who provided assistance.
However, do not make entries that are not related to your project.
For example,
“Conrm squash with Bronwen, Wed 21
at 18:00.”
Loose raw data (such as spreadsheets, print-outs, photographs) can be either
affixed to the pages of your notebook or kept in a separate folder or binder. If
loose data is not affixed to your notebook then it is necessary to cross refer
ence them.
Introduce each experiment with a title and purpose. The purpose is the rea
son or goal of the experiment. It should only be one or two sentences long.
For example,
Title: “Conrmation and characterization of BAC clones.”
Purpose: “To ensure that the BAC clone stocks sent by UK HGMP
Resource Centre were pure and contained the desired gene, and to
determine the size of the upstream and downstream regions from the
desired gene in each BAC clone.”
Protocols should be written in full. When the same protocol is carried out
more than once, then there is no need to write it again. Just refer to the location
of the full description and only note the changes you make to the protocol.
For example,
“Tail DNA Extraction protocol was used (see page 24). Tail DNA was resus
pended in 50 µl TE (instead of 100 µl).”
Data should be written in past tense. In general, personal pronouns should be
avoided.
For example,
“Embryos containing the Sox10-GFP transgene exhibited green uorescence
in the CNS.”
NOT
“I saw green uorescence in the CNS of embryos containing the Sox10-
GFP transgene.”
Include your interpretation/comments/ideas about the data or procedure.
This is generally very brief.
All entries must be dated. When writing in lab notebooks, a common mistake
which leads to confusion is the writing of calendar dates in all-numeric form,
since this format varies in different parts of the world. In the UK, the date is read
as DAY/MONTH/YEAR, whereas in the US it is read as MONTH/DAY/YEAR.
For example,
In the UK, this would read as the 2nd of August 2008
Lab Notebook Entries
BookID 158386_ChapID 12_Proof# 1 - 21
Centrifuge sample for 3 min.
Wash DNA with 70% ethanol and centrifuge for 3 min.
Remove 70% ethanol and allow DNA to dry partially.
Add 100 µl TE buffer.
Lab Notebook Entries
A lab notebook is the primary record of a researcher’s work. All data, detailed
observations, and results from each experiment are written in this type of book.
The purpose of a laboratory notebook is to keep track of what you have done
and the results you have obtained, and to communicate it effectively enough so
that a second party can read and understand the analysis and, if necessary, repeat
the experiment exactly or be able to continue and extend the work. Thus, neat
ness, accuracy, clarity, and directness should always be your main focus when
writing in laboratory notebooks.
There are a lot of ways and rules for keeping a laboratory notebook. You
should always apply the rules of the organization where the experiments are
conducted. If the organization where you work has no specic rules and regulations
regarding notebook entries then use the guidelines suggested in this section.
General Guidelines for Notebook Keeping
Each lab notebook should be used by only one single researcher.
All pages in lab notebooks should be consecutively numbered, and
Permanently bound to show that no pages were removed, thus avoiding the
question of missing data. Most lab notebooks come with pre-numbered
pages.
Reserve the first few pages of the notebook for a Table of Contents. This is a
list of experiments performed and the page numbers on which they start.
Laboratory notebooks should always be written in permanent ink. Mistakes
are not to be erased but should be crossed out with a single horizontal line.
The error should still be readable.
All entries should be recorded in chronological order. If you are carrying out
two experiments at once then use continuation notes. Make a note on the last
page of the unfinished experiment as to the page where it will continue. Make
a note to previous pages too.
For example,
“Continue on page XX” is a reference to a subsequent page.
“Continued from page X” is a reference to a previous page.
All entries must be legible. Try to keep your notebook with the idea that
someone else must be able to read and understand what you have done. The
notebook should always be up-to-date because it can be collected at any time
Unit XII
Laboratory Writing
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For example,
Add
two grams of NaCl to a 50-ml ask.”
NOT
“Two grams of NaCl is added to a 50-ml ask”
Other examples:
Transfer
supernatant to new tubes…”
Inoculate
50 ml of LB with…”
Centrifuge
for 5 min in a microcentrifuge at 1000× (g) to remove…”
Precipitate
the DNA at room temperature by adding…”
The table below is a list of commonly used active verbs in scientic protocols.
Add
Construct
Make
Rinse
Adjust
Discard
Measure
Standardize
Agitate
Dissect
Mix
Stimulate
Analyze
Dissolve
Obtain
Store
Aspirate
Estimate
Place
Take
Fill
Pulverize
Turn off
Balance
Filter
Quantify
Use
Calculate
Label
Record
Wash
Collect
Locate
Remove
Weigh
Use visual aids such as graphs, pictures, diagrams, and flow charts when pos
sible. In technical scientific writing, a picture is indeed worth many more
than a thousand words.
Include all essential steps with sufficient detail so that the reader is able to fol
low the instructions and perform the protocol successfully and consistently.
However, avoid excess unnecessary detail.
Here is an example of a commonly used protocol:
Tail DNA Extraction
Place a small tail sample into a 1.5-ml microcentrifuge tube.
Add 0.5 ml Tail Extraction buffer containing 0.5 mg/ml Proteinase K.
Incubate at 56
C overnight.
Add 200 µl 6M ammonium acetate to the sample and vortex briefly.
Incubate sample on ice for 10–15 min.
Centrifuge at full speed for 10 min in a microcentrifuge.
Transfer supernatant to a clean microcentrifuge tube containing 500 µl 100%
isopropanol and mix thoroughly by repeated inversions.
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Unit XII
Laboratory Writing
Several units in this book thus far have been devoted to scientic writing. From
the writing of scientic manuscripts (
nit I
) and specic scientic correspond
ence (
) to curriculum vitae and cover letters (
nit I
). As important as
the writing of manuscripts, letters, or CVs is, as a whole it only represents a
small proportion of the actual writing that any scientist does. Your major initial
writing challenge as a non-native scientist working in an English-speaking lab
is everyday laboratory writing. You will have to be able to keep accurate and
clear records of your work, make entries in laboratory notebooks, write concise
clear lab protocols, describe the preparation of reagents and solutions, or even
more simply, prepare a lab report or write short informative notes. We thought
it would be useful to devote a section of this book to these writing tasks. Such is
the focus on this unit.
Scientific Protocols
A written record of a standard procedure used in a laboratory is known as a
scientic protocol. It’s a step-by-step instruction of how a particular tech
nique in the lab is performed. Well-written protocols are also used to ensure
researchers within a lab carry out standard procedures correctly and in the same
way in order to reduce sources of variation within their experimental results. It
improves lab work consistency.
Here are some general guidelines for writing scientic protocols:
Write protocols in a concise, step-by-step chronological order, and easy-to-
follow format. They should be easy for the reader to understand and follow.
Use short, plain, and direct sentences or bullets, since the person reading the
protocol must read and carry out the experiment simultaneously.
Use the imperative (command) or present tense. Protocols are explicit techni
cal instructions that the reader must do.
Begin sentences with an active verb.
R. Ribes et al.,
English for Biomedical Scientists,
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-77127-2_12, © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009
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Laboratory Equipment and Consumables
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Microtome
– a device used to cut a biological specimen into thin slices, at
room temperature, for microscopic examination.
Refrigerator
(or
fridge
) – an appliance used to store samples normally at
approximately 4°C.
Rotary evaporator
(can be informally referred to as a
Rotavap
) – a device
used to quickly remove water from a mixture. A rotary evaporator generally
found in biomedical laboratories looks very similar to a bench-top centri
fuge. It spins and heats your sample under a vacuum.
Sonicator
– a device using high-frequency sound waves, to separate tissue
into uniformed-sized particles or to dissolve samples completely.
Thermal Cycler
(or
PCR machine
) – an instrument used to amplify specific
regions of DNA by the polymerase chain reaction.
UV-light box
(also known as a
transilluminator
) – used to visualize DNA
bands in an agarose gel stained with Ethidium bromide (EtBr).
UV crosslinker
– a device used to expose samples to specific amounts of UV
radiation. It is often used to fix DNA or RNA to membranes or blots.
Vibrocutter
– a device used to cut a biological specimen into thin slices, by an
oscillating blade, for microscopic examination.
Vortex mixer
– an instrument used to mix small vials of liquid. The surface
of the vortex mixer moves rapidly in a circular motion.
Unit XI
The Laboratory Environment
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ries. For example, restriction enzyme digestion of genomic DNA using EcoRI
is often carried out in a 37°C water bath (or simple “37°C bath”).
Bunsen burner
– a small, widely-used piece of equipment that produces a
single smokeless gas flame. The size of the flame can be easily adjusted by
the user. It is often used in microbiology laboratories to create a small, sterile
work area since the heat from the flame creates a draft moving upwards, thus
preventing contents from falling into the area.
Cryostat
– a microtome kept at very low temperatures. It is used to cut very
thin sections of a frozen specimen for microscopic examination.
Desiccator
– a sealable, circular, glass container used to store samples or
chemicals in a dry atmosphere. Samples and chemicals that easily absorb
moisture from the atmosphere are normally stored in a desiccator, such as
calcium chloride (CaCl
) and sodium hydroxide (NaOH) pellets.
Freezer
– an appliance used to store samples below 0°C. Three types of freez
ers are generally found in a biomedical laboratory:
20°C freezer
Ultra-low temperature freezer (commonly referred to as a 80°C freezer)
Cryogenic freezer (often referred to as a liquid nitrogen freezer) stores
samples below 150°C
Glass homogenizer
(also called a Dounce homogenizer) – a tissue grinder. It
is made of glass and used to crush and separate tissue into uniformed-sized
particles.
Hood
– a partially enclosed piece of equipment with a sliding glass door on
the front that opens to allow the user access to the inside. Hoods are designed
to protect specimens and staff from contamination. Two types of hoods are
often found in biomedical laboratories:
Tissue culture hood (also known as laminar flow cabinet or biosafety cabi
net) is used when performing cell culture experiments.
Fume hood is used when working with hazardous chemicals.
Hot plate
– a device used to heat things up. It has a flat surface so that it can
be used with a variety of sizes of glassware.
Centrifuges
– come as either “floor-model” centrifuges, which are larger cen
trifuges mounted on the floor, or as “bench-top” centrifuges, which are small,
compacted centrifuges that can be operated on the bench or table.
Incubator
– a heated enclosed apparatus providing a controlled environment.
Temperature, humidity, oxygen, and carbon dioxide can be controlled. At least
three types of incubators are normally found in a biomedical laboratory:
Microbiology incubators are used to grow bacterial cultures.
Tissue culture incubators (also known as CO
incubators) are designed to
provide optimal growth conditions for cells and tissues.
Hybridization incubators (also known as hybridization ovens) are used to
incubate experiments which require two complementary strands of nucleic
acids to bind or anneal. Examples of such experiments include Northern
Blotting, Southern blotting, library screening, colony or plaque screening,
and in situ hybridization.

Laboratory Equipment and Consumables

193
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�L

FACS
(Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorter) is an instrument used to separate
fluorescent labeled cells in a suspension based on size and fluorescence.
�L

Microscopes
are instruments used for viewing objects so small in size that
they are undetectable to the naked eye. The commonest types of microscopes
used in biomedical research are the compound microscope, electron micro-
scope, confocal microscope, and dissecting microscope. The cartoon below
will provide you with the correct names for the main parts of a standard
compound microscope.
eyepiece
adjustable eyepiece
objectives
course focus tension
adjustment ring
course focus
adjustment knob
fine-focus
adjustment knob
y-axis stage control knob
x-axis stage control knob
light intensity
main power
illuminator
filter holder
iris diaphragm
condenser
stage
stage clips
focusing ring for
left eyepiece
Commonly Used Laboratory Equipment
One of the challenges non-native English speakers must face when working in
an English-speaking laboratory is learning the names of all the lab equipment.
It would be nearly impossible to list all the possible lab equipment found in bio-
medical laboratories. The list below attempts to include the commonest items.
�L

Autoclave
a machine designed to sterilize solutions, glassware, and other
laboratory objects by pressurized steam.
�L

Laboratory water bath
often referred to simply as water bath, is a tank
that keeps water at a precise and constant temperature. It is generally used to
incubate bottles of culture media, samples in tubes, etc. Several water baths,
each set at a different temperature, are often found in biomedical laborato-
Unit XI
The Laboratory Environment
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Slides
Microscope slides
are flat pieces of glass or plastic used to place specimens
on to observe under a microscope.
Cover slides
are used to cover specimens on a microscope slide.
Tubes
are cylindrical structures that hold liquid samples. Tubes come in a
variety of sizes and for a wide variety of uses.
Centrifuge tubes
are designed for use in floor centrifuges.
Microcentrifuge tubes
are designed for use in bench-top centrifuges.
Cryogenic tubes
are designed for the storage of biological material (such as
cell lines and tissues) at cryogenic temperatures (approximately 190°C).
PCR tubes
are specifically designed for use in PCR machines. These tubes
are generally certified as RNase, DNase, and pyrogen free.
Commonly Used Laboratory Instruments
As mentioned above, lab instruments are devices used to record, measure, or
process data. Here, we give you an overview in English of the most common
types of instruments you may need to be familiar with.
sequencer
is an instrument used to determine the sequence, usually DNA
or protein, of a biological sample. DNA sequencer is used to determine the
exact order of bases in a DNA molecule. A protein sequencer is used to deter
mine the exact order of amino acids in a protein.
thermometer
measures temperature. It is a glass tube sealed at both ends
containing mercury or alcohol that expands or contracts as the tempera
ture rises or falls. Most laboratories no longer use mercury thermometers
because mercury poses a serious health risk and can harm the environment if
released.
balances
are instruments used for weighing objects.
timer
is an instrument used for measuring and signaling the end of a given
interval of time.
pH meter
is an instrument used to measure the pH (acidity or alkalinity)
of a liquid.
Pipetter
(also called pipette) is an instrument used to measure and transfer
small, precise volumes of liquid.
Spectrophotometer
is an instrument used to measure how much light of
a given wavelength is absorbed by a liquid sample. This instrument is often
used to estimate sample purity and concentrations of DNA, RNA, and pro
tein samples.
Cell Counter
(also known as a Hemocytometer) is the simplest and cheapest
device used to count cells in a sample. It is a modified microscope slide that
has a counting chamber engraved in it. The volume of the chamber is known.
A dye (such as Trypan blue) can be added to distinguish between live and
dead cells.
Laboratory Equipment and Consumables
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list of common consumables that you will need to nd for daily experiments, ask
the lab technician to order for you, or refer to in order to describe procedures
and read or write research protocols.
Cell scraper
is a device with a rigid plastic blade on a handle. It is used to
remove cells from a rigid substrate, such as a tissue culture dish or flask.
Cell culture dishes or tissue culture plates
are used to culture cells (normally
adherent cells) in vitro. These dishes are generally circular in shape and have
lids to protect contaminants from entering them. These dishes are completely
transparent (clear) so you can look at your cells under a microscope.
Cell culture flasks
are also used to culture cells (normally in suspension) in
vitro. The body of these flasks generally has a rectangular shape. They also
have a small neck opening with a removal cap, which occasionally has a vent
(vented flasks) for gas exchange.
Cuvettes
are small, transparent, square tubes and can come with or without
lids depending on the type of cuvette:
Electroporation cuvettes
are the type of cuvettes used in molecular biology
as a way of introducing foreign substances, such as DNA, RNA, etc., into a
cell. This type of cuvette has a removable lid.
Spectroscopic cuvettes
are used to hold samples for spectroscopic reading of
DNA, RNA, and proteins. This type of cuvette often does not have a lid.
Filter
is a porous paper used to remove particles and bacteria from a liquid
sample. In biomedical research, filters are often used to sterilize solutions,
such as media and buffers that contain heat-sensitive proteins since autoclav
ing may denature them. Solutions containing antibiotics, growth factors, or
certain chemicals (such as SDS) are often filter-sterilized. The following are
examples of different types of filter supplies:
Bottle-top filters
are filters that are mounted securely onto glass or plastic
bottles.
Syringe filters
are filters that are screwed securely onto syringes. These are
designed to filter small amounts of liquid samples.
Inoculation loop
(also called
smear loop
or
wand
) is a circular-shaped wire
(loop) with a handle. It is used to isolate pure bacteria colonies. Inoculation
loops are generally made of metal; however, you can also find individually
wrapped, single-use, plastic ones.
Microplate
is a plate of standardized size with a large number of wells, typi
cally 96 or 384, arranged in orderly rows. The large number of wells allows for
many different reactions to be carried out at the same time. These plates are
often used for immunoassays, ELISA, etc.
Petri dishes
are generally used to culture bacteria. These dishes look very
similar to tissue culture dishes. Petri dishes can also be used to culture animal
cells as long as you coat these dishes with an extracellular matrix, such as col
lagen, laminin, or lysine, to allow anchorage-dependent cells to attach to the
plates.
Unit XI
The Laboratory Environment
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Laboratory Equipment and Consumables
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warm room
is a room that generally operates at a temperature of 37°C and at
a constant humidity. Warm rooms are often used to grow bacterial cultures.
Darkrooms
are light-tight rooms where light cannot penetrate when the door
is closed. Dark rooms are generally used for light-sensitive activities, such
as developing film. This type of room is usually equipped with a small red
safelight so one can see in the dark while carrying out light-sensitive experi
ments. A “darkroom in use” sign is provided outside this room. This sign is
hard-wired to the safelight, so when the safelight is turned on, the “darkroom
in use” sign is illuminated. This lets other researchers know that someone is
working on a light-sensitive activity or experiment in the darkroom (i.e., do
not dare to attempt opening the door).
Radioactive rooms
are enclosed areas where radioactive work is performed.
These rooms are often secured, access is strictly controlled, and the doors are
normally locked. Access is restricted at all times from anyone not authorized to
use radioactive isotopes. Only personnel that have undergone radiation train
ing can have access to this type of room. A radioactive room can also be referred
to as a ‘hot room.’ Hot room is an informal term for radioactive room.
Tissue culture rooms
are equipped to perform in vitro culture of cells or tissue
cultures, which normally includes one or more tissue culture hoods, an incuba
tor, a water bath, a bench-top centrifuge, and an inverted phase microscope.
Microscope rooms
house one or more microscopes to evaluate tissues and/or
cultures at the cellular level.
Storage rooms
are small enclosed spaces where unused equipment or excess
consumables are stored or kept until needed. It is similar to a closet in a house,
only bigger.
Laboratory Equipment and Consumables
Glassware Commonly Found in a Laboratory
Each piece of laboratory glassware has a name and a purpose. Being a scien
tist, you probably already know the purpose of each piece of glassware pictured
below. However, you may not know the correct English names for them. Use the
images below to learn the English names of different types of laboratory glassware.
Please note that some of the glassware listed below can be made of plastic for
cost and convenience reasons.
The most common laboratory glassware items are pictured in the gure below:
Commonly Used Laboratory Consumables
Consumables in a lab refer to items that must be replaced regularly because they
are used up. Most consumables in a lab are disposable items, meaning that they
are designed to be thrown away after each use (or after several uses). Below is a
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The Laboratory Environment
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pH Paper/pH Strip
Both terms describe special paper used to measure the acidity or alkalin
ity of a solution. The only difference between these terms is that a pH strip
describes a narrow piece of pH paper.
Table-top/Bench-top
Both words are normally used as adjectives to describe equipment that can be
used on top of a table or bench. These two words are used to describe equip
ment made or designed to operate while sitting on a table or work bench. For
example, bench-top or table-top centrifuges are smaller and compact com
pared to oor-model centrifuges.
Fume hood/Fume cupboard/Chemical hood
All describe the same thing: a partially enclosed workspace or piece of equip
ment designed to keep hazardous gases and vapors away from the work
atmosphere and limit personnel exposure to hazardous fumes.
Types of Biomedical Research Laboratories
Laboratories are generally classied as wet, dry, or combined wet/dry:
Wet laboratories or spaces are areas fitted with appropriate plumbing and
ventilation, such as sinks, tap water, purified water, gas/vacuum lines, chemical
storage, etc. Hands-on experimentation generally occurs in such laboratories.
Dry laboratories or spaces are areas that do not have sinks or drains. These
types of laboratories involve work with computers and state-of-the-art instru
ments, such as confocal and electron microscopes. Multidisciplinary fields such
as bioinformatics and computational biology tend to use dry laboratories.
Biomedical research facilities generally house combined wet/dry
laboratories.
Research carried out in biomedical research laboratories require special
ized observation space used to house powerful computers and sophisticated
software to process and analyze data generated by wet-lab experiments. For
example, a researcher will prepare his sample in a wet space and analyze his
sample using a confocal microscope in an adjacent room (a dry space).
Rooms Within a Large Laboratory
Laboratory space is generally partitioned into a large main room and several
smaller rooms. Most experimental work is carried out in the main room; however,
specic activities or experiments must be carried out in a separate room. Below
is a list of rooms found in a typical research laboratory.
Controlled-environment rooms
are rooms with special temperature and
humidity control. These include cold rooms and warm rooms.
cold room
is a walk-in refrigerator that generally operates at a tempera
ture of 4°C.
Commonly Misused or Misunderstood Terms
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of up to 100°C, whereas lab ovens usually have a maximum temperature of
around 200–300°C. Laboratory ovens are often used for drying glassware or
purging glassware of RNase activity. Incubators are often used for the culture
of micro-organisms and animal cells.
Stir rod/Stir bar
Both are used to stir liquid in asks or beakers. However, a stirring rod is a
long slender cylinder made of glass or chemical resistant plastic used to stir
solutions by hand. A stir bar is a small, white, plastic-coated magnet often
used in conjunction with a plate stirrer.
Scalpel/Blade/Razor
A scalpel is a small, straight, thin-bladed knife used in dissections. It consists
of a blade and a handle. A blade is the cutting part of a knife, whereas a razor
is a cutting instrument used to shave unwanted hair from the skin.
Scoopula/Spatula
A scoopula is a rolled-up stainless-steel utensil with one bevelled end and one
blunt end. It is generally used to transfer a small quantity of solid compounds
from a container into a weighing vessel. A spatula is a at, thin utensil used
for spreading, mixing, or scooping substances.
Light box/UV transilluminator
Both are box-shaped devices that contain lamps mounted within the box and
have a white-glass or plastic cover. Both devices provide an illuminated viewing
surface for ne detailed inspections. However, a light box uses white light to
view items, such as autoradiography lms, transparencies, cultures, etc. In
contrast, a UV transilluminator uses UV light to view DNA/RNA in agarose
gels stained with ethidium bromide.
Hot plate/Heat block
A hot plate is a small device used to heat solutions in glass beakers, asks,
bottles, and other glassware. It has a at work surface so that it can be used
with a variety of sizes of glassware. Unlike a hot plate, a heat block is a
device that does not have a at surface; instead it has holes where tubes can
be inserted. It is used to heat samples in tubes. Most heat blocks can accom
modate various tube sizes.
Here are a few technical terms used in most laboratory settings that have virtu
ally the same meaning and that you may nd are often used interchangeably:
Coverslip/Cover glass/Cover slide
All are protectors that are placed over specimens on microscope slides. They
come in three basic shapes: circular, square, or rectangular.
Weighing dish/Weigh boat
Both are used for handling solid or liquid samples, especially for general
purpose weighing. They come in various shapes. Weighing dishes are often
referred to as ones that are circular in shape.
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The Laboratory Environment
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Rocker/Shaker
Both items are used to mix or agitate samples within asks or tubes. However,
a shaker moves in a rotating motion, whereas a rocker moves in a back-and-
forth or side-to-side motion (like a cradle). A shaker is generally used to grow
bacteria or yeast. A rocker is often used to mix contents in a test tube.
Weight/Mass
In everyday use, the terms weight and mass are often used interchangeably;
however, this is incorrect. The difference between these two words can be
quite confusing to many people. Weight can be dened as the force of gravity
on an object. It is the force with which the earth pulls on the object. Mass, on
the other hand, is the amount of matter in an object.
Balance/Scale
In everyday English, a ‘balance’ is often used as a synonym for a ‘scale.’ How
ever, in technical or scientic context, the meaning of ‘balance’ and ‘scale’
are different. A balance is an instrument used to measure the weight of an
object, whereas a scale is used to measure the mass of an object. The differ
ence between weight and mass has been given above.
Lab book/Log book
Lab book (also known as a laboratory notebook) and log book have the same
meaning: both are books to record day-to-day activities. In some laborato
ries, the terms ‘lab book’ and ‘log book’ are used interchangeably. However, in
other laboratories a lab book and a log book have slightly different meanings:
a laboratory book is a primary record of personal research and a log book is
used to record the performance of equipment and track users of equipment.
This type of log book is important for properly maintaining equipment.
Film wrap/Foil wrap
Film wrap (also known as cling lm or plastic wrap) is a clear, thin, exible
plastic covering used to wind or fold around something. Foil wrap (also known
as tin foil) is thin aluminium covering used to wrap around something. For
example, aluminium foil can be used to cover asks prior to autoclaving. Film
wrap can be used to wrap membrane lters or other blots to keep them from
drying out.
Spray bottle/Wash bottle
A spray bottle has a trigger pump and nozzle; however, it is not a pressurized
container. For example, most window and glass cleaners come in spray bot
tles. Unlike the spray bottle, a wash bottle is a squeeze dispensing bottle with
an angled spout; one must squeeze the bottle to draw out uid. This type of
bottle is often used to rinse beakers or lab benches.
Oven/Incubator
It can be difcult to distinguish visually between an oven and incubator since
they often look very similar. The difference between the two is the maximum
temperature specication. Incubators generally have maximum temperatures
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Unit XI
The Laboratory Environment
In this unit we take a look at the research laboratory environment in English.
Our goal is to help you identify and refer correctly to various types of rooms,
pieces of equipment, and other devices typically found in a biomedical research
lab. Lack of uency in this area may often be a source of frustration for non-
native researchers, who need to point embarrassingly at or undertake convoluted
descriptions of facilities that they cannot nd the right word for. In addition,
native English-speaking researchers face the bafing challenge of deciphering
what their non-native English-speaking colleagues are trying to say.
This unit will increase your command of English terminology and scientic
slang related to the lab, and will provide you with the tools to say and write
exactly what you mean. It will boost your condence and help you communicate
with your colleagues more effectively when technical issues or difculties arise
and need to be sorted out.
Commonly Misused or Misunderstood Terms
There are technical terms used in laboratories that non-native English speakers
often get wrong. Some words can be confusing even for native English speak
ers. For instance, the differences between a rocker and a shaker, or between a
stir rod and a stir bar, might be elusive not only to foreign scientists but also to
less experienced native ones. This rst section of the unit attempts to demystify
some common terms used in a biomedical laboratory setting that we have all too
often stumbled over.
Instruments/Equipment
All instruments are equipment, but not all equipment comprises instruments.
An instrument is a device used to record, measure, or process data. Equip
ment is apparatus needed to perform a task.
For example, a thermometer is used to measure the temperature of a solu
tion; therefore, it is considered an instrument. However, a hotplate is used to
heat solutions. A hotplate does not measure or record data; therefore, it is not
an instrument.
R. Ribes et al.,
English for Biomedical Scientists,
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-77127-2_11, © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009
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Unit X
Questions you will have to be ready to ask the interviewers
What do you value the most and expect
from an ideal candidate?
You already know some of that from the job
tion.
Remember in our example: “Highly motivated,
mature and responsible scientist committed to working
job negotiation. But you cannot negotiate with what
Questions and Answers
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Do you prefer working alone or
The right answer is always the latter. Think of examples you
can provide from your work history (e.g., students trained,
joint ventures with colleagues, combined projects…). Do
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Questions you will be asked at the interview
Tell us about yourself
This is a classic, and you must have an articulate answer
well rehearsed and ready. Do not simply repeat your résumé
point by point; they have that information already and it is
not what they are looking for. Do not provide them either
Questions and Answers
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Questions and Answers
Questions you have to ask yourself in preparation for the interview
What are the primary objectives of the
Why am I interested in this job?
This should be the main initial focus of your research
of the company and the post. You must be able to
explain reasons of your interest in the job to your
employer, to explain them in English, and to sup
port those reasons on a good understanding of the
company and what the post entails. As we mentioned
above, you should probably tell them why you are
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scenario, you’ve learned a lot and made yourself more experienced and competi
tive. But, is there anything else you can do the day after your interview?
Once you have cooled down and given yourself a treat, the day after the
interview is the time to reect on your performance in the real job interview
experience. The quality of your performance does not necessarily associate
with getting the job. Employers may be looking for a different prole or type of
person. If that was the case, it’s possibly not such a bad thing for you to realize,
even at this later stage, that the job was not right for you. Don’t take it personally
though if the outcome is not positive. Remember that to some extent it was just
a performance, and that you are taking a good deal of experience from it with
you. The key consideration here is identifying what you would do the same or
differently in the next interview.
On the other hand, if the outcome of the interview is not available immedi
ately, you may certainly want to contact the employer and send a follow-up thank
you letter. At the very least, you can thank them for their time and the opportu
nity to meet them. We include an example of such a type of letter below:
550 Holimont Crt
Hamilton, ON
August 7, 2008
Adelia I. Frade, PhD
Department of Biomedical Sciences
McMaster University Medical Centre
1200 Main Street West
Hamilton, ON L8N 3Z5
Dear Dr. Frade
I would like to express my sincere gratitude for meeting with me on Monday, August
6. I enjoyed learning more about your research and the position you described. I left
with the strong conviction that I will t in beautifully as a member of your research
team. And I would also like to reiterate my strong interest in the position you have
available
I look forward, Dr. Frade, to hearing from you concerning your hiring decision.
Again, thank you for your time and consideration
Sincerely
Adalgisa Fratelli
The Day After: What to do After Your Interview?
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Alternatively, you may want to choose a friend or colleague with a good level of
English. In any case, you must work seriously on this nal exercise, and make it
as real as you can. Otherwise, you won’t get much out of it. And when we say
real, we mean that you should wear the same clothes that you’re planning to wear
to the real interview, you should allocate the same time that you will be given
for the real interview, and you will have to set it up as a real interview: set up a
particular place for it, an agreed time, make sure that you introduce yourself to
the interviewer upon arrival, and act as you would do in the real interview. Your
mock interviewer will have to be given your CV, and the list of questions that
you want to rehearse ahead of time, and you will have to make him/her aware
that you want the mock interview to be carried out in as realistic a way as pos
sible. This is the time to act your interviewee role at your best. So, warm up, get
ready and enjoy the experience! Do you think that this may be stressful or silly?
Well, on the real interview day you’ll be happy that you made the effort.
What Else Should You do on the Day of the Interview?
The only thing that kept your thorough preparation and your mock inspection
from being a real rehearsal is that it didn’t take place on the real set. On the
day of the job interview you must give yourself plenty of time to get ready and
arrive on the set of the interview well ahead of time. Make sure that you have
a look around the interview facilities, make yourself familiar with the environ
ment, and make yourself feel comfortable there. Also make sure that you look
good and feel good about the way you look for your interview. In addition, try
to remember all the positive qualities that you have revised about yourself, and
focus on the added value that you can bring to the advertised job. Keep your one
or two main strengths in your mind and try to feel good about the expectations
of sharing those with the interviewers. Remind yourself of all the work you have
done to prepare for the interview, and of how you have covered the majority of
topics, questions, and answers that you are likely to have to deal with.
The chances are that despite your preparation you’ll be a little nervous on the
day of your interview. That is not only normal, but probably good as well. Normal
people get nervous in situations of this kind. And a little nervousness will give you
the energy and drive to make the effort in the interview. It makes you more alert,
possibly smarter. You are ready to go. So, enjoy the ride, and the interview rush.
The Day After: What to do After Your Interview?
The rst thing you should do after you are done with the interview is treat
ing yourself to something special you know you will enjoy. You’ve gone all the
way through with your interview in English. Congratulations! In the worst case
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the interviewers are the most decisive part of your job interview. They are not an
option. You must ask questions. Just put yourself in the interviewers’ shoes. They
are very busy people; they have kindly called you in to get to know you better and
to nd out more about your suitability for the post; a post that they have an obvi
ous interest in and would like to recruit the best candidate for. And you don’t have
either the intelligence or the professional courtesy to formulate a few meaningful
questions (?). You might as well have arrived at the interview late, with a sloppy
appearance, and checked text messages on your cell phone halfway through. The
outcome is going to be just as bad. Not asking any questions equals, in the inter
viewers minds, one or several of the following: you are too uninterested in the job
to make the effort to inquire any further; you are too easily intimidated to interact
proactively with your potential employer; you are too stupid to conclude any
thing out of 10, 20 or 30 minutes of conversation with them; or you are too disre
spectful to really grab the opportunity they are giving you to get the post. In any
case, it will surely kill any chances to be offered the post that you may have created
up to that point. So, prepare several meaningful questions for the interviewers.
Even if some of them were possibly addressed earlier during the interview (those
you obviously would not ask again at the end), you will still have a few relevant
questions to discuss with the panel at the end. We will provide you with some
examples of such questions at the end of the unit. Make sure you do prepare them
in advance directly in English, write them down, and rehearse them.
Practice, Practice, Practice…
Yes, we know. The need for thorough planning and rehearsing of your presenta
tion has been present in other sections of this unit. Even for native English-speak
ing candidates undergoing a job interview, there is never too much planning and
practice. Obviously, non-natives have to make an extra effort. Practicing will
improve your level of performance. More importantly, it will boost your self-
condence, reduce your anticipated stress, and allow you to perform at a high
level, close to your skill in your own language. So, practice, practice, practice…
How do you practice? We recommend you to put all the information you have
collected in writing: your skills, your training, your strengths, your employer’s
information, and a list of questions and answers, all in English. Once you have
all that material ready you will have to practice with it. And when we say prac
tice, we mean practice for real; as real as you can get it. Practice on your own
at rst, but practice for your real job interview with a real mock interview. The
same way that after watching the downhill skiing championships on the sports
channel, and after talking to skier friends, you had better take a practical skiing
course before going on the slopes on your own, once you’ve done your research
and prepared for your interview, you have to do a real training session. This is a
mock interview. And for a real mock interview, you need a real mock interviewer.
Our advice would be that you ask your English teacher to mock interview you.
You Must Prepare for Your Interview
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try it on. Make sure that it fits and that you feel comfortable with it. Go out
on the street or to your current job wearing it and see what feed-back you
get from other people. You may feel surprised by the positive effect of mak
ing that little effort. Looking good and feeling good about the way you look
for your job interview will also increase your confidence and will make you
perform better on the day.
Behave appropriately. The main goal of your physical communication with
the interviewers is to help create a positive atmosphere for communication.
You have to keep your body language open and relaxed, and show that you
listen and that you focus on your interaction with them. Keeping eye contact
during the discussion is an obvious part of such an open body language. But
do not put all your attention on a long list of physical do’s and don’ts (e.g., how
to sit on the chair, how to use your hands …), that may end up making you
behave unnaturally and too self-consciously. Try to keep the focus on com
municating a positive message, as well as your strengths and value for the post.
It should go without saying that you must avoid anything that would make
you or the interviewers uncomfortable or nervous during the interview. Put
your cell phone (
mobile phone) and beeper on silent. The only thing more
embarrassing and annoying than an interviewer’s cell phone interrupting the
interview is your own phone ringing in the middle of your interview. One
additional piece of advice is to remove all keys, coins, or other metal objects
from your pockets so that you are not tempted to rattle them around.
Be prepared to answer questions. That is correct: spontaneity in a foreign
language must be prepared for. Most questions do not just happen randomly.
They can and must be predicted. You should be able to identify the major
ity of potential loose ends in your résumé, as well as the employer’s areas of
interest from where open questions may come. At the end of the unit we will
provide you with additional model questions to practice with. Do not leave
questions and answers unprepared until the day of the interview. Work on
them in advance and prepare your answers directly in English. Write them
down and rehearse them. You’ll be happy you did it right at the very second
that you hear the interviewer formulating a question that you have prepared
for. You won’t only have an answer in English ready, but your confidence will
multiply right on the spot and your answer will be more convincing.
Be prepared to ask questions. The most common, predictable, and critical
question in a job interview is the last one:
“Well, Ms Wu. We would like to thank you for making the time to come down
to this interview and for answering our questions. We still have time before we
nish, and we would like to know:
do you have any questions for us?
Some interviewees would actually wrongly believe that at this point their interview
job is nearly nished. Even more in the case of non-native interviewees speaking
in English, the easiest way out of this challenge would appear to be shrugging
their shoulders and not asking any questions to nish as soon as possible. With
out a doubt, this would be an UNFORGIVABLE MISTAKE. Your questions to
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at? Also, you should project yourself into the job. Try and see yourself in the post
and gure out which of your current skills they may lack, and which you could
bring into the job and the team.
You Must Prepare for Your Interview
Preparation is the key to a smooth interview process for any candidate. But if
you are being interviewed in a foreign language, preparation is even more criti
cal. You do not want to take the chance of improvising here. In addition, having
prepared thoroughly for your interview will reduce your nervousness and make
you more condent and uent.
At the end of the day, a job interview is an interactive performance with the
main objective of selling yourself as the ideal candidate for the post. We have
already gone through several aspects of presenting in English in unit VII, and
would like to go back to that discussion and apply it to the job interview setting.
As we put it before, being a good researcher or a competent scientist is not the
same thing as being a stand-up comedian, an actor or a model. Your only goal
is communicating with the interviewers. Keep in mind that the members of an
interview panel for a research post are not professional interviewers. They are
scientists and academics and their real goal is to make sure they hire the candi
date that is going to t best in the group, they are going to be happy supervising,
and that is most likely to be productive. In a nutshell, they are looking for the
candidate that they like (professionally) the best. So, you must prepare yourself
to make them like you the best, and you cannot afford to overlook the way that
you present yourself:
Overcome your fears: fear of failure in obtaining the job, fear of making a
fool of yourself with the language barrier, failure of rejection … and focus on
communicating. You will never know how well you can do if you do not try.
Give yourself and the employers some credit. If the employers called you in to
find out more about your potential in an interview, they must be interested in
what you have to say. In a way, you do belong there already.
Dress appropriately. A professional appearance is a good way to let the
employer know that you know what is appropriate in the workplace. And
it doesn’t require any conversational effort. Keep in mind that appropriate
dressing means different things for different people. Also, it varies with the
type of job, the level of seniority, and the culture that they belong to. In case
of doubt, our advice would be to lean more towards a conservative style, more
so than you would normally follow for your everyday hands-on lab work. At
the end of the day, you will be judged by your professional image. If you are
still unsure about the way to dress, you may want to try accessing photos of
the people in the lab from the center’s website biographical sketches, the net,
or even try and pay an undercover visit to the university or centre to look at
it firsthand. Once you make a decision about your interview attire, you must
Find Out About the Employer and Interviewers
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Applications:
Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position has
been lled. Please send CV, cover letter and 3 reference contacts to: George Chen,
Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle WA 98195. E-mail:
[email protected]
Let’s imagine that you sent in your application and you have been short-listed to
be interviewed. There will be two other candidates for the post.
What are the chances that your credentials will be signicantly different from
the other candidates’?
Very small, we should think. People without a PhD in the eld or lacking the
type of experience requested would not have made it through the cut into the
interview. People with far greater experience would be unlikely to apply for a
postdoctoral position funded by a research project for two years with potential
caveats for someone more senior, such as unclear expectations for the longer
term.
So, if the other candidates come in with basically comparable résumés, the
interview is your real chance to show that you are the best candidate beyond
what’s on your résumé; your chance to show that you are indeed the best t for
the job. How do you do that?
Find Out About the Employer and Interviewers
Before going to a job interview you must learn about your potential employer
and interviewers. You must know about their research interests and be aware
of their published work, in particular recent work. And beyond what you may
nd in the scientic literature, you should nd out additional useful informa
tion about them. Check the web page of the company or university. Check their
newsletters and brochures, their annual activity reports, or at the very least just
go ahead and google them!
Knowing about your potential employer is also useful for you in that you can
better judge whether the job is right for you or not. When you decide that the
job is good for you, you must be able to explain your reasons to the employer, to
explain them in English, and to support those reasons on a good understanding
of the company and what the post entails. This understanding can only come
from thorough research. You must prepare to be able to tell the interviewers
about your interest in the post, and as long as you have prepared it well, we think
that you may want to tell them whether or not they ask you about it.
Researching your potential employer and interviewers will also provide you
with useful information to try and put yourself in their position. Put yourself in
the interviewers’ shoes and think of the way they are going to be looking at you
from the other side of the table. What is it that they are looking for? What are
the current areas of interest and future directions that they seem to be pointing
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so, many non-native English-speaking candidates put all their attention on the
possible language-barrier difculty when facing a job interview in English. We
understand that you may neither be at your best in English, nor feel as convinc
ing as you may be in your own language. For this reason, this chapter will take
you through the various steps of a job interview in English and provide you
with examples and model questions and answers to get you ready for your inter
view. These tools will help you refocus away from the language itself and back
on professional issues that are more likely to be decisive in the hiring decision.
Practising is no doubt required for all applicants, and it is even more critical for
non-native speakers. But do not get overstressed, the majority of English-speaking
employers and PIs do indeed appreciate and value the additional effort that
international scientists have to make in order to settle in an English-speaking
environment. And that appreciation works to your advantage.
You Are More Than Your Résumé
Even if your CV was good at getting you an interview, you have got much more
to offer in that interview that what’s on your CV. Moreover, you have got to offer
much more in that interview that what’s on your CV. Employers and PIs are busy
people. If all that they were interested in could be read in a résumé, they would
not bother interviewing anybody. They would just appoint whoever handed in
the best CV. But they don’t. So, what is it that they want? What will they be
expecting from you in your interview?
Let’s take a look at the following job advertisement for a minute:
August 1
, 2008
Postdoctoral Position in Neurodevelopmental Biology, Seattle, Washington
Description:
Postdoctoral position available for NSF funded project to study the molecular
basis of brain development in Dr. George Chen’s laboratory at the University of
Washington in Seattle. Current focus of research is on transcription factors as key
regulators of development, in particular TXUK and SOX families that regulate
tissue differentiation. Funding is available for 2 years beginning April 1st, 2009.
Requirements:
PhD in Neurosciences, molecular, cellular, developmental biology or related eld.
Basic cellular and molecular biology and microscopy skills required. Ability to
perform in situ hybridizations, cloning and transgenic techniques desired. Highly
motivated, mature and responsible scientist committed to working in a competitive
academic environment sought.
BookID 158386_ChapID 10_Proof# 1 -
Unit X
nit I
has just shown you how to write a CV and cover letter that can make
your qualications and experience look competitive for a job application. So, if
you got invited for an interview: congratulations, you’ve successfully passed the
rst round! The job, however, is far from over. If you want to nish it and get
an offer for the position that you are applying for, you will have to conrm that
good initial impression from your résumé in a job interview. Even more, as a
non-native English-speaking applicant, you will have to conrm that good rst
impression in an interview held in a language that is not your own.
Self-condence is your most effective quality in a job interview. You will have to
look inside yourself, remember who you are, what you have done so far, why you
are applying to that particular post, and identify everything that you have to offer
to the potential employer. And then, you will have to sell it. In a job interview, the
employers expect you to provide them with all the additional information that
they couldn’t get from your résumé to help them make a fully informed decision
about the right candidate for the post. And there is no other way to do so than by
talking about your own assets and strengths. Presenting yourself in a job interview
in a negative way that apologizes for the things you haven’t done rather than
making a strong case for the things you have done is not a sign of honesty. It is a
sign of plain stupidity. The likely outcome of such an approach is that the job will
go to someone else. And rightly so, we’d dare to add. Some people, however, would
rather play themselves down than making the effort to present an accurate and
exciting image of themselves. If you are one of them, you may want to skip this
unit. But if you value yourself and are willing to make the effort to defend your
value in a job interview in English, you will nd this unit particularly useful. Here,
we will provide you with specic information and advice to successfully face this
challenge. We’ll go through your preparation up to the day of the interview, as well
as the interview itself, and give some notes on what to do the day after.
You Are More Than Your Level of English
It is pretty obvious that when applying for a job in biomedical sciences in
an English-speaking lab, the language is just a means to an end (i.e., effective
communication) and not the focus of either your job or job interview. Even
R. Ribes et al.,
English for Biomedical Scientists,
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-77127-2_10, © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009
BookID 158386_ChapID 10_Proof# 1 -
Harvard Medical School
25 Shattuck Street
Boston, MA 02115
August 10, 2008
Adelia I. Frade, PhD
Department of Biomedical Sciences
McMaster University Medical Centre
1200 Main Street West
Hamilton, ON L8N 3Z5
Dear Dr. Adelia Frade,
It is with great pleasure that I write this recommendation for Dr. John A. Smith.
I have known Dr. Smith for ve years, both as his employer at Harvard Medical
School from 2000 through 2003, and as a professional colleague.
Dr. Smith is a talented young scientist on an upward path of career growth.
During his time in my laboratory, he performed at a very high level. He showed
highly developed scientic skills, sound knowledge of multiple areas in Devel
opmental Biology, and had an excellent command of the literature. He combines
these talents with a very strong work ethic to make him particularly productive.
This is reected in the fact that he has published ve scientic papers in prestig
ious scientic journals in just three years.
Beyond his scientic skills, Dr. Smith has all the interpersonal traits that one looks
for in a colleague. Dr. Smith is friendly, interactive, and conscientious. Moreover,
he has a procient degree of maturity and independence for his young age.
I am condent that Dr. Smith will become a valued member of your laboratory.
I recommend him without reservation. If I may provide you with any further
information in your consideration of Dr. Smith, please feel free to contact me.
Sincerely,
Tina Alongi, PhD
Professor of Biology
Harvard Medical School
(617) 432-1550 Ofce
(617) 432-3307 (Fax)
[email protected]
Unit IX
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Unit IX
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Unit IX
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Example 3
A referral letter is very similar to a speculative cover letter; the only main
difference is that you need to include the name of the person who referred you
to the laboratory in the rst paragraph. Let’s take the previous example and
adapt it accordingly.
Via dei Capocci 203
00184 Rome, Italy
July 10, 2008
Domenico I. Sirolli, PhD
Department of Neuroscience
Stanford University
300 Pasteur Drive
Stanford, CA, USA
Dear Dr. Sirolli,
I am writing this letter
following the advice of Dr Tim Horttons, my thesis
supervisor
, to inquire about the possibility of obtaining a Postdoctoral position
within your research group. I enclosed a copy of my CV for your consideration.
I am currently a PhD student
Dr Horttons’ group
in the Department of
Biomedical Sciences at La Sapienza University in Rome, expecting to complete
my degree requirements in September 2008. My PhD thesis project is under the
guidance and supervision of Professor Tim Horttons. In my thesis project,
I looked at the ability of transplanted neural stem cells containing a reporter
gene to rescue injured tissue after ischemic injury in mice. I also characterised
the effects of ischemic injury on the endogenous population of stem cells in the
subventricular zone and found these cells are activated; which then lead me to
determine the molecular signals that are responsible for their activation.
My laboratory skills involved generating constructs and transgenic mice and
analysing the migration of both the endogenous and transplanted stem cell by
in situ hybridistion and immunohistochemistry. I believe that this prole may
t well with the research interests and focus of your group.
I would be grateful if you would consider me for any current or future vacancies
that might arise with your laboratory.
Sincerely,
Marisa Di Prata
Curriculum Vitae
BookID 158386_ChapID 9_Proof# 1 -
Example 2
Here is an example of a speculative cover letter for an unadvertised postdoctoral
position. In this case, always address the letter to a specic person by name and title.
Via dei Capocci 203
00184 Rome, Italy
July 10, 2008
Domenico I. Sirolli, PhD
Department of Neuroscience
Stanford University
300 Pasteur Drive
Stanford, CA, USA
Dear Dr. Sirolli,
I am writing this letter to inquire about the possibility of obtaining a Postdoc
toral position within your research group. I have enclosed a copy of my CV for
your consideration.
I am currently a PhD student in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at La
Sapienza University in Rome, expecting to complete my degree requirements
in September 2008. My PhD thesis project is under the guidance and supervi
sion of Professor Tim Horttons. In my thesis project, I looked at the ability
of transplanted neural stem cells containing a reporter gene to rescue injured
tissue after ischemic injury in mice. I also characterised the effects of ischemic
injury on the endogenous population of stem cells in the subventricular zone
and found these cells are activated; which then lead me to determine the
molecular signals that are responsible for their activation.
My laboratory skills involved generating constructs and transgenic mice and
analysing in the migration of both the endogenous and transplanted stem cell
by in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. I believe that this prole
may t well with the research interests and focus of your group.
I would be grateful if you would consider me for any current or future vacancies
that might arise with your laboratory.
Sincerely,
Marisa Di Prata
Unit IX
BookID 158386_ChapID 9_Proof# 1 -
Example 1
This is a sample cover letter for a position as a research assistant at an academic
institution, and it is written in response to a publicized job listing.
28 Woodstock Road
Oxford, England
OX2 6HB
August 2, 2008
Human Resources
McMaster University Medical Centre
Hamilton, ON, Canada
Dear Sir or Madam:
Please consider my application for the Research Assistant position, Job Open
ing Number 94563. I am particularly interested in this position, which relates
strongly to my eight years of experience as a research assistant in several world-
class universities.
I am originally from France, where I received a four year degree in Biological
Sciences with a minor in Chemistry from École Normale Superieure de Paris in
2000. Subsequently, I moved to Boston (Massachusetts), where I gained valuable
experience in neurodevelopmental biology while working as a Research Technician
in the laboratory of Professor Charles Paulines at Harvard Medical School. Since
July 2004, I have been working as a Research Assistant in the neurodevelop
mental genetics laboratory of Professor William Smith at Oxford University. My
eight year work experience has provided me with a solid foundation for research.
I believe that this experience would be of value for the position advertised.
Thank you for your consideration of my application. My résumé is enclosed for
your perusal. Please contact me should you require any further information.
Yours faithfully,
Amélie Dubois
Curriculum Vitae
BookID 158386_ChapID 9_Proof# 1 -
are writing to. You also need to demonstrate to the potential employer why
they would want you in their laboratory. Sell yourself!
Referral cover letters
are letters sent to potential employers that you came to
know through your friends or colleagues. Never underestimate the power of
networking. Employers often prefer to hire someone who is known to at least
one colleague. Referral cover letters are very similar to speculative cover let
ters, the main difference being that a referral cover letter should mention the
individual who referred you to the job, employer, or laboratory.
In this unit we provide you with a few examples of cover letters. The details are,
of course, ctitious. These letters should only be used as a guide since your cover
letter should illustrate your own skills and education, and should be customized
to meet the needs of the potential employer and the type of post that you are
applying for.
Unit IX
BookID 158386_ChapID 9_Proof# 1 -
Curriculum Vitae
BookID 158386_ChapID 9_Proof# 1 -
RESEARCH TECHNICIAN
July 1998-2000
Sr. Research Technician
August 2000-April 2002
Harvard University
Boston, MA, USA
conducted neuro-oncology experiments: specifically with regards to
growth factors, receptors and signalling pathways that are relevant in the
pathogenesis of central and peripheral nerve tumours
generated, purified, characterized and utilized activated state specific
phosphopeptide antibodies to receptor tyrosine kinases
conducted in vivo studies on potential chemotherapeutic drug STI571
performed culture, maintenance, and generation of protein extracts from
several different cell lines
performed Western blot analysis
examined the differentiation potential of primary stem cells using retrovi
ral and adenoviral ectopic expression systems
performed immunohistochemistry/immunocytochemistry
performed RNA purification & Northern blot analysis
performed DNA purification & PCR analysis
prepared and transformed competent cells
assisted with the general, common laboratory work of making solutions,
autoclaving, and similar duties
PUBLICATIONS
Selected signicant publications are listed below. Full list is available upon request.
MacKenzie, A., Abbott, J. and Macdonald, J.A. (2008) “Identication and charac
terization of the mouse PDGFR
gene”, Nature
, 454-466.
MacKenzie, A., Laurier, W., Thompson, J. and Macdonald, J.A. (2007) “PDGFRalpha
gene mutation and protein expression in glioma brain tumors”, Oncology
, 91-97.
Stronzo, S., Bennett, R.B., MacKenzie, A., Chang, L., Wang, F. and Miller, A.
(2004) “PAC modication and generation of Sox10-Cre transgenic mice”,
Genesis
, 335-346.
AWARDS
Canadian Graduate Scholarship (CGS) Award 2005
Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA) 1998
REFERENCES AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
Unit IX
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Alex Mackenzie
29 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON M5V 2Z5
EDUCATION
Ph.D. IN Developmental Biology
To be completed in 2008
University of Toronto
Toronto, ON, CA

“The role of platelet-derived growth factor receptor
development”, supervised by Drs. John Abbott and Alan Davis.
Harvard University

Introduction to Immunology
Introduction to Cancer Biology
HONORS B.Sc. IN BIOLOGY
Completed 1999
McGill University
Montreal, QC, CA

Major in Biology, minor in Chemistry with relevant courses including
Microbiology, Molecular & Cellular Biology, Biochemistry, Molecular Genet
ics, Bacterial Genetics, and Virology.
RESEARCH EXPERIENCE
RESEARCH ASSISTANT
June 2002-April 2004
University of Cambridge
Cambridge, UK
gained extensive knowledge of bacterial genetic techniques, including the
ligation of gene clones, plasmid extraction, DNA digestion with restriction
enzymes, Northern and Southern blot transfers, the preparation of competent
bacteria and aseptic technique
performed library screening
participated in the animal research section of the laboratory by the
generation, characterization and utilization of transgenic mouse lines
trained in the isolation, modification and purification of P1 derived
Artificial Chromosomes (PACs) for the generation of transgenic mice
expertise in pronuclear DNA microinjection in mouse embryos and
embryo transfer
maintained several mice colonies
performed sample preparation and tissue staining/labeling, such as Immu
nohistochemistry, In Situ Hybridization, LacZ, BrdU, Sudan Black
experienced in light, fluorescence and confocal microscopy
served as a liaison between the laboratory and the Institute’s Genetic
Modification Safety Officer to ensure proper and valid assessments have been
made on the risks to human health and safety and to the environment
Curriculum Vitae
BookID 158386_ChapID 9_Proof# 1 -
Major achievements – Here you can add awards, scholarships, fellowships,
prizes and grants.
Publications – This section typically appears near the end of a CV. If you have
numerous publications then select the most important and relevant papers.
You can state that a full list is available upon request.
Things NOT to include in your CV:
A picture of yourself (unless you’re applying for a modeling or acting position).
Personal details not relevant to the job such as date of birth, height, weight,
gender, sexual orientation, religion, race, marital status, whether or not you
have children, or even your hobbies. You should not be judged based on these
types of personal details.
Writing in the first person. Do not begin sentences with the word ‘I’ or ‘me.’
Replace these pronouns with action verbs such as Evaluated, Assessed, Estab
lished, Maintained, Researched, Developed, Coordinated.
Images, tables, text boxes.
Incorrect details or lies. These will often be discovered by the employer when
he/she does a reference or background check.
Past, current, and expected salary.
Past failures or health problems.
Reasons for leaving a job.
List of references. This is a waste of valuable space. Do not include them until
asked.
Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.
Making it too fancy and complicated by using colorful inks or fancy fonts.
Once you’re done writing your CV, you should always seek feedback. Ask your
trusted colleagues and friends to look it over and give you some advice.
Here is an example of a CV:
Unit IX
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Be concise and to the point. The evaluator will hardly have more than a few
minutes to spend on your CV and cover letter. The cover letter should consist
of one single page, and the CV should be no more than a few pages. This also
means that the most recent and important information should be at the top
of your CV.
Use dynamic action verbs and an upbeat and positive language, but keep it
under control and avoid exaggerated or inaccurate statements.
Make sure there are no spelling, grammar, or punctuation mistakes. Employers
will simply not tolerate any, regardless of being a native or non-native English
speaker.
Curriculum Vitae
Your CV, or résumé in American English, is a short summary of your education,
work experience, accomplishments, and other professional qualications for the
purpose of getting an interview when seeking a job. For most job applications, a
prospective employer or principal investigator (PI) will often take a few minutes
to read your CV and make a quick impersonal judgement of you. Therefore, you
need to hook the reader by making a great impression. Writing a good CV will
take time. There are no clear-cut rules governing the length and style of your
CV. However, your CV should always be clear, concise, informative, and easy-to-
read. Generally, it should only be a few pages in length. A longer or unfocused
CV, while somewhat more acceptable in other cultures and languages, will only
bore an English employer or admissions committee, and will surely nd its way
to the bin pretty quickly. The general tips on professional correspondence pro
vided above must be used when preparing your CV.
All CVs should contain the following essential components:
Personal information – This is placed at the start of the document, typically
as a header. It should contain information such as your full name, current
address, e-mail address, home phone number, and cellular number. Your
name should be the first text on the CV.
Education information – This is a vital section on your CV. List your educa
tion in reverse chronological order. Keep in mind that once you have a degree
and some work experience, anything less than a Bachelor’s degree can be left
out (such as primary and secondary education).
Training courses – List any work-related training courses which you have
attended.
Work experience – This is an essential element. Your work experience should
be listed in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent job and
moving backwards. Add details such as employer, position, dates (start and
finishing), and duties.
BookID 158386_ChapID 9_Proof# 1 -
Unit IX
Of all the non-native professionals targeted by the books in this series, biomedi
cal scientists are the most likely to actually move to an English-speaking country
to continue professional training and career development. Among the additional
English needs that this professional move will require from you, the rst task to
tackle is writing your curriculum vitae (CV) and its cover letter.
If you are looking for a post in biomedical sciences, your CV is not only a
brief written account of your personal, educational, and professional qualica
tions and experience. More importantly, your CV is your ticket to an interview.
Whether the interview is for a new job opportunity, a scholarship, or for accept
ance into graduate school, the way that your skills, education, experience, and
professional goals are presented on your CV will be determinant to being suc
cessfully invited for an interview. In addition, your CV should always be accom
panied by a cover letter. The purpose of the cover letter is not only to introduce
yourself to the employer or evaluator and express your interest in the position
that you are applying for. Your cover letter primarily gives you a brief oppor
tunity to capture the recipient’s attention and direct it towards information on
your CV that is of particular value for the post.
This unit will give general guidance for biomedical scientists on how to write a
CV and cover letter that stand out in English and, more importantly, for an
English-speaking evaluator. General guidance on the design, sections, and lay out of
CV and cover letters will be provided and explained with various examples and spe
cic templates. Professional correspondence goes well beyond CVs and cover letters.
Other professional letters that will be discussed in this unit include job acceptance
and declination letters, resignation letters, and reference letters.
Professional Correspondence for Biomedical Scientists:
General Tips
Tailor your CV and, in particular, your cover letter specifically for each
post. You are out to convince the employers that you have the qualities they
require.
R. Ribes et al.,
English for Biomedical Scientists,
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-77127-2_9, © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009
BookID 158386_ChapID 9_Proof# 1 -
Specific Scientific Chairperson’s Comments
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May I ask how many of such studies you are performing yearly at your respec
tive institutions?
What’s going on in the States in this topic, Dr. Olsen?
By opening a discussion on how things are going in different countries, the not-
too-uent chairperson shares the burden of lling in the gaps with the panelists.
This trick rarely fails and once the technical problem is xed the session can go
on normally with nobody in the audience noticing the lack of uency of the
chairperson.
Besides the usual expressions that chairpersons have to be aware of, there are
typical comments a scientic chairperson should be familiar with. These com
ments vary depending upon the scientic subspecialty of the chairperson and
are, generally speaking, easy to deal with for even non-native English speakers.
By way of example, let’s review the following:
Dr. Petit, would you please use the pointer to describe the confocal micros
copy images that you are specifically referring to?
Dr. Negroponte, how many control animals were used in each experiment?
Did I understand correctly, Dr. Roberts, that the phosphorylation results that you
just presented were obtained only in cell lines but not in primary tumor cells?
Dr. Wilson, would you please point out the borders of the lesion so we can
separate the tumor from the surrounding edema?
Dr. Pons, I’m afraid that the video is not running properly. Could you try to
fix it so we can see your excellent cell migration images?
Unit VIII
Chairing a Scientific Discussion
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As you see, or indeed do not see at all, the lights have gone out. The hotel staff
have told us it is going to be a matter of minutes so do not go too far; we’ll
resume as soon as possible.
Sound Gone Off
We suggest the following comments:
Dr. Hoffman, we cannot hear you. There must be a problem with your
microphone.
Perhaps you could try this microphone?
Please would you use the microphone, the rows at the back cannot hear you.
Lecturer Lacks Confidence
If the lecturer is speaking too quietly:
Dr. Smith would you please speak up closer to your microphone? The audi
ence does not seem to be able to hear you.
Dr. Alvarez would you please speak up a bit? The people at the back cannot
hear you.
If the lecturer is so nervous he/she cannot go on delivering the presentation:
Dr. Higuchi, take your time. We can proceed to the next presentation, so whenever
you feel OK and ready to deliver yours, it will be a pleasure to listen to it.
Specific Scientific Chairperson’s Comments
Since chairpersons are supposed to ll in the gaps in the session, if a technical
problem occurs, the chairperson must say something to entertain the audience
in the meantime. This fact would not create any problem to a native English
speaker but may be troublesome for a non-native English-speaking chairperson.
In these situations there is always a helpful topic to be addressed “in the mean
time,” namely, the current situation of what is discussed in the session in the
panelists’ countries.
Regarding the previous question on the role of genomics in this field, how
applicable does the panel think it will be to daily clinical practice in the next
5 years?
As for as the use of SPIO, what’s the deal in Japan, Dr. Hashimoto?
How is the current situation in Germany regarding repayment policies?
Dr. Berlusconi, your time is almost over. You have got 30 seconds to finish
your presentation.
Dr. Ho, you are running out of time.
If the speaker does not nish his presentation on time, the chairperson may say:
Dr. Berlusconi, I’m sorry but your time is over. We must proceed to the next
presentation. Any questions, comments?
After introducing the next speaker, sentences such as the following will help you
handle the session:
Dr. Goyen, please keep an eye on the time, we are behind schedule.
We are far from being ahead of schedule, so I remind all speakers you have six
minutes to deliver your presentation.
Ahead of Schedule
Although unusual, sometimes there is some extra time and this is a good chance
to ask the panelists a general question about their experience at their respective
institutions:
As we are a little bit ahead of schedule, I encourage the panelists and the audi
ence to ask questions and offer comments.
I have a question for the panelists: What percentage of the total number of
CMRs at your institution are performed on children?
Technical Problems
Computer Not Working
We suggest the following comments:
I am afraid there is a technical problem with the computer. In the meantime,
I would like to make a comment about …
The computer is not working properly. While it is being fixed I encourage the
panelists to offer their always interesting comments.
Lights Gone Out
We suggest the following comments:
The lights have gone out. We’ll take a hopefully short break until they are
repaired.
Unit VIII
Chairing a Scientific Discussion
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The session is over. I want to thank all the participants for their contribution.
(I’ll) see you tomorrow morning. Remember to take your attendance certifi
cates if you have not taken them already.
We should finish up over here. We’ll resume at 10:50.
Should Chairpersons Ask Questions?
In our opinion, chairpersons are supposed to ask questions especially at the
beginning of the session when the audience does not usually make any com
ments at all. Warming-up the session is one of the chairperson’s duties, and if
nobody in the audience is in the mood to ask questions, the chairperson must
invite the audience to participate:
Are there any questions?
Nobody raises their hand:
Well, I have got two questions for Dr. Adams. Are any of the biomarkers that
you elegantly described likely to move from the research lab to clinical prac
tice in our transplant patients? and second: What should be, in your opinion,
their role in balance with clinical factors in diagnostic algorithms?
Once the session has been warmed-up, the chairperson should only ask ques
tions or add comments as a tool to manage the timing of the session, so that, if
as usual, the session is behind schedule, the chairperson is not required to par
ticipate unless strictly necessary.
The chairperson does not have to demonstrate to the audience his or her knowl
edge on the discussed topics by asking too many questions or making comments.
The chairperson’s knowledge of the subject is not in doubt since without it he or
she would not have been selected to chair.
Usual Chairperson’s Comments
BookID 158386_ChapID 8_Proof# 1 -
Dr. Olsen from UCSF is the next and last speaker. His presentation is:
“Cardiac tissue regeneration using bone marrow derived stem cells.”
Once the speakers nish their presentation, the chairperson is supposed to say
something like:
Thank you Dr. Olsen for your excellent presentation. Any questions or
comments?
The chairperson usually comments on presentations, although sometimes they
do not:
Thank you Dr. Olsen for your presentation. Are there any questions or
comments from the audience?
There are some common adjectives (
nice
elegant
outstanding
excellent
interesting
clear
accurate
…) and formulas that are usually used to describe presentations.
These are illustrated in the following comments:
Thanks Dr. Shaw for your accurate presentation. Does the audience have any
comments?
Thank you very much for your clear presentation on this always controversial
topic. I would like to ask a question if I may (Although being the chairperson
you are the one who gives permission, to ask the speaker is a usual formality.)
I’d like to thank you for this excellent talk Dr. Olsen. Any questions from the
audience?
Thanks a lot for your very clear talk Dr. Ho. I wonder if the audience has got
any questions.
Adjourning
We suggest the following useful comments for adjourning the session:
I think we all are a bit tired so we’ll have a short break.
The session is adjourned until 4 p.m.
We’ll take a short break.
We’ll take a 30-minute break. Please fill out the evaluation forms.
The session is adjourned until tomorrow morning. Enjoy your stay in Vienna.
Finishing the Session
We suggest the following useful comments for nishing the session:
I’d like to thank all the speakers and the audience for your interesting pres
entations and comments. (I’ll) see you all at the congress dinner and awards
ceremony.
Unit VIII
Chairing a Scientific Discussion
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Usual Chairperson’s Comments
Everybody who has attended an international meeting is aware of the usual sen
tences the chairperson uses to introduce the session. Certain key expressions will
provide you with a sense of uency without which chairing a session would be
troublesome. The good news is that if you know the key sentences and use them
appropriately, chairing a session is easy. The bad news is that if, on the contrary,
you do not know these expressions, a theoretically simple task may turn embar
rassing. There is always a rst time for everything, and if it is the rst time you
have been invited to chair a session, rehearse some of these sentences and you
will feel quite comfortable. Accept this piece of advice: only “rehearsed sponta
neity” looks spontaneous if you are a beginner.
Introducing the Session
We suggest the following useful comments for introducing the session:
Good morning ladies and gentlemen. My name is Dr. Wu and I want to wel
come you all to this workshop on animal models of graft-versus-host disease.
My co-chair is Dr. Vick, from King’s College.
Good afternoon. The session on STAT Signaling and Cancer is about to start.
Please take a seat and disconnect your cellular phones and any other electrical
devices which could interfere with the oral presentations. We will listen to ten
six-minute lectures with a two-minute period for questions and comments
after each, and afterwards, provided we are still on time, we will have a last
round of questions and comments from the audience.
Good morning. We will proceed with the session on Oligodendrocyte Devel
opment. As many presentations have to be delivered I encourage the speakers
to keep an eye on the time.
Introducing Speakers
We suggest the following useful comments for introducing speakers:
Our first speaker is Dr. Ethel from Sutton, UK, who will present the paper:
“Quality of life after reduced-intensity allogeneic transplantation.”
The following speakers are introduced almost the same way with sentences
such as:
Our next lecturer is Dr. Adams. Dr. Adams comes from Brigham and Women’s
Hospital — Harvard Medical School. Her presentation today is entitled “Use of
biomarkers to predict disease relapse after haematopoietic transplantation.”
Next is Dr. Shaw from Stanford University in California, presenting “MR
approaches to molecular imaging.”
BookID 158386_ChapID 8_Proof# 1 -
Unit VIII
Chairing a Scientific Discussion
Chairing sessions at international meetings usually comes up when you have
reached a certain level in your academic career. To reach this point many papers
will have been submitted and many presentations will have been given, so the
chances are that your level of biomedical English will be above that of the target
audience of this manual.
Why, then, do we include a section on chairing a session?
We include it because contrary to what many of those who have never chaired
a session in an international meeting may think, even an experienced chairperson
with a reasonable level of English may face difcult, even embarrassing situations.
Moreover, prior to chairing a larger scale session in an international meeting, you
will have to learn to chair and bring together presentations from colleagues in smaller
scale discussions, cooperative group meetings, or departmental retreats. Although
the tone and level of formality may vary between these discussions, the skills and
language resources you will require are very similar. Even in smaller meetings you
will have to be able to introduce new colleagues, kick off and nish the discussion,
manage questions, keep the schedule on time, or deal with technical problems.
The sooner you start thinking about this type of scenario the more natural and uent
you will become for when the complexity and formality of the occasion increases.
For those who have never chaired a session, to be a chairman means, rstly,
not having to prepare a presentation, and secondly, the use of simple sentences
such as “thank you, Dr. Vida, for your interesting presentation” or “the next
speaker will be Dr. Jones who comes from …”. In our opinion, being a chair
person means much more than one who has never chaired them might think.
To begin with, a chairperson must go over not one presentation but thoroughly
review all the recently published material on the subject under discussion. On
top of that, a chairperson must review all the abstracts and must have prepared
questions just in case the audience has no questions or comments.
We have divided this chapter into four sections with practical suggestions and
comments that will help you, as a non-native scientist, to successfully deal with
various aspects of chairing a scientic discussion in English:
Usual chairperson’s comments.
Should chairpersons ask questions?
What the chairperson should say when something is going wrong.
Specific scientific chairperson’s comments.
R. Ribes et al.,
English for Biomedical Scientists,
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-77127-2_8, © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009
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UNIT VIII
Unit VII
Giving Presentations for Biomedical Scientists
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Practice, Practice, Practice
Yes, we know. The need for thorough planning and rehearsing of your presen
tation has been present in all sections of this chapter. Even for native English-
speaking scientists, there is never too much planning and practice. Obviously,
non-natives have to make an extra effort in this area. Practicing will improve
your level of performance. More importantly, it will boost your self condence,
reduce your anticipated stress, and allow you to perform at a high level, close to
your skill in your own language. So, practice, practice, practice.
The Dreaded Questions-and-Comments Section
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Incomprehension
I’m not sure I understood your question …
Sorry; I don’t quite follow you.
Would you repeat the question, please?
Would you repeat the second part of your question, please?
I’m afraid I still don’t understand.
Could you be a bit more specific with regard to …?
What do you mean by …?
Could you repeat your question? I couldn’t hear you.
Could you formulate your question in a different way?
I’m not sure I understand your final question.
Playing for Time
I am not sure I understood your question. Would you repeat it?
I don’t understand your question. Would you formulate it in a different way?
That’s a very interesting question …
I wonder if you could be a bit more specific about …
I’m glad you asked that question.
Your question is of the utmost importance, but I’m afraid it is beyond the
scope of our research …
What aspect of the problem are you referring to by saying …
Evading an Issue
I’m afraid I’m not really in a position to be able to address your question yet.
We’ll come back to that in a minute, if you don’t mind.
I don’t think we have enough time to discuss your comments in depth.
It would take extremely long time to answer that.
I will address your question in my second talk, if you don’t mind.
At my institution, we do not have experience on …
At our department, we do not perform …
Perhaps we could return to that at the end of the session.
We’ll probably address your question in further papers on the subject.
I have no experience of …
Technical Problems
May I have another laser pointer?
Does anyone in the audience have a pointer?
Video images are not running properly. In the meantime I’d like to
comment on …
My microphone is not working properly. May I have it fixed?
My microphone is not working properly. May I use yours?
Can you hear me?
Can the rows at the back hear me?
Can you guys at the back see the screen?
Can we turn off the lights please?
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Giving Presentations for Biomedical Scientists
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What I’m saying is that endometriosis is related to ectopic growth of
endometrial tissue …
We have not been able to proceed with the animal experiments until …
We perform cell separation by cell sorting rather than by magnetic beads
to better resemble subsequent experience in vivo with patients.
Answering Multiple Questions
There are two different questions here.
It seems there are three questions here.
It is my understanding that there are two questions to be addressed here.
With regard to your first question …
Regarding your second question …
As far as your first question is concerned …
Answering your first question, I should say that …
I’ll begin with your second question.
Let me address your last question first.
I’ll address your last question first and then the rest of them.
Would you please repeat your second question?
I didn’t understand your first question. Would you repeat it?
Disagreeing
With all due respect, I believe that there is no evidence of …
To the best of our knowledge, no article has been published on this topic.
With all respect, I think that your point overlooks the main aspect of …
Yours is an interesting point of view, but I’m not sure of its …
I see it from a different point of view.
With all respect, I don’t go along with you on …
I think that the importance of … cannot be denied.
I strongly disagree with your comment on …
I disagree with your point.
I don’t see a valid argument for supporting such a comment.
Emphasizing a Point
I do believe that …
I strongly agree with Dr. Ho’s comments on …
It is of paramount importance …
It is a crucial fact that …
And this fact cannot be overlooked.
I’d like to stress the importance of …
Don’t underestimate the role of …
The use of DMSO in the control cases is of the utmost importance …
With regard to …, you must always bear in mind that …
It is well known that …
The Dreaded Questions-and-Comments Section
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point of their own. Flattering always goes down well with this type. The
replies tend to be shorter than the questions/comments and time, which
runs in favor of the beginner provided he is not speaking, goes by, leaving
no room for another dreaded question.
Type 3
: This is an interlocutor who strongly disagrees with your points. This
is obviously the most difficult to handle for a beginner due to the scarcity of
his idiomatic resources. In case of general disagreement make the interlocu
tor specify exactly what is it that he/she disagrees with. You are more likely to
be able to defend specific pieces of data or results than more general abstract
arguments. The best piece of advice is none other than that you must defend
your points from a humble position and never get tangled up in a direct con
frontation with your interlocutor.
If I had requested my interlocutor to ask his question again more slowly and
in a different way so that I could understand it, he would have been morally
obliged to do so. But beginners lack this kind of modesty and pretend to be
better and know more than they actually are and do, which is, by definition, a
mistake.
When you feel you need some help, ask the chairman to help you out.
It is, at worst, 1 minute of stress. Do not let such a short period of time
prevent you from a potentially successful career in science.
Useful Sentences That May Help with Questions and Comments
Making Your Point
Let me point out that signal intensity is paramount in order to differentiate …
You must bear in mind that this evidence was obtained …
If you look closely at this image, you will realize that …
I want to draw your attention to the fact that …
Don’t forget the importance of …
Before I move on to my next slide …
In view of the upcoming publication of …
Scientifically speaking …
From a scientific point of view …
As far as trackability is concerned …
The bottom line of the subject is …
Giving Explanations
To put it another way, contamination artifact was responsible for …
Taking into consideration that the study was done under …
In a bit more detail, you can notice that …
This fact can be explained taking into account that …
SNR (signal-to-noise ratio) in this 2D-gel is poor since the …
Although the cell line eventually stops growing and differentiates, it pro
vides an early phase of stable exponential expansion of …
In short, you may need larger balloons in elderly patients.
Unit VII
Giving Presentations for Biomedical Scientists
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Do not be discouraged. Nobody told you that beginnings were easy.
Questions and comments by native English speakers tend to be more difficult
to understand than those made by non-native colleagues.
There are several types of interlocutors you must be aware of.
Do not complain if the interlocutor does exactly what you asked him/her
for.
Chairmen can always help you.
Time is limited and you can take advantage of this fact.
These points lead to some recommendations:
I did not know at that point that the worst was still to come. I wasted the
whole morning recreating the scene over and over. “How could I not have
understood such an easy question? How could I have spoiled so many hours
of research and study? I even thought that people recognized me as “the one
who didn’t understand a simple query …”
Let us think for a moment how you performed the first time you did any
thing in your life, i.e., the first time you grabbed a tennis racquet or a golf
club. In comparison to that, it was not that bad.
As for the presentation itself, you need to be prepared for questions. That
is correct. You can plan your spontaneity. You surely know the majority of
possible loose ends in your presentation, the open questions, the target areas
that are likely to be addressed by interlocutors. Do not leave it unprepared
until the day of your talk. Work on it in advance. Think about the possible
questions and prepare answers in English.
When the interlocutor who asks for the microphone is a non-native Eng
lish speaker you can begin to feel better since you are going to talk to an
equal with regard to language, to one who has spent a great number of
hours fighting to learn a language other than his own. On the other hand,
when you have to deal with a native English speaker there are two main
types of interlocutors.
Type A
is a colleague who does not take advantage of being a native English
speaker and reduces his normal rhythm of speech so you can understand the
question and, therefore, convey to the audience whatever you have to say.
Type B
is a colleague who does not make any allowance for the difference
between native and non-native English lecturers.
Types of interlocutors:
Type 1
: Getting information. These interlocutors want to know a particular
detail of your presentation, and are normally easy to handle by just answering
the questions.
Make sure that you answer the question that was asked.
Rephrase the question for the audience and direct the answer to them
although keeping the interlocutor involved.
Type 2
: Show off. This interlocutor wants the audience to notice his sound
knowledge of the subject which is being discussed. These are also quite
easy to handle since they do not formulate questions as such but make a
The Dreaded Questions-and-Comments Section
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The Dreaded Questions-and-Comments Section
Many beginners would not hesitate to deliver a free communication at an inter
national congress if it weren’t followed by a short section of questions.
This anecdote may illustrate the feelings of many non-native English-speaking
biomedical scientists in their rst presentations in English.
After a short free communication on the molecular mechanisms of synergism
between stem cell factor and granulocyte-colony stimulating factor which had
so far gone reasonably well for a beginner, I was waiting, like a rabbit staring at
a snake, for the round of questions that inevitably followed my presentation.
On the very verge of a mental breakdown, I listened to an American PI asking
me a question I could barely understand. I told him: “Could you please repeat
your question?” and he, obediently, repeated the question with exactly the same
words and the same pace with which he had formulated it before. As I could not
understand the question the second time, the chairman roughly translated it
into a more international and easily understandable English and I answered it as
best I could. This was the only question I was asked since the time was over and
there was no room for any other comment.
Let us think about this anecdote in a positive way by dissecting it into the
following points which will lead us to some recommendations.
Summing up, I would say that …
The take-home message of the talk is …
To put it in a nutshell …
To cut a long story short …
In short, …
To put it briefly …
Be that as it may, we have to bear in mind that …
If there is one point I hope you will take away from this presentation, it is
Thank you for your kind attention.
Thank you all for sticking around until the very last talk of the session.
Thank you all.
Thank you for your attention. I would be happy to take any questions.
Thank you for your time. I would be happy to address any questions.
This is all we have time for, so thank you and have a good time in London.
Let me finish my presentation by saying that …
We can say to conclude that …
Let me end by wishing you a pleasant stay in our city.
I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have.
I’d be happy to address your comments and questions.
Unit VII
Giving Presentations for Biomedical Scientists
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Useful Sentences to Comment on Images, Graphs, Tables,
Representations …
As you can see in the image on your right …
As you will see in the next table …
As we saw in the previous slide …
The next image shows …
The next image allows us to …
In the bottom left image we can see …
What do we have to look at here?
What do we have to bear in mind with regard to this artifact?
Notice how the lesion borders are …
Bear in mind that this image was obtained in less than 10 seconds …
Let’s look at this schematic representation of the portal vein …
As you can see in this CT image …
Let us have a look at this schematic diagram of the portal system …
Looking at this table, you can see …
Having a look at this bar chart, we could conclude that …
To sum up, let’s look at this diagram …
The image on your right …
The image at the top of the screen shows …
Let’s turn to the next slide in which the lesion, after the administration of
contrast material, is more conspicuous …
Figure 7 brings out the importance of …
I apologize that the faint bands in the Western blood
do not project well
(When a subtle finding is difficult to see on a projected image, it is said that
it does not project well
On the left of the screen is a T2-weighted image at the level of the pons. On
the right of the screen there is a
magnified view
of the abnormality.
Say what you just said (i.e., Conclusions)
Summing up your “take-home” message should be pretty straightforward.
If any points need reinforcing, this is the time to finish the presentation on
a high note. Restate the main points that build your central message. Try to
use different words to avoid repetition. This is not, however, the time to add
any new information. The end of your talk also gives you an opportunity to
acknowledge and thank not only the audience, which you must do, but also
collaborators, the organizers of the meeting, and others. Below are a number
of useful sentences to conclude your presentation.
Useful Sentences to Sum Up
To sum up we can say that …
In summary, we have discussed …
To conclude …
able talks and explicitly reject the possibility of making a presentation
at the same level as they would in their own language. Do not reject the
possibility of being as brilliant as you would be in your own
language;
the only difference is in the amount of rehearsal.
Thorough rehearsal can
provide you with amazing results; do not give up beforehand.
Ask your audience questions; obviously not to check their knowledge, but
rather as an instrument to increase their interest in a particular idea or link
between sections of your presentation. Make sure that the questions are
straightforward, simple, and with a clear answer or choice of an answer.
As an alternative, rhetorical questions are easier and safer. They challenge and
awaken the audience less, but won’t leave you waiting for an answer in a silent
room until you resume.
Please do not read your presentation from a script. Even worse than reading
from slides is to read from a script. An attempt to coordinate scribbled pages
on the lectern with the slides in a presentation is a disaster waiting to hap
pen. The worst consequence is that the audience will be paying attention to
the noise of the passing pages and to the face of the speaker on the verge of a
mental breakdown rather than to the presentation itself.
Enjoy the show! When giving the presentation, relax; nobody knows more
than you do about the specific subject that you are presenting. The only way
to make people enjoy your presentation is by enjoying it yourself. You only
have to communicate; being a good researcher or a competent scientist is not
the same thing as being a stand-up comedian or a model. This does not mean
that we can afford to overlook our presentation skills. In fact, some acting
skills can be used to be a better communicator.
Try to overcome stage fright and focus on communicating. There must be
somebody out there interested in what you have to say.
Avoid anything that would make you nervous when giving your presenta
tion. One piece of advice is to remove all keys, coins, or other metal objects
from your pockets so that you are not tempted to rattle them around – a
truly irritating noise that we have all learned to hate.
Put your cell phone (
, mobile phone) and beeper on silent. The only
thing more embarrassing than an attendee’s cell phone interrupting your
lecture is your own phone ringing in the middle of your talk.
Eye contact: Remember to look at the audience and not only at your visual
aid. Look around at the audience, not at the ceiling or floor.
A big percentage of the impact that you will have on your audience depends
on the way you look and behave. So, dress appropriately. But keep in mind
that appropriate dressing means different things to different people. Also,
it varies with the type of talk, the target audience, and the culture that they
belong to. For example, if you do research on gene modified goods for
agriculture, you may want to dress differently when you discuss your prod
ucts with an audience of farmers than when you present them to financial
advisors for potential investors in your company.
Unit VII
Giving Presentations for Biomedical Scientists
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Use the power of 3. The human mind is more prone to remember state
ments and facts that come in a list of three and build up to a climax. For
example:
“Duty, honor, country. Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what
you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be.” (D. MacArthur)
“Veni, vidi, vici.” (Julius Cesar)
Say what you are going to say, say it, and then say what you just said (see
above)
Creativity and humor are always appreciated in a lecture hall … providing
they are both appropriate and understood! So, make sure that your jokes
can be understood internationally. We all know that humor is a very
cultural
thing, like time keeping, food preferences, etc. Some American speakers will
start their presentation with a joke that most Europeans will not understand,
not even the Irish or British. A British speaker will probably throw in the most
sarcastic comment when you are least expecting it and in the same tone as if
he or she were telling you about the mortality rate in his or her unit. A foreign
(neither American nor British) scientist might just try to tell a long joke in
English based on a play on words in his or her mother tongue which obviously
doesn’t work in English, and possibly involves religion, sport, and/or sex (as a
general rule avoid religious and sex jokes in public presentations).
Use visual aids to help you convey the message. The need for visual aid and
the type depend on the type of talk. For the majority of proper scientific
presentations, the audience expects certain information to be presented in
certain ways. In addition, your organization or the venue where the presenta
tion takes place may limit your choice in terms of type of equipment available
or style and design of slides. In any case, there are a number of considerations
you should always take into account:
Use visuals as your server, not your master. Don’t let them get in between
yourself and your audience. It’s you and your message that you want the
audience to take in and remember, not only your slides.
Don’t ever say “sorry for this slide.” Since you are the one who chooses the
slides to be presented, get rid of those you would have to apologize for.
Don’t hide behind long lists of graphics, diagrams, and tables. You should
rather use part of your visuals to set the pace and rhythm of the presenta
tion, to highlight the links between beginnings and endings of sections of
data, to stimulate or even provoke your audience.
Don’t read slides, but instead try to explain a few basic ideas as clearly
as possible. Many intermediate English-speaking doctors and scientists
find it hard to agree with this point because they can only feel some con
fidence if they read the presentation. Reading is the least-natural means
of communicating experiences; we encourage you to present your paper
without reading it. Although it will need much more intensive prepara
tion, the delivery will be more fluid and – why not? – even brilliant. Many
foreign doctors and scientists resign themselves to delivering just accept
Say it (i.e., Main Body of your presentation)
But don’t say it too fast or too slowly. In view of time constraints, there are
various alternatives ranging from speaking as fast as the tongue can rattle,
to cutting it down to 5 minutes and spending the other 15 minutes vacantly
gazing at the audience. Every speaker develops a personal style over time,
and the rhythm and speed of presentation is part of that style. American,
British, and Australian scientists are often extremely fluent speakers (we
know, we know … they are using their mother tongue). However, remem
ber that showing and commenting on five slides a minute and speaking
faster than can be registered on a digital recorder will certainly never be a
good way of conveying a message.
Keep your language simple. Use short, concrete words and sentences
rather than long, cumbersome ones. Use active rather than passive forms
of the verbs. As a non-native-English speaker you will be making it easier
on yourself. In addition, being concise is a common piece of advice also for
native speakers.
Break down the body of your presentation into several sections of data
that can be connected. Every time you create a new ending and link it to a
new beginning in the following section, the level of attention of the audi
ence increases. If you set a dynamic pattern of beginnings and endings you
will keep your audience connected to the data all the way through to the
end of the presentation.
In the next 20 minutes I’ll show you …
In my talk on oligodendrocyte development, I want to share with you all
our experience on …
Thank you for sticking around (informal way of addressing the last talk
attendees).
I’d like to thank Dr. Ho for his kind invitation.
Thank you Dr. Wilson for inviting me to attend this course.
Thank you Dr. Olsen. It is a great honor to be here talking about …
On behalf of my colleagues and assistants, I want to thank Dr. Smith for
his kind invitation.
I’d like to welcome you to this course on … (to be said in the first talk of
the course if you are a member of the organizing committee)
Today, I want to talk to you about …
Now, allow me to introduce …
What I want to talk about this morning is …
During the next few minutes, I’d like to draw your attention to …
First of all, let me summarize the contents of my lecture on …
Unit VII
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very likely you will not hear a sound except for that of snores). Of course,
you would want to greet the audience and to thank whoever invited you to
talk. But even so, job number one is to awaken the audience’s attention, to
give them an idea of what you’re going to tell them and why it is relevant for
them – s
ay what you are going to say
This applies to all presentations. You must make the start of your presenta
tion stand out from a monotonous string of talks in a conference as much as
from postprandial somnolence in order to engage your audience. At a mini
mum, your introduction must include:
The main message of your talk
An estimation of the time the talk is going to take
In the next 30 minutes I would like to show you recent data from our lab show
ing that regulatory T-cells play an important role in anti-tumor responses fol
lowing allogeneic transplantation, and may be used as a useful novel tool to
predict the risk of disease relapse in these patients
A very general overview of how the data will be presented
I am going to start by briefly summarizing the current understanding of the role
of regulatory T-cells in allogeneic transplantation, from where our study takes
off. Then, I will show you our recent data on the role of these cells on anti-tumor
responses in vivo in a murine model of transplantation for leukemia. Finally, I
will conclude this presentation with recent findings in this area in humans, in a
cohort of transplant recipients for hematological malignancies
Time is a very cultural thing. When addressing your audience at the beginning
of a talk in English use:
Good morning
: from the start time to 12:00.
Good afternoon: from 12:01 onwards, even though your metabolism may be far
from feeling afternoon-ish until your usual lunch time has gone by and is beg
ging you to say “good morning.”
Good evening: from 18:00 onwards. Note that if we have to give a presenta
tion, make a speech, or offer a toast at 22:00, we should never begin with
“good night;” that should be reserved only for when we are going to bed. So
“good night” is not supposed to be said in public.
Useful Sentences for the Introduction of your Presentation
Good morning. It is an honor to have the opportunity to speak to you
about …
Good afternoon. Thank you for your kind introduction. It is my pleasure
to speak to you about an area of great interest to me.
In the next few minutes I’ll talk about …
The topic I’ll cover this afternoon is …
on the main researchers of a trial including their graduation year and shoe
size … or a full history of the 16th century building where the research centre
stands today and subsequent restorations it has undergone, etc). In these cases,
by the time all these details have been given and the presentation has passed the
introduction stage, time is up and the chairperson starts making desperate signs
to the speaker. Even worse, the audience may be lost and have no idea of what
the talk is actually about.
Our practical advice is that once you have chosen a central message which is
relevant to your audience, you should list and select a small number of critical
points to convey it, and maybe list some additional points to reinforce it if time
permits. Be critical with yourself. Examine your reasons to include every par
ticular point. Remember that it is your audience that you should have in mind
when producing your presentation.
Is it you who finds a particular point or argument interesting, or your audi
ence that needs to know it?
Is the point indispensable to support your central message or only useful to
reinforce it?
Does the point bring the audience’s attention towards the central message or
into a secondary, less relevant discussion?
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right. This principle applies to any speaker, but it can be a source of particular
condence and sense of safety for non-native scientists having to present their
data in English. What is it that you should know about the audience then? As a
minimum, you should nd out:
Who they are and what brings them to your presentation:
Are they BSc students approaching their first hands-on experience in a lab
and counting on you for a warm-up introduction?
Are they fellow lab mates wanting to learn some more specific technical
and experimental details from your last set of experiments?
Are they potential employers or colleagues in a lab that you are applying to
trying to figure out how good a candidate you are?
Are they general attendees at an international conference that you are pre
senting your results at?
Are they a grant committee that is going to decide on the continuation of
your research support grant?
How many of them will be there:
A small group that facilitates a closer level of complicity about the mes
sage?
A huge auditorium with a barely recognizable sea of faces that may call for
a somewhat more formal style?
How familiar they are with your topic:
How much of a general background introduction would they need to
follow the rest?
Think about who your audience is, what they are expecting from you, how
much they know about the topic of your presentation and you’ll be ready to
put together a main message to convey to them.
Choose a Relevant Main Message
Once you know your audience, you must use that knowledge to choose a central
message for your presentation that is relevant to them. We all understand the
difculty to t all your data, all your results, all that you know and could tell
about your topic of research into a mere 15, 30 or even 45 minutes. Well, squeez
ing in everything you can tell about your topic should actually never be your
goal. Beware of the extent of your knowledge. It might work against the clarity
and the interest of your presentation.
In addition to scientic information, some lecturers tend to give too much
minor detail in their presentations. Their introduction is often full of information
that is of little relevance to the international audience (for example, the name,
date, and code of local, provincial, regional, and national laws regulating
laboratory standards in his/her institution; or even the background information
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Unit VII
Giving Presentations
for Biomedical Scientists
As a biomedical scientist you will have to present your quality research at inter
national conferences, the vast majority of which are run in English. Interna
tional scientic conferences are in a universe all of their own. In this universe,
attendees and speakers come from many different countries with their own cul
tures and consequently their own habits in terms of behavior and public speak
ing. However, most speakers set aside, at least partially, their cultural identity to
embrace the international medical conference style. This standardization is part
of the globalization that we are all witnessing.
As part of the globalization of biomedical science, many international non-
native scientists will go to English-speaking countries to complete training and
work. In this case, and even before they make it to presenting in international
meetings, they will have to face lab meetings, departmental retreats, university
PhD student sessions, all of which will logically be run in English.
The most widely spoken language in international conferences and by
international scientists in general is not Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, or French
anymore. It is not even standard English, but the new phenomenon of broken
English. This language is the result of simplifying English to make it as neutral and
understandable as possible, removing colloquial idioms, regional expressions, or
any other source of linguistic confusion.
In this new universe, you will nd yourself having to make a conscious effort
to adapt to these explicit and implicit rules. Some of them are discussed in the
following sections.
Having read this chapter you will not only be able to improve your presentations
or feel at ease giving them, but you might also actually end up being able to
convey your message and, who knows? … you might even enjoy it. There is no
reason why the language barrier cannot be overcome to give you the opportunity
to be as good a communicator in English as you are in your own language.
Know Your Audience
The whole point of giving a scientic talk, or any talk for that matter, is to convey
a message to an audience. You must therefore put your audience rst. Learning
about them is the rst step and the best way to get the layout of your message
R. Ribes et al.,
English for Biomedical Scientists,
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-77127-2_7, © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009
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UNIT VII
Course Example
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Special focus sessions
: The aim of a special focus session is to deal with a
relevant “hot topic,” presented in such a way as to promote debate between
the panelists and the audience.
Oral scientific sessions
: The Scientific Committee selects, from all the abstracts
submitted, the most outstanding research work and invites the authors to
make a presentation of their methods and conclusions (usually not longer
than 10–15 minutes). A round of questions and/or comments is usually
permitted.
Poster sessions
: Quality abstracts that do not make it to the oral sessions will be
presented as posters. The presenting author will need to stand by the poster to
discuss it with any members of the audience interested. Although oral presen
tations tend to select somewhat higher score quality abstracts, a poster might
be far more useful in terms of time to interact with colleagues and opportuni
ties for (and ease of) exchange of experiences and opinions. Rehearse for your
poster too. If your data is good, you will certainly have people coming along
with questions. Being ready will give you the chance to make the most out of
your presentation.
Adjourn
: Close (break or recess) at the end of a session.
Unit VI
Attending a Scientific Course or Conference
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Course Planning
The basic idea whenever you attend an international scientic course is that you
must rehearse beforehand those situations that are inevitably going to happen
and, in so doing, you will keep to a minimum embarrassing situations catching
you off-guard. Just a few words, set phrases, and collocations must be known in
this environment and we can assure you that knowing them will give you the
condence needed to make your participation in the course a personal success.
The rst piece of advice is: read the program of the course thoroughly and
look up in the dictionary or ask your more experienced colleagues about the
words and concepts you don’t know. Since the program is available before the
course starts, go over it at home; you don’t need to read the scientic program
at the course’s venue.
“Adjourn” is one of those typical program terms with which one gets familiar
once the session is “adjourned.” Although many could think that most terms
are going to be integrated and understood by their context, our intention is to
go over those “insignicant” terms that may prevent you from optimizing your
time at the course.
An example of a course plan is presented in Table
. The course plan may con
tain the following elements:
Satellite symposia
: Scientific events sponsored by pharmaceutical or biotech
nology firms where new drugs (mainly contrast media), techniques or devices
are presented to the scientific community.
Plenary sessions
: These events usually take place at midday gathering all
participants around outstanding members of the scientific community.
Educational sessions
: Important scientific topics are presented with an educa
tional purpose covering various aspects of the field.
Registration fees and deadlines
Until 13 November 2006
After 13 November 2006
Full fee member
Full fee non-member
Graduate student
Technician/Research Assistant*
University administrator*
Course Example
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Arrival by Train
For detailed information about the timetable you can call …
At the railway station you can use the underground to reach the city.
Congress venue (where the course is to be held, e.g., hotel, university, convention
center …):
Continental Hotel
32 Park Street, 23089 …
Phone: … /Fax: …
E-mail: [email protected]
To reach the venue from the city centre (Charles Square) take the U1 under
ground line (green). Leave the train at Park Street and take the exit marked Con
tinental Hotel. Traveling time: approximately 10 minutes.
Weather
The weather in … in December is usually cold with occasional snow. The day
time temperatures normally range from 5° to +5°C.
Registration
Generally you will have been registered beforehand and you will not have to
register at the course’s registration counter. If you do have to register at the
congress venue, the following are some of the most usual exchanges that may
take place during registration:
Attendee:
May I have a registration form, please?
Course attendant:
Do you want me to fill it out (
, fill it in) for you?
Are you an ECR member?
Are you attending the full course?
Trainee:
No. I’m a graduate student and I have applied for a trainee scholarship.
Course attendant:
Unit VI
Attending a Scientific Course or Conference
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A conict of interest may exist when professionals have material interests,
regardless of their value, that could inuence or be perceived by others as inu
encing their professional actions and decisions. Conicts of interest are relevant
not only to relationship between physicians and pharmaceutical industry, but
also to other phases of biomedical research, including pre-clinical research.
We list below a number of activities involving the industry and the volun
teer (from volunteer self-disclosure), partner or spouse, which are susceptible to
conict of interest disclosure:
Employment
Scientific advisory board membership
Board of directors membership
Consultancy
Participating in company-sponsored speakers’ bureaus
Expert testimony
Any other form of honoraria
Research funding
Accepting subsidies for the cost of traveling to meetings.
Faculty
Name and current posts of the speakers:
Russel J. Curtin, MD. Cell Biology. Division of Neurodevelopmental Biology,
Beath Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA
Guest Faculty
Name and current posts of speakers coming from institutions other than those
organizing the course:
Fergus B Schwartz, Professor of Medicine, New York School of Medicine;
New York University Medical Center, New York, NY
How to Reach …
Arrival by plane
The international airport is situated about 25 kilometers outside the city. To
reach the city center you can use the:
City airport train. Every half-hour. Non-stop. 18 minutes from the airport
direct to downtown, and from downtown direct to the airport. Fare: single,
EUR 10; return, EUR 18.
Regional railway, line 6. Travel time: 36 minutes. Frequency: every 30 min
utes. Fare: single, EUR 12; return, EUR 20. Get off at “Charles Square”. From
there use the underground line “U7” to “Park Street”.
Bus. International Airport to … Charles Square. Travel time: 25 minutes.
Fare: EUR 8.
Taxi. There is a taxi stand to the south of the arrival hall. A taxi to the city
center costs around EUR 45 (depending on traffic).
Course Example
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I have been in a single room.
Have you got a complaints book?
Please would you give me my car keys?
Is there anybody here who can help me with my luggage?
Course Example
General Information
By way of example let’s review some general information concerning a course
program, focusing on those terms that may not be known by beginners.
Language
The ofcial language of the course will be English.
Dress Code
Formal dress is required for the Opening Ceremony and for the Social Dinner.
Casual wear is acceptable for all other events and occasions (although formal
dress is customary for lecturers).
Commercial Exhibition
Participants will have the opportunity to visit representatives from pharmaceu
tical, diagnostic and biotech companies, and publishers at their stands to discuss
new developments and receive up-to-date product information.
Although most beginners don’t talk to salespeople due to their lack of uency
in English, talking to salespeople in commercial stands is a good way to prac
tice scientic English and, by the same token, receive up-to-date information
on equipment and devices you currently use, or will use in the future, at your
institution.
Disclosure Statements
You need to be aware that in recent years, an increasing focus is being put on
the need for medical and biomedical scientists not only to avoid, but to actively
disclose any signicant relationships with industry that may result in a conict
of interest. Many professional societies are putting enforcement mechanisms in
place to ensure that oral and poster presentations at their annual congresses fully
disclose conicts of interest.
Unit VI
Attending a Scientific Course or Conference
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What time does breakfast start?
How can I get to the city center?
Can we change Euros into Canadian Dollars?
Could you recommend a good restaurant near to the hotel?
Could you recommend a good restaurant?
Would you give me the number for room service?
I will have a cheese omelet, a ham sandwich, and an orange juice.
Are there vending machines available?
Do you have a fax machine available?
Do you serve meals?
Is there a pool/restaurant …?
How do I get room service?
Is there wireless/internet connection?
The sink is clogged.
The toilet is running.
The toilet is leaking.
My toilet overflowed!
The toilet doesn’t flush.
The bath is leaking.
My bathroom is flooded.
The bath faucets (
, taps) drip day and night.
The water is rust-colored.
The pipes are always banging.
The water is too hot.
The water is never hot enough.
I don’t have any hot water.
Checking Out
How much is it?
Do you accept credit cards?
Can I pay in Dollars/Euros?
I’d like a receipt, please.
What time is checkout? Checkout is at 11 a.m.
I would like to check out.
Is there a penalty for late checkout?
Please would you have my luggage brought down?
Would you please call me a taxi?
How far is the nearest bus stop/subway station?
Complaints
Excuse me, there is a mistake on the receipt:
I have had only one breakfast.
I thought breakfast was included.
Travel and Hotel Arrangements
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At the Hotel
Checking In
May I help you?
Hello, I have reserved a room under the name of Dr. Viamonte.
For how many people? Two, my wife and I.
Do you need my ID?
Do you need my credit card?
How long will you be staying? We are staying for a week.
You will have to wait until your room is ready.
Here is your key.
Enjoy your stay. Thank you.
Is there anybody who can help me with my bags?
Do you need a bellboy? Yes, please.
I’ll have someone bring your luggage up.
Preferences
Can you double-check that we have a double room with a view of the beach/
city …?
I would like a room at the front/at the rear.
I would like the quietest room you have.
I would like a non-smoking room.
I would like a suite.
How many beds? I want a double bed/a single bed.
I asked for two single beds.
I’d like a king-sized bed.
I’d like a queen-sized bed.
We will need a crib (
, cot) for the baby.
Are all of your rooms en suite? Yes, all of our rooms have a bath or shower.
Is breakfast included?
Does the hotel have a car park?
Do you have a parking lot (
, car park) nearby?
The Stay
Can you give me a wake-up call at seven every morning?
There is no hot water. Would you please send someone to fix it?
The TV is not working properly. Would you please send someone to fix it?
The bathtub has no plug. Would you please send someone up with one.
The people in the room next to mine are making a racket. Would you please
tell them to keep it down?
I want to change my room. It’s too noisy.
Unit VI
Attending a Scientific Course or Conference
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Concerning Speed in a Taxi
To downtown as quick as you can.
Are you in a hurry? Yes, I’m in a hurry.
I’m late; please hurry.
Slow down!
Do you have to drive so fast? There is no need to hurry. I am not in a rush at all.
Concerning Smoking in a Taxi
Would you mind putting your cigarette out?
Would you mind not smoking, please?
Asking to Stop and Wait
Stop at number 112, please.
Which side of the street?
Do you want me to drop you at the door?
Pull over; I’ll be back in a minute.
Please wait here a minute.
Stop here.
Concerning the Temperature in a Taxi
Would you please wind your window up? It’s a bit cold.
Could you turn the heat up/down/on/off?
Could you turn the air conditioning on/off?
Is the air conditioning/heating on?
Payment
How much is it?
How much do I owe you?
Is the tip included?
Do you have change for a twenty/fifty (dollar bill)? Sorry, I don’t (have any
change).
Keep the change.
Would you give me a receipt?
I need a receipt, please.
I think that is too expensive.
They have never charged me this before. Give me a receipt, please. I think I’ll
make a complaint.
Can I pay by credit card? Sure, swipe your card here.
Travel and Hotel Arrangements
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it up in my guide, asked for it, and the stewardess brought the pillow, I gladly
and pleasantly fell asleep.
Do not let lack of uency spoil an otherwise perfect ight.
Is there an aisle/window seat free? (I asked for one at the check-in and they
told me I should ask on board just in case there had been a cancellation.)
Excuse me, you are in my seat. Oh! Sorry, I didn’t notice.
Fasten your seat belt, please.
Your life-jacket is under your seat.
Smoking is not allowed during the flight.
Please would you bring me a blanket/pillow?
Is there a business class seat free?
Can I upgrade to first class on board?
Would you like a cup of coffee/tea/a glass of soda? A glass of soda, please.
What would you prefer, chicken or beef/fish or meat? Beef/Fish, please.
Is there a vegetarian menu?
Stewardess, I’m not feeling well. Do you have anything for flight sickness?
Could you bring me another sick bag, please?
Stewardess, I have a headache. Do you have an aspirin?
Stewardess, this gentleman is disturbing me.
In the Taxi (
Cab)
Think for a moment about taking a taxi in your city. How many sentences do
you suppose would be exchanged in normal, and even extraordinary, condi
tions? I assure you that with fewer than two dozen sentences you will solve more
than ninety per cent of possible situations.
Unit VI
Attending a Scientific Course or Conference
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Exchange Office
Where is the exchange office?
What is the rate for the American Dollar?
Could you change 1000 Euros into American Dollars?
Customs and Immigration Control
May I see your passport, please?
Do you have your visa?
What is your nationality?
What is the purpose of your journey? The purpose of my journey is a holiday,
touring, family affairs, studying …
How long do you plan on staying?
Empty your pockets and put your wallet, keys, cellular phone (
, mobile
phone), and coins on this tray.
Remove any metallic objects you are carrying and put them on this tray.
Open your laptop.
Take off your shoes. Put them in this tray too.
Do you have anything to declare? No, I don’t have anything to declare.
Do you have anything to declare? No, I only have personal effects.
Do you have anything to declare? Yes, I am a doctor and I’m carrying some
surgical instruments.
Do you have anything to declare? Yes, I have bought six bottles of whisky and
four cartons of cigarettes in the duty free shop.
How much currency are you bringing into the country? I haven’t got any
foreign currency.
Open your bag, please.
I need to examine the contents of your bag.
May I close my bag? Sure.
Please place your suitcases on the table.
What do you have in these parcels? Some presents for my wife and kids.
How much duty do I have to pay?
Where is the exchange office?
During the Flight
Very few exchanges are likely during a normal ight. If you are familiar with them
you will realize how uency interferes positively with your mood. Conversely,
if you need a pillow and are not able to ask for one, your self-condence will
shrink, your neck will hurt, and you will not ask for anything else during the
ight. On my rst ight to the States I did not know how to ask for a pillow
and tried to convince myself that I did not actually need one. When I looked
Travel and Hotel Arrangements
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What time does the plane to Chicago leave?
When does the next flight to Chicago leave?
Can I get onto the next flight?
Can I change my flight schedule?
What’s the departure time?
Is the plane on time?
What’s the arrival time?
Will I be able to make my connection?
I have misplaced my hand luggage. Where is lost property?
How much is it to upgrade this ticket to first class?
I want to change the return flight date from Boston to Madrid to November 30th.
Is it possible to purchase an open ticket?
I have missed my flight to New York. When does the next flight leave, please?
Can I use the ticket I have or do I need to pay for a new one?
Announcing Changes in an Airline Flight
Our flight to Madrid has been cancelled because of snow.
Our flight to Chicago has been delayed; however, all connecting flights can be
made.
Flight number 112 to Paris has been cancelled.
Flight number 1145 has been moved to gate B12.
Passengers for flight number 112 to London go to gate 7. Hurry up! Our flight
has been called over the loudspeaker.
At the Boarding Gate
We will begin boarding soon.
We are now boarding passengers in rows 24 through 36.
May I see your boarding card?
Arrival
Pick up your luggage at the terminal.
Where can I find a luggage cart (
, trolley)?
Where is the taxi stand (
, taxi rank)?
Where is the subway stop (
, underground station)?
Where is the way out?
Complaining About Lost or Damaged Luggage
My luggage is missing.
One of my bags seems to be missing.
My luggage is damaged.
One of my suitcases has been lost.
Unit VI
Attending a Scientific Course or Conference
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Interacting with international colleagues is certainly a good way to warm
up to a good presentation in English as a second language. Don’t let your lack
of uency in day-to-day English in any way undermine your ability to deliver
a good or even great presentation. Unit 7 will discuss in detail how to improve
your presentation, feel at ease giving it, and even enjoy it. This unit now
provides you with tips and useful sentences in your itinerary to an international
scientic course: airport, plane, customs, taxi, hotel checking in, and nally,
the course itself. Unless you have overcome the conversational hurdles in the
scenarios that come before the course, rstly, you are not going to get to the
course venue and, secondly, if you do get to it, you will not feel like delivering
your presentation.
Travel and Hotel Arrangements
Airport
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Unit VI
Attending a Scientific Course
or Conference
Introduction
In the following pages we take a look inside international scientic meetings.
We recommend upper-intermediate English speakers to quickly go over them
and intermediate English speakers to review this section thoroughly in order to
become familiar with the jargon of international congresses, as well as that of the
conversational scenarios such as the airport, plane, customs, taxi, hotel checking
in, and nally the course itself that make up the usual itinerary of every scientist
attending an international course.
Most beginners do not go alone to their rst courses abroad. This fact would
appear to be a relief for non-natives, who do not need to cope with the idi
omatic difculties on their own. In reality, it has an important drawback: most
non-native English-speaking scientists in training go back to their countries of
origin having uttered hardly a single word in English. There is no doubt that
speaking in English with your fellow countrymen in an international meeting is
unnatural. That much we’ll give you. But the sad reality is that you are very likely
to spend over 90% of your time talking with the very colleagues that you came
to the meeting with and about the same things you were talking about back
home. So, what is the point of traveling then? Scary thought, isn’t it? Our heart
felt advice, if you feel brave and radical enough to go for it, is that you kindly
lose them! That’s correct. Go interact with the rest of the crowd. It’ll surely be
tougher at rst, but innitely more rewarding. Do not waste such an excellent
opportunity to improve and maintain your level of both colloquial English and
scientic English.
The pressure to get your English up to scratch (i.e., up to the standard required
or expected) is even greater if you happen to be making a presentation at the
meeting. Most non-native English-speaking lecturers resign themselves to just
giving the lecture and … “survive,” forgetting that if they do not enjoy their
lecture, the audience will not enjoy it either. They think that to enjoy giving
a lecture, your native tongue must be English. We strongly disagree with this
point since many speakers do not enjoy their talks in their own native tongues,
and it is our understanding that having a good time delivering a presentation
has much more to do with your approach to it and your personality than with
your native tongue.
R. Ribes et al.,
English for Biomedical Scientists,
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-77127-2_6, © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009
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UNIT VI
In Summary
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In Summary
To sum up, a few simple formal details must be recalled:
“Dear Dr. Smith,” is the usual way to begin an academic letter. Recall that after
the name of the editor you must insert a comma or nothing at all. Continue
the letter with a new paragraph.
The usual formula “find enclosed …” can nowadays be replaced by “find
attached …” taking into consideration that most papers are submitted via the
internet.
“I look forward to hearing from you” is a standard sentence at the end of any
formal letter and you have to bear in mind, in order to avoid a usual mistake,
that “to” is a preposition to be followed by a gerund rather than the infinitive
particle of the verb that follows it. Do not make the usual mistake of writing
“I look forward to hear from you.” Similar formulas are: “I look forward to
receiving your comments on …”
“Your consideration is appreciated” or “Thank you for your consideration”
are standard sentences to be written at the end of letters to editors.
“I look forward to receiving your feedback on …” is a slightly more casual
formula commonly used in letters to editors.
“Yours faithfully,” is used when you do not know the name of the person you
are writing to, whereas “Sincerely,”/“Sincerely yours,”/“Yours sincerely,” must
be written when you address the letter to a person by name. Therefore, if the
letter begins with “Dear Dr. Olsen,” it must end up with “Yours sincerely,” and
if it is addressed to the editor as such it must finish with “Yours faithfully,”.
Other appropriate common expressions are “With best wishes,” or “With kind
regards,”. Don’t forget to add your signature below the adverb or pronoun.
Remember that dates are written differently in American (month-day-year)
and British English (day-month-year).
Whenever you cannot address one of the editors’ suggestions, explain why
it was not possible in the re-submission letter so the reviewers do not waste
time looking for it in the manuscript. For example:
We have included the technical parameters of our imaging protocol although it
has not been possible to expand the technical section as suggested by reviewer
no. 1 due to space limitation.
Unit V
Writing Scientific Correspondence
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Postponing the Commencement of Duties
Gran Vía, 113
Madrid, 28004
17 November 2006
Robert H. Shaw, MD
Department of Genetics
Massachusetts General Hospital
22 Beacon St
Boston, MA, USA
Dear Dr. Shaw,
I would like to thank you for your letter of 11 February 2001 offering me an
Instructor position in your lab from April 1
, 2001.
I am very pleased to accept the post but unfortunately I will not be able to arrive
to Boston until middle of April due to an expected delay in the processing of my
J1 visa. Would it, therefore, be possible for you to postpone the commencement
of my duties to the second fortnight of April?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Yours sincerely,
Angela Maldini, MD
Unit V
Writing Scientific Correspondence
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Asking About the Status of a Paper
In these letters we inquire about the situation of our article since we have not
received any response from the journal. Regrettably in the academic world “no
news” is not usually “good news”, and many of these inquiries end up with a
polite rejection letter.
Dear Dr. Ross,
As I have not received any response regarding the manuscript “Sox10 determines
oligodendrocyte development in the mouse,” I wondered whether you could give
us any feed-back on the status of the paper.
Please use the following e-mail address for further correspondence:
[email protected]
I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.
Yours sincerely,
J. Sanz, MD, PhD
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Unit V
Writing Scientific Correspondence
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We have included the technical parameters of our imaging protocol as suggested
by reviewer no. 1
This is a usual way of addressing a reviewer’s comment.

Similarly, … could not be expanded as suggested by reviewer no. 2 due to space
limitation
Whenever you don’t follow a suggestion, you must give an explanation.
With regard to figures:
Or regarding figures, as regards figures, as for figures (without the prepo
sition “to”).
The raw dot-plot data have been incorporated
This is a usual way of addressing a reviewer’s comment.
The image quality of figure 2 has been improved
This is a usual way of addressing a reviewer’s comment.
With regard to comments on figures 1 and 2 by reviewer no. 1:
This is a usual way of addressing a reviewer’s comment.
Figure 1a does indeed show the healthy controls data
This is a usual way of addressing a reviewer’s comment.

Figure 2c shows confocal imaging as described in the revised version of the
legend
This is a usual way of addressing a reviewer’s comment.

Results and Discussion sections in the manuscript have been combined as
required by the new format
This is a usual way of addressing a reviewer’s comment.
We look forward to hearing from you
Remember that the verb following the verb “to look forward to” must be
form.
Yours sincerely,
Bear in mind that if you don’t know the name of the editor you should
write “Yours faithfully” instead.
Ricardo Palomino, MD, and co-authors
Although the corresponding author is the only one who signs the letter,
sometimes a reference is made to the co-authors.

We have assigned distinct figures to different entities in most cases although
the limited number of figures allowed - 15 - made it impossible to do it in
all cases.
6.
With regard to comments on figures 1 and 2 by reviewer no. 1
Figure 1a does indeed show the healthy controls data
. Aortic enhance
ment is not well seen due to the poor contrast resolution of this image
which was acquired a long time ago and was one of our first abdominal
MR 3D acquisitions.
Figure 2c shows confocal imaging as described in the revised version of
the legend
7.
Results and Discussion sections in the manuscript have been combined as
required by the new format
We look forward to hearing from you
Yours sincerely
, (21)
Ricardo Palomino, MD, and co-authors
1.
Dear Dr. Silverman
This sentence ends with a comma rather than a semicolon.
2.
We have reconfigured the manuscript referenced above
The content of the letter must be summarized in the first paragraph.
3.
… following your suggestion
This is one of the commonest sentences in re-submission/re-configura
tion letters.
4.
… space limitation imposed by the new format of the paper
Space limitation, provided the new format limits it, must be taken into
consideration by both the authors and the reviewers.
5.
have given priority to the most relevant figures, the data of which cannot be
described in the text
May be a criterion for the shortening of the manuscript.
6.
for this reason we do not attach an annotated copy
Whenever you don’t follow a suggestion, you must give an explanation.
7.
if you still consider it necessary please let us know
Always leave open the possibility of adding more information in further
correspondence.
8.
“allow the reader to more easily reach the information shortening the length of
the manuscript text”
You can use as an argument what was literally suggested by the reviewer
by writing it in inverted commas.
9.
as stated by reviewer no. 2
This is a usual way of addressing a reviewer’s comment.

… following your recommendation
This is also a usual way of addressing a reviewer’s comment.
Unit V
Writing Scientific Correspondence
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Unit V
Writing Scientific Correspondence
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Editors of scientic journals need to deal with huge numbers of manuscripts.
Thus, submission letters must be kept particularly brief. Nevertheless, in some
instances you may want to add a paragraph to highlight the main message of
your work or its particular suitability for the journal. Such brief comments may
help getting the editor’s attention.
Ricardo Palomino M.D, Ph.D
The Anthony Nolan Research Institute
London, United Kingdom
[email protected]
April 11, 2002
Dr. Nicholas Silverman
European Editor
Journal of Gene Therapy
Dear Dr. Silverman,
Please consider the manuscript entitled “
Functional impairment of human
T-lymphocytes following retroviral transduction: Implications for gene therapy
” for
publication in the
Journal of Gene Therapy
The immune competence of retrovirus-mediated gene modied T-cells is criti
cal for a benecial effect to follow their adoptive transfer into patients. In this
study, we show a functional disadvantage for PHA-expanded cells in their capac
ity to respond in vitro to allogeneic and viral-specic stimulation. Also, we iden
tify alternative transduction protocols that preserve this functional capacity, and
uncover the underlying mechanisms that may explain these functional differ
ences. We believe that the
Journal of Gene Therapy
, which particularly encour
ages clinical applications of gene therapy techniques, would be a most suitable
journal to communicate this work that we submit for your consideration.
Thank you very much for your time and consideration. We look forward to
hearing from you soon.
Yours sincerely,
Ricardo Palomino
BookID 158386_ChapID 05_Proof# 1 -
Unit V
Writing Scientific Correspondence
This unit is made up of several examples of letters sent to editors of scientic
journals. Our intention is to provide you with useful tools to communicate with
journal editors and reviewers in a formal manner. It is our understanding that
letters to editors have quite an important, and many times overlooked, role in
the fate of scientic manuscripts.
Although we are not going to focus on letters from editors since they are, gen
erally speaking, easy to understand, these letters can be divided into acceptance
“under certain conditions” letters, acceptance letters, and rejection letters.
Acceptance “under certain conditions” letters. These letters are relatively com
mon, and usually mean some level of work since the paper must be re-written.
Acceptance letters. Congratulations! Your paper has finally been accepted and no
corrections have to be made. These letters are, unfortunately, relatively uncom
mon, and quite easy to read. Besides, they do not need to be replied to.
Rejection letters. There are many polite formulas of letting you know that
your paper is not going to be published in a particular journal. These letters
are instantly understood and since they do not need to be replied to, no time
needs to be wasted on them from an idiomatic point of view.
We have divided up the letters to editors into:
Submission letters
Re-submission letters
Re-configuration letters
Letters of thanks for an invitation to publish an article in a journal
Letters asking about the status of a paper
Other letters
BookID 158386_ChapID 05_Proof# 1 -
UNIT V
Final Tips
BookID 158386_ChapID 4_Proof# 1 - 20/3/2009
Final Tips
Before you submit your article for publication check its spelling, and go over
your article for words you might have omitted or typed twice, as well as words
you may have misused such as using “there” instead of “their.” Do not send an
article with spelling or dosage errors or other medical inaccuracies. And do not
expect the spell-check function on your computer to catch all your spelling
mistakes.
Be accurate. Check and double-check your facts and reference citations. Even
after you feel the article is nished leave it for a day or two and then go back to
it. The changes you make to your article after seeing it in a new light will often
be the difference between a good article and a great article.
Once you believe everything is correct, give the draft to your English teacher
for a nal informal editing. Do not send your rst (or even second) draft to the
publisher!
Do not forget to read and follow carefully the specic “Instructions for
authors” of the journal in which you want your work to be published.
Figure 7. AFX with distortion of histopathologic architecture as a consequence
of intratumoral …
Figure 8. Southern blot analysis of PAC clones confirms the presence of the
Sox10 gene. Clones were digested with EcoRI and hybridized to a 3’-Sox10-
UTR cDNA probe. The expected band size is 5 kb
Unit IV
Writing a Manuscript
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Additional Material
Tables
All tabulated data identied as tables should be given a table number and a
descriptive caption. Take care that each table is cited in numerical sequence in
the text.
The presentation of data and information given in the table headings should
not duplicate information already given in the text. Explain in footnotes all non-
standard abbreviations used in the table.
If you need to use any table or gure from another journal, make sure you ask
for permission and put a note such as:
Adapted, with permission, from reference 5
Figures
Figures should be numbered consecutively in the order in which they are rst
cited in the text. Follow the “pattern” of similar illustrations of your references.
Figure 6. Histological risk associated with the outcome of liver GVHD
Figure 7. Typical metastatic compression fracture in a 65-year-old man
1-weighted MR image (400/11) shows …
Figure 1. Northern blot analysis shows …
Figure 2. Cryosection from the ventral columns of a cervical spinal cord shows …
Figure 3. Selective renal arteriogram shows …
Figure 4. Photograph of a fresh-cut specimen shows …
Figure 5. Photomicrograph (original magnification, ×10; hematoxylin-eosin
stain) of …
Figure 6. Nasal-type extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma involving the nasal
cavity in a 42-year-old woman. Photomicrograph (original magnification,
×400; hematoxylin-eosin [H-E] stain) of a nasal mucosal biopsy specimen
shows intense infiltration of atypical lymphoid cells into the vascular intima
and subintima (arrow). This is a typical appearance of angiocentric invasion
in which the vascular lumen
(V)
is nearly obstructed
References
BookID 158386_ChapID 4_Proof# 1 - 20/3/2009
Other Published Material
Newspaper Article
Lee G. Hospitalizations tied to ozone pollution: study estimates 50,000 admissions
annually. The Washington Post 1996 Jun 21; Sect. A:3 (col. 5)
Audiovisual Material
HIV+/AIDS: the facts and the future [videocassette]. St. Louis (MO): Mosby Year-
Book; 1995
Dictionary and Similar References
Stedman’s medical dictionary. 26th ed. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins; 1995.
Apraxia; pp. 119–20
Unpublished Material
In Press
(Note: NLM prefers “forthcoming” because not all items will be printed.)
Assessment of chest pain in the emergency room: What is the role of multidetector
CT? Eur J Radiol. In press 2006
Electronic Material
Journal Article in Electronic Format
Morse SS. Factors in the emergence of infectious diseases. Emerg Infect Dis [serial
online] 1995 Jan-Mar [cited 1996 Jun 5]; 1(1):[24 screens]. Available from: URL
ttp://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/eid.ht
Monograph in Electronic Format
CDI, clinical dermatology illustrated [monograph on CD-ROM]. Reeves JRT,
Maibach H. CMEA Multimedia Group, producers. 2nd ed. Version 2.0. San Diego:
Computer File
Hemodynamics III: the ups and downs of hemodynamics [computer program].
Version 2.2. Orlando (FL): Computerized Educational Systems; 1993
Unit IV
Writing a Manuscript
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Chapter in a Book
Levine MS. Benign tumors of the esophagus. In: Gore RM, Levine MS, editors.
Textbook of gastrointestinal radiology. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders; 2000.
pp. 387–402
(Note: Previous Vancouver style had a colon rather than a p before pagination.)
Conference Proceedings
Kimura J, Shibasaki H, editors. Recent advances in clinical neurophysiology. Pro
ceedings of the 10th International Congress of EMG and Clinical Neurophysiology;
1995 Oct 15–19; Kyoto, Japan. Amsterdam: Elsevier; 1996
Conference Paper
Bengtsson S, Solheim BG. Enforcement of data protection, privacy and security in
medical informatics. In: Lun KC, Degoulet P, Piemme TE, Rien?hoff O, editors.
MEDINFO 92. Proceedings of the 7th World Congress on Medical Informatics;
1992 Sep 6–10; Geneva, Switzerland. Amsterdam: North-Holland; 1992. pp.
Scientific or Technical Report
Issued by funding/sponsoring agency:
Smith P, Golladay K. Payment for durable medical equipment billed dur
ing skilled nursing facility stays. Final report. Dallas (TX): Dept. of Health and
Human Services (US), Ofce of Evaluation and Inspections; 1994 Oct. Report No.:
Issued by performing agency:
Field MJ, Tranquada RE, Feasley JC, editors. Health services research: work force
and educational issues. Washington: National Academy Press; 1995. Contract
No.: AHCPR282942008. Sponsored by the Agency for Health Care Policy and
Research
Dissertation
Kaplan SJ. Post-hospital home health care: the elderly’s access and utilization
[dissertation]. St. Louis (MO): Washington Univ.; 1995
Patent
Larsen CE, Trip R, Johnson CR, inventors; Novoste Corporation, assignee. Methods
for procedures related to the electrophysiology of the heart. US patent 5,529,067.
1995 Jun 25
References
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Type of Article Indicated as Needed
Enzensberger W, Fischer PA. Metronome in Parkinson’s disease [letter]. Lancet
Clement J, De Bock R. Hematological complications of hantavirus nephropathy
(HVN) [abstract]. Kidney Int 1992;42:1285
Unit IV
Writing a Manuscript
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Article Not In English
(Note: NLM translates the title to English, encloses the translation in square
brackets, and adds an abbreviated language designator.)
Zangos S, Mack MG, Straub R, et al. [Transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) of
liver metastases: a palliative therapeutic approach]. Radiologie 2001: 41(1):84–90.
German
Volume with Supplement
Shen HM, Zhang QF. Risk assessment of nickel carcinogenicity and occupational
lung cancer. Environ Health Perspect 1994
;102 Suppl 1:275–82
Issue with Supplement
Payne DK, Sullivan MD, Massie MJ. Women’s psychological reactions to breast
cancer. Semin Oncol 1996
; 23(1 Suppl 2):89–97
Hamm B, Staks T, Taupitz M. SHU 555A: a new superparamagnetic iron oxide
contrast agent for magnetic resonance imaging. Invest Radiol 1994
; 29(Suppl 2):
Volume with Part
Ozben T, Nacitarhan S, Tuncer N. Plasma and urine sialic acid in non-insulin
dependent diabetes mellitus. Ann Clin Biochem 1995
Issue with Part
Poole GH, Mills SM. One hundred consecutive cases of ap lacerations of the leg in
ageing patients. N Z Med J 1994; 107(986 Pt 1):377–8
Issue with No Volume
Turan I, Wredmark T, Fellander-Tsai L. Arthroscopic ankle arthrodesis in
rheumatoid arthritis. Clin Orthop 1995; (320):110–4
No Issue or Volume
Browell DA, Lennard TW. Immunologic status of the cancer patient and the effects
of blood transfusion on antitumor responses. Curr Opin Gen Surg 1993
Pages in Roman Numerals
Fisher GA, Sikic BI. Drug resistance in clinical oncology and hematology. Introduction.
Hematol Oncol Clin North Am 1995 Apr; 9(2)
: xi–xii
References
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Avoid using abstracts as references. References to papers accepted but not yet
published should be designated as “in press” or “forthcoming”; authors should
obtain written permission to cite such papers as well as verication that they
have been accepted for publication. Information from articles submitted but not
accepted should be cited in the text as “unpublished observations” with written
permission from the source.
Avoid citing a “personal communication” unless it provides essential infor
mation not available from a public source, in which case the name of the person
and date of communication should be cited in parentheses in the text. For sci
entic articles, authors should obtain written permission and conrmation of
accuracy from the source of a personal communication.
The references must be veried by the author(s) against the original documents.
The Uniform Requirements style (the Vancouver style) is based largely on
an ANSI standard style adapted by the NLM for its databases. Notes have been
added where Vancouver style differs from the style now used by NLM.
Articles in Journals
Standard Journal Article
List the rst six authors followed by et al. (
Note
: NLM now lists up through 25
authors; if there are more than 25 authors, NLM lists the rst 24, then the last
author, then et al.)
Theodorou SJ, Theodorou DJ, Schweitzer ME, Kakitsubata Y, Resnick D. Mag
netic resonance imaging of para-acetabular insufciency fractures in patients with
malignancy. Clin Radiol 2006 Feb;61(2):181–190
As an option, if a journal carries continuous pagination throughout a volume,
the month and issue number may be omitted. (
Note
: for consistency, the option
is used throughout the examples in Uniform Requirements. NLM does not use
the option.)
Theodorou SJ, Theodorou DJ, Schweitzer ME, Kakitsubata Y, Resnick D. Mag
netic resonance imaging of para-acetabular insufciency fractures in patients with
malignancy. Clin Radiol 2006;61:181–190
Organization as Author
The Evidence-based Radiology Working Group. Evidence-based radiology: a new
approach to the practice of radiology. Radiology 2001;220:566–575
No Author Given
Cancer in South Africa [editorial]. S Afr Med J 1994;84:15
Unit IV
Writing a Manuscript
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investigators” or “participating investigators,” and their function or contribu
tion should be described: for example, “served as scientic advisors,” “critically
reviewed the study proposal,” “collected data,” or “provided and cared for study
patients.”
Because readers may infer their endorsement of the data and conclusions,
everybody must have given written permission to be acknowledged.
The authors express their gratitude to … for their excellent technical support
The authors thank Wei J. Chen, MD, ScD, Institute of Epidemiology, College of
Public Health, National Taiwan University, Taipei, for the analysis of the statistics
and his help in the evaluation of the data. The authors also thank Pan C. Yang, MD,
PhD, Department of Internal Medicine, and Keh S. Tsai, MD, PhD, Department of
Laboratory Medicine, National Taiwan University, Medical College and Hospital,
Taipei, for the inspiration and discussion of the research idea of this study. We also
thank Ling C. Shen for her assistance in preparing the manuscript
We thank Drs. Sirolli and Frade for insightful discussions and comments on this
manuscript
We thank Rocco Fontana for antibodies against PLP and MBP
We are grateful to Sophia Wilson for expert help in pronuclear microinjections
References
References can be numbered consecutively in the order in which they are rst
mentioned in the text or listed alphabetically by author’s last name. Identify
references in text, tables, and legends by Arabic numerals in parentheses (some
journals require superscript Arabic numbers). References cited only in tables or
gure legends should be numbered in accordance with the sequence established
by the rst citation in the text of the particular table or gure.
Clinically, resting thallium-201
Tl) single photon emission computed
tomography (SPECT) has been widely used to evaluate myocardial viability in
patients with chronic coronary arterial disease and acute myocardial infarction
Lymphoma is currently the most frequent indication for performing an HSCT
in Europe. In particular, the percentage of allogeneic HSCT for lymphoma has
markedly increased over the recent years due to the introduction of reduced-
intensity conditioning allogeneic HSCT
Use the style of the examples below, which are based on the formats used by the
NLM in
Index Medicus
. The titles of journals should be abbreviated according
to the style used in
Index Medicus
. Consult the
List of Journals Indexed in Index
Medicus
, published annually as a separate publication by the library and as a list
in the January issue of
Index Medicus
. The list can also be obtained through the
library’s website (
ttp://www.nlm.nih.go
Main Text
BookID 158386_ChapID 4_Proof# 1 - 20/3/2009
Discussion
Within this section, use ample subheadings. Emphasize the new and important
aspects of the study and the conclusions that follow from them. Do not repeat
in detail data or other material given in the Introduction or the Results sections.
Include in the Discussion section the implications of the ndings and their limi
tations, including implications for future research. Relate the observations to
other relevant studies.
Link the conclusions with the goals of the study, but avoid unqualied state
ments and conclusions not completely supported by the data. In particular, avoid
making statements on economic benets and costs unless the report includes
economic data and analyses. Avoid claiming priority and alluding to work that
has not been completed. State new hypotheses when warranted, but clearly label
them as such. Recommendations, when appropriate, may be included.
This study demonstrates that …
This study highlights …
Another finding of our study is …
This work has clearly shown another important …
One limitation of our study was …
Other methodological limitations of this study …
Our results support …
Our data support …
Our results show …
Further research is needed to elucidate …
However, the limited case number warrants a more comprehensive study to con
firm these findings and to assess the comparative predictive value of relative lung
volume versus LHR
Some follow-up is probably appropriate for these patients
However, we cannot exclude the possibility that …
Our results are inconsistent with recent studies that …
Further research is needed to determine the factors associated with multiple scle
rosis (MS) relapse
The data also raise new questions …
It will be interesting to determine whether …
Acknowledgments
List all contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship, such as a per
son who provided purely technical help, writing assistance, or a department
chair who provided only general support. Financial and material support should
also be acknowledged.
People who have contributed materially to the paper but whose contribu
tions do not justify authorship may be listed under a heading such as “clinical
Unit IV
Writing a Manuscript
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Images were captured digitally on a Dell computer by using the SimplePCI
imaging software
The sequences obtained in the study were analysed using the Sequence Analysis
software package by Genetic Computers Inc
Sequences were compared with those in the NCBI database using NCBI Blast
program
Results
Present your results in a logical sequence in the text, along with tables, and
illustrations. Do not repeat in the text all the data in the tables or illustrations;
emphasize or summarize only important observations. Avoid nontechnical uses
of technical terms in statistics, such as “random” (which implies a randomizing
device), “normal,” “signicant,” “correlations,” and “sample.” Dene statistical
terms, abbreviations, and most symbols:
Statistically significant differences were shown for both
Significant correlation was found between
Results are expressed as means±SD
All the abnormalities in our patient population were identified on the prospective
clinical interpretation
The abnormalities were correctly characterized in 14 patients and incorrectly in …
The preoperative and operative characteristics of these patients are listed in Table 1
The results
of the US-guided core-needle pleural biopsies are shown in Table 1
The clinical findings are summarized in Table 1
Report any complication:
Two minor complications were encountered. After the second procedure, one
patient had a slight hemoptysis that did not require treatment, and one patient
had local chest pain for about 1 hour after a puncture in the supraclavicular
region. Pneumothorax was never encountered
Among the 11,101 patients, there were 373 in-hospital deaths (3.4%), 204
intraoperative/postoperative CVAs (1.8%), 353 patients with postoperative
bleeding events (3.2%), and 142 patients with sternal wound infections (1.3%)
Give numbers of observations. Report losses to observation (such as dropouts
from a clinical trial):
The final study cohort consisted of …
Of the 961 patients included in this study, 69 were reported to have died
(including 3 deaths identified through the NDI), and 789 patients were
interviewed (Figure 1). For 81 surviving patients, information was obtained
from another source. Twenty-two patients (2.3%) could not be contacted and
were not included in the analyses because information on nonfatal events was
not available
Main Text
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Identify precisely all drugs and chemicals used, including generic name(s),
dose(s), and route(s) of administration. Do not use a drug’s trade name unless
it is directly relevant.
The imaging protocol included …
Cytokine-capture assay was performed following the manufacturer’s instructions
To assess objectively the severity of acute pancreatitis, all patients were scored
The stereotactic device used for breast biopsy has been described elsewhere (12);
it consists of a …
RT-PCR was carried out as previously described (2)
Statistics
Describe statistical methods with enough detail to enable a knowledgeable
reader with access to the original data to verify the reported results. Put a general
description of methods in the Methods section. When data are summarized in
the Results section, specify the statistical methods used to analyze them:
The statistical significance of differences was calculated with Fisher’s exact test
The probability of … was calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method
To test for statistical significance, …
Statistical analyses were performed with … and … tests
The levels of significance are indicated by
values
Interobserver agreement was quantified by using k statistics
All
values of less than 0.05 were considered to indicate statistical significance
Univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression models were used
The v
-test was used for group comparison. Descriptive values of variables are
expressed as means and percentages
We adjusted RRs for age (5-year categories) and used the Mantel extension test
to test for linear trends. To adjust for other risk factors, we used multiple logistic
regression
Give details about randomization:
They were selected consecutively by one physician between February 1999 and
June 2000
This study was conducted prospectively during a period of 30 months from March
1998 to August 2000. We enrolled 29 consecutive patients who had …
Specify any general-use computer programs used:
All statistical analyses were performed with SAS software (SAS Institute, Cary,
The statistical analyses were performed using SPSS for Windows, release 8.0
(SPSS, Chicago, Ill.)
Stained sections were observed under a Leica TCS SP confocal microscope using
Leica Confocal Software. Figures were prepared using Adobe Photoshop 6.0 software
Unit IV
Writing a Manuscript
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Donor female C57BL6xCBA F1 hybrid mice (4–5 weeks of age) were superovulated
with an intraperitoneal injection of 5 i.u. serum gonadotrophin (Folligon,
Intervet), followed 45 hours later by 5 i.u. human chorionic gonadotropin
(Chorulon®, Inervet). Gonadotropins were diluted in 0.9% sodium chloride
(NaCl Injection B.P., Antigen Pharmaceuticals)
Females that have been plugged by a vasectomized male were anaesthetized
with a solution containing 25% of fentanyl citrate/fluanisone (Hynorm, VetaP
harma Ltd.) and 25% of midazolam (Hypnovel, Roche). The induction dose was
administered intraperitoneally at a dose of 5
l/g body weight
Prehybridization was carried out in sealed roller bottles in a hybridization rotis
serie oven (Hybaid Maxi-14, USA) for at least 1 hour using 100
g/ml denatured
sheared salmon sperm DNA in MIB buffer (0.225 M NaCl, 15 mM NaH
1.5 mM EDTA, 10% PEG 8000, 7% SDS)
Absolute CD4
cell counts were determined using TruCOUNT technology
(Becton Dickinson, UK) according to the manufacturer’s instructions
Sections were incubated overnight at 4°C with GFP antibody (1:8000, Abcam,
Cambridge, UK)) or Sox10 antibody (1:2000; gift from Sofia Wilson, Harvard
Medical School, Boston, MA) in PBS containing 1% FCS.
It is essential that you state the manner by which studies were evaluated:
independent readings, consensus readings, blinded or unblinded to other
information, time sequencing between readings of several studies of the same
patient or animal to eliminate recall bias, and random ordering of studies.
It should be clear as to the retrospective or prospective nature of your study.
Entry/inclusion criteria included …
These criteria had to be met: …
Patients with … were not included
Further investigations, including … and …, were also performed
We prospectively studied
patients with …
The reviews were not blinded to the presence of …
The following patient inclusion criteria were used: age between 16 and 50 years
and closed epiphyses, ACL injury of one knee that required surgical replacement
with a bone-to-patellar tendon-to-bone autograft, and signed informed consent
with agreement to attend follow-up visits. The following exclusion criteria were
used: additional ligament laxities with a grade higher than 2 (according to the
European classification of frontal laxity) in the affected knee, …
Two skeletal radiologists (O.J., C.V.) in consensus studied the following param
eters on successive MR images …
Both the interventional cardiologists and echocardiographers who performed the
study and evaluated the results were blinded to drug administration
Histologic samples were evaluated in a blinded manner by one of the authors
and an outside expert in rodent liver pathology
Give references to established methods, including statistical methods that have
been published but are not well known; describe new or substantially modied
methods, give reasons for using these techniques, and evaluate their limitations.
Main Text
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Unit IV
Writing a Manuscript
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Contrast enhancement characteristics of breast cancer are significantly affected
by contrast injection rate. It is critical to incorporate contrast injection rate into
pharmacokinetic modeling for accurate characterization of breast cancer
Our results demonstrate that the CD45RA antigen should not be used alone
to define naïve CD4
T-cells when monitoring T-cell reconstitution in T-cell
replete HCT recipients
US is moderately accurate in the diagnosis of substantial fatty atrophy of the
supraspinatus or infraspinatus muscles
Overall, we show that preserved immune function and adequate gene-
transfer are not incompatible goals for protocols of retroviral transduction of
T-lymphocytes based on polyclonal expansion
The study data demonstrate …, Preliminary findings indicate …, Results suggest …
Keywords
Below the abstract you should provide, and identify as such, three to ten
keywords or short phrases that will assist indexers in cross-indexing the article
and may be published with the abstract. The terms used should be from the
Medical Subject Headings list of the Index Medicus (
ttp://www.nlm.nih.gov/
mesh/meshhome.htm
Main Text
The text of observational and experimental articles is usually (but not necessarily)
divided into sections with the headings
Introduction
Materials and Methods
Results
, and
Discussion
. Long articles may need subheadings within some sections
(especially the Results and Discussion sections) to clarify their content. Other
types of articles, such as Case Reports, Reviews, and Editorials, are likely to need
other formats. You should consult individual journals for further guidance.
Avoid using abbreviations. When used, abbreviations should be spelled
out the rst time a term is given in the text, for example
magnetic resonance
imaging (MRI)
Introduction
The text should begin with an Introduction that conveys the nature and purpose
of the work, and quotes the relevant literature. Give only strictly pertinent back
ground information necessary for understanding why the topic is important
and references that inform the reader as to why you undertook your study. Do
not review the literature extensively. The nal paragraph should clearly state the
hypothesis or purpose of your study. Brevity and focus are important.
Article Header
BookID 158386_ChapID 4_Proof# 1 - 20/3/2009
animals with … were included
animals with … were excluded
animals known to have/suspected of having …
… was performed in
animals with …
animals underwent …
Quantitative/Qualitative analyses were performed by …
Patients were followed clinically for … months/years
We examined the effects of iodinated IV contrast on blood pressure, heart rate
and renal function in 14 healthy young monkeys
Results
Provide the ndings of the study, including indicators of statistical signicance.
Include actual numbers, as well as percentages.
After 12 days culture, specific HLA tetramer binding CTL expanded up to 75%
of CD8+T cells. Phenotypic analysis showed that the antigen-specific CTL
were skewed towards a CCR7-/CD45RA- effector memory phenotype. To study
the origin of antigen-specificTem, CCR7/CD45RA CD8+ subpopulations (T
, T
and T
) were sorted and stimulated separately with peptide-pulsed
DC. This demonstrated that the expansion of antigen-specific cells took place
predominantly in the Tcm and Tem compartments and that the phenotype
converted from Tcm to Tem. Functional analysis showed efficient cytotoxic
target killing and expression of perforin, granzyme and IFN. Further analysis
for CD27/28 showed that the homogenous Tem population could be further
dissected into different maturation stages where CD27 expression correlated
inversely with the level of IFN and perforin expression, though the majority of
cells were double positive for CD27 and CD28, suggesting an early differentia
tion phenotype
Levels of CD25hiCD4+ Tregs were 2.35% of total CD4+ T cells +/-.42 in our
patient cohort. CD25hiCD4+ levels correlated with FOXP3 expression (r=.484;
p=.0001) and with TGF
production (r=.911; p.0001), in keeping with a true
regulatory phenotype. At a median follow-up of 3 years, patients with high Tregs
levels had a reduced overall survival (OS; 13% vs 52%; P=.001) and disease
free survival (DFS; 13% vs 26%; P=.033) compared to patients with lower
Tregs levels. Higher CD25hiCD4+ Tregs levels, however, did associate with an
increased risk of relapse (80% vs 47%; P=.001), suggesting an effect of Tregs on
GVT responses in this population
Conclusion
Summarize in one or two sentences the conclusion(s) made on the basis of the
ndings. Your conclusion should emphasize new and important aspects of the
study or observations.
MO7e-G cells provide a powerful system where to dissect the molecular basis of
the synergy between SCF and GCSF
Unit IV
Writing a Manuscript
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To characterize
the expression pattern of PLP in jimpy mice.
To assess
the usefulness of the Mouse Information and Classification Entity
(MICE) program to track and monitor research animals in large vivaria.
To examine
the molecular mechanisms that control floor plate and noto
chord formation in mice.
To establish …, To perform …, To study …, To design …, To analyze …, To
test …, To define …, To illustrate …
You can also begin with: “The aim/purpose/objective/goal of this study
was to ….”
The aim of this study was to
determine the distribution of Shh in normal
spinal cords using immunohistochemical methods.
The purpose of this study was to
determine the safety and effectiveness of the
MMR jab in children.
The goal of this investigation was to
determine if overexpression of PDGF-A
increased the number of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells in the mouse
spinal cord.
The objective of this study was to
determine whether estrogen has direct effects
on adipocyte development.
You may give some background and then state what you have done.
Autoimmune pancreatitis is a new clinical entity which frequently mimics
pancreatic carcinoma, resulting in unnecessary radical surgery of the pancreas.
The purpose of this study was to describe radiologic findings of autoimmune
pancreatitis
Myocardial fibrosis is known to occur in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyo-
pathy (HCM) and to be associated with myocardial dysfunction. This study was
designed to clarify the relation between myocardial fibrosis demonstrated by
gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (Gd-MRI) and procollagen
peptides or cytokines
It appears that oligodendrocytes (OLs) do not arise exclusively from the ventral
neural tube. Both halves of the neural tube give rise to oligodendrocyte precursor
cells (OLPs). It is well known that Shh is required for the specification of OLs in the
ventral neural tube, because disruption of Shh signaling prevents OLPs from being
generated in this region. However, Shh has never been detected in the dorsal region
of the neural tube. This would suggest that dorsally-derived OLPs are generated
using a different signaling pathway. The purpose of this study was to determine the
extracellular signals involved in the specification of OLPs in the dorsal neural tube
… . We hypothesized that …
… . We compared …
… . We investigated
Article Header
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Article Header
The title of the article should be concise but informative. Put a lot of thought
into the title of your article.
Abstract
An abstract of 150–250 words (it depends on the journal) must be submitted with
each manuscript. Remember that an abstract is a synopsis,
not
an introduction
to the article.
The abstract should answer the question: “What should readers know after
reading this article.”
Most journals require that the abstract is divided into four paragraphs with
the following headings.
Objective
To state the purposes of the study or investigation, the hypothesis being tested,
or the procedure being evaluated.
Notice that very often you may construct the sentence beginning with an
innitive tense:
To evaluate
the effects of interferons (IFNs) in experimental autoimmune
encephalomyelitis (EAE) mice.
To present
our experience with Affymetrix Gene Chips.
To study
the role of Sox10 in early neural crest development.
To assess
the effects of botulinum toxin in the treatment of cerebral palsy.
To compare
the image acquisition time for digital versus film-screen
imaging for screening mammography in a hard-copy interpretation
environment.
To determine
the origin of oligodendrocytes in the developing mouse
telencephalon using a Cre-lox genetic fate mapping approach.
To develop
an efficient and fully unsupervised method to quantitatively assess
myocardial contraction from 4D-tagged MR sequences.
To investigate
the role of p53 on the induction of apoptosis and cell cycle
arrest in zebrafish.
To ascertain
recent trends in imaging workload among the various medical
specialties.
To describe
the clinical and biological characteristics of Krabbe’s disease in
rhesus macaques.
Unit IV
Writing a Manuscript
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English language gives the speaker many more diverse alternative “routes” to
explore than any road network could ever provide a driver with. But when writing
science, you really have no other goal than getting from A to B as effectively and
clearly as possible. The readers of scientic journals are only interested in what you
did, what you found and what it means, not in any literary layers that you may be
able to wrap it up with. You must be clear, you must be precise, you must keep it
short, and you must be direct, like a “language highway”. In a nutshell, scientic
writing is to English language what the highway is to a road network.
In the following sections of this unit we will give you practical advice on how
to structure your manuscript, including examples for direct, clear, concise writ
ing. We understand well the frustration that stylistic efforts in a second language
can bring on to the non-native speaker. While we encourage such efforts, you
mustn’t forget that your real target is no more than putting together a well-
organized manuscript that clearly portrays your quality results. Even if the style
isn’t perfect the copyeditors of the journal will be able to make necessary stylistic
corrections. However, if the message of your research is not clearly presented,
if it does not include clear information about your data, there is nothing that
the editing process will be able to do to x it. Your best model to write a manu
script about your topic for a particular journal is another manuscript in the
same journal. Use effective imitation as a source to get right the structure of your
paper, the layout of paragraphs, or the level of detail, to mention a few aspects.
In case of doubt, always keep your wording and sentence structure simple.
Choose the shortest, most direct version that works. Finally, if at all feasible,
have a colleague with a good command of written scientic English to review
your manuscript before submission.
Preliminary Work
When you have a subject that you want to report, rst of all you need to look
up references. You can refer to the
Index Medicus
ttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.
gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=PubMe
) to search for articles. Once you have found
them, read them thoroughly and underline those sentences or paragraphs that
you think you might quote in your article.
As mentioned earlier, our advice is not to write the paper in your own lan
guage and then translate it into English; instead, write in English directly. In
order to do so, pick up, either out of these references, or out of the journal in
which you want your work to be published, the article that you nd closest to the
type of study that you want to report.
Although you must follow the instructions of the journal to which you want
to send the paper, here we use a standard form that may be adequate for most of
them. In each section, we give you a few examples just to show how you can get
them from other articles.
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Unit IV
Writing a Manuscript
In
nits I
and
we have given you a somewhat general introduction to
scientic English grammar and usage, and to some of the usual mistakes made
by non-native English-speaking biomedical scientists. In this unit, we leave
introductions behind and dive in for one of the most important skills that every
non-native scientist must develop: the capacity to deliver good scientic writing
in English. The premise to this statement can be briey put as follows:
English is not just the global language of science; it is virtually its only
language.
Science is not really science until published (i.e. written – peer reviewed –
published).
As a biomedical scientist you must be able to effectively write your research
in English.
This chapter is not intended to be a “Guide for Authors” such as those that you
can nd in any journal. Even if you still do not feel very comfortable with your
English skills, our main advice remains: do not write the paper rst in your own
language and then translate it into English; instead, do it in English directly.
Principles of Scientific Writing in English as a Foreign Language
English is a complicated language, as all our non-native readers have had the
opportunity to experience. Expressing a thought in English is a bit like planning
a road trip. This year my wife and I have planned a road trip for our summer
holiday. We have had a particularly busy year and longed for nothing but peace
and quiet. So, we chose to move away from the main roads and the busiest
tourist destinations and drive down secondary roads into rural areas where we
can enjoy the charm of small towns. The planning of our trip this year got me
thinking about scientic writing in English.
I realized that in a different state of mood we may have chosen a trip around
historical places and destinations as we did a few years back. Alternatively, we
could have just focused on scenic routes and driven just for the view. For sure,
there were multiple alternatives, all of them valid and possibly appropriate for
a good summer vacation. But, what if rather than an enjoyable holiday we were
planning a trip to quickly and effectively get from point A to point B? In this
case, no doubt we would have taken nothing but the highway.
R. Ribes et al.,
English for Biomedical Scientists,
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-77127-2_4, © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009
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Common Pronunciation Mistakes
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It is beyond the scope of this manual to go over all potentially tricky words in
terms of pronunciation, but we offer below a short list of more such words, and
would again encourage you to create your own “personal” list.
Medulla (me-dú-la)
Edema (e-di-ma)
Case report (kéis ri-pórt, NOT kéis ré-port)
Multidetector (multi-, NOT mul-tai)
Oblique (o-blík, NOT o-bláik)
Femoral (fí-mo-ral)
Jugular (jiugular)
Unit III
Usual Mistakes Made by Scientists Speaking and Writing in English
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If
record
is pronounced with the stress on the first syllable, we mean to
keep an account of, as in “Keep your medical records between you and your
doctor”.
If
record
is
pronounced
with the stress on the last syllable, we mean written
evidence as in “record all of your observations during your experiment in a
lab notebook”.
Our advice is: create a top-100 list with your day-to-day most difcult words in
terms of spelling. Once you are familiar with them enlarge your list by keeping
on reading out loud as many articles as you can.
We have created a list made up of some mispronounced scientic words. Since
this list is absolutely arbitrary and could vary depending on your native tongue,
we encourage you to create your own list.
Parenchyma
Parenchyma is, in principle, an easy word to pronounce. We include it in this
list because we’ve noticed that some lecturers, particularly Italians, tend to say
[pa-ren-kái-ma].
The letter “h”
“Silent h”: Italian and French speakers tend to skip this letter so that when
they pronounce the word “enhancement” they say [en-áns-ment] instead
of [en-háns-ment]. It is true that “h” can be silent but NOT always.
“Over-pronunciation”: Spanish speakers tend to over-pronounce the letter “h”.
Disease/decease
The pronunciation of
disease
can be funny since depending on how you pro
nounce the rst “s” you can be saying “decease” which is what terminal dis
eases end in. The correct pronunciation of
disease
is “di-ssís” with a liquid
“s”; if you say “di-sís” with a plain “s”, as many Spanish and Latin American
speakers do, every time you talk about, let’s say, Alzheimer’s disease, you are
talking about Alzheimer’s decease or Alzheimer’s death.
Hippocampus (think of
hippopotamus
A lack of etymological knowledge is responsible for this tricky mistake.
Many doctors worldwide say [haipo-cam-pus] as if they were talking about
the hypothalamus [haipo-ta-la-mus]. Unfortunately, hippocampus has no
etymological relationship to hypothalamus or hypotension.
Hippo-
means
“horse” (as in
hippopotamus
) and is pronounced [hipo-cám-pus].
Director
Although you can say both “di-rect” and “dai-rect” only “dai-rec-tor” is cor
rect; you cannot say “di-rec-tor”
Common Pronunciation Mistakes
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With regard to pronunciation, we recommend that you should:
Not be afraid of sounding different or funny. English sounds
are
different
and funny. Sometimes a non-native-speaking scientist may know how to pro
nounce a word correctly but is a bit ashamed of doing so, particularly in the
presence of colleagues of the same nationality. Do not be ashamed of pro
nouncing correctly independently of the nationality of your interlocutor.
Enjoy the effort of using a different set of muscles in the mouth. In the begin
ning the “English muscles” may become stiff and even hurt, but persevere,
this is only a sign of hard work.
Don’t worry about having a broad or even embarrassing accent in the begin
ning; it doesn’t matter as long as you are understood. The idea is to commu
nicate, to say what you think or feel, and not to give a performance in speech
therapy.
Try to pronounce English words properly. As time goes by and you begin to
feel relatively confident about your English, we encourage you to progres
sively and thoroughly study English phonetics. Bear in mind that if you keep
your pronunciation as it was at the beginning you will sound like American
or British people do when speaking your language with their unmistakable
accent.
Rehearse standard collocations in both conversational and scientific scenarios.
Saying straightforward things such as “Do you know what I mean?” or
“Would you do me a favor?” and “Where are the samples” will provide you
with extremely useful fluency tools.
Having your own
subtle
national accent in English is not a serious problem as
long as the presentation conveys the correct message. However, as far as pro
nunciation is concerned, there are several tricky words that cannot be properly
named false friends and need some extra attention.
In English there are some words that are spelled differently but sound very
much the same. Consider the following, for example:
Write: make words appear on a surface such as a paper. “Write your message
in the space provided.”
Right: correct, as in “the right answer”
Again, consider the following:
The English word
tear
means two different things according to how we
pronounce it:
If
tear
[tiar] is pronounced, we mean the watery secretion of the lacrimal
glands which serves to moisten the conjunctiva.
If
tear
[tear] is pronounced, we are referring to the action of wounding or
injuring, especially by ripping apart as in “there is a longitudinal
tear
in the
posterior horn of the internal meniscus”
Another example:
The English word
record
means two different things according to how we pro
nounce it:
Unit III
Usual Mistakes Made by Scientists Speaking and Writing in English
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In a word with double consonants and single consonants, avoid doubling the
single consonant and vice versa. Sagittal is a commonly misspelled word.
Dura mater (misspelled: dura matter)
Etymologically “mater” means “mother” and is written with one “t”. “Dura mat
ter” is a common mistake based upon the mixing up of “dura mater” and “gray/
white matter”. “Matter” means substance and has nothing to do with “mater”.
Arrhythmia (misspelled: arrhytmia)
Double-check the spelling of arrhythmia and be sure that the word “rhythm”
from which it is derived is embedded in it.
Review the following further pairs of words (with the misspelling given in
parentheses) and, more importantly, as we said above, create your own list of
“troublesome” words.
Professor (proffesor)
Professional (proffesional)
Occasion (ocassion)
Accommodate (acommodate)
Resection (ressection)
Gray-white matter (gray-white mater)
Subtraction (substraction)
Acquisition (adquisition)
Reference (referance)
Acquire (adquire)
Misspell (mispell)
Exceed (excede)
Argument (arguement)
A lot (allot)
Neurogenesis (neurogenisis)
Confocal imaging (confocol imaging)
Acceptable (aceptable)
Common Pronunciation Mistakes
For simplicity, we have taken the liberty of using an approximate representation
of the pronunciation instead of using the phonetic signs. We apologize to our
linguist colleagues who may have preferred a more orthodox transcription.
Pronunciation is one of the most dreaded nightmares of English. Although
there are pronunciation rules, there are so many exceptions that you must know
the pronunciation of most words by ear. Therefore, rstly, read out loud as
much as you can because it is the only way you will notice the unknown words
with regard to pronunciation, and secondly, when you attend a course, besides
concentrating on the presentation itself, focus on the way native-English-
speaking scientists pronounce the words you do not know.
Common Spelling Mistakes
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Tissue was sectioned on the coronal plane into 0.5 mm-thick slices using a
vibratome.
We use “in” when talking about planes (coronal, axial, sagittal …).
Tissue was sectioned in the coronal plane into 0.5 mm-thick slices using
a vibratome.
The research institute personal are very kind.
Personal is an adjective and relates to a person. On the other hand, the word
“personnel” is a noun and relates to the employees of an institution or com
pany. The correct word is “personnel,” not “personal.”
The research institute personnel are very kind.
Page to the veterinarian in charge of the animal facility.
The verb “to page” which could be related to the substantive “page” (a boy
who is employed to run errands) is not a phrasal verb and does not need the
preposition “to” after it. When you want the vet paged you must say:
Page the veterinarian in charge of the animal facility.
She works in the neurorradiology division.
This is a common mistake made by Spanish and Latin American scientists.
In English, neuroradiology is written with one “r”:
She works in the neuroradiology division.
Here is another example:
He works in the neurooncology department. (incorrect).
In this case neuroncology can be written with one or two “o”. If you keep both
“o” you must add a hyphen between them.
He works in the neuroncology department. (correct)
He works in the neuro-oncology department. (correct)
Common Spelling Mistakes
Create your own list of potentially misspelled words and don’t hesitate to write
down your own mnemonic if it helps you.
The following is a list of commonly misspelled words (with the most common
misspelling given in parentheses):
Parallel (misspelled: paralell)
Appearance (misspelled: apperance)
We’ve seen this mistake more than once in manuscripts.
Sagittal (misspelled: saggital)
Unit III
Usual Mistakes Made by Scientists Speaking and Writing in English
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Best regards.
Although it is used in both academic and informal electronic correspond
ence
best regards
is a mixture of two strong English collocations:
kind regards
best wishes
. In our opinion instead of
best regards
, which is colloquially
acceptable, you should write:
Kind regards
or simply
Regards
A Unique metastases was seen in the liver of mice treated with the mono
clonal antibodies.
Unique and metastases are incompatible terms since the former refers to
singular and the latter to plural. Therefore, the appropriate sentence should
have been:
A unique metastasis was seen in the liver of mice treated with the mono
clonal antibodies.
Multiple metastasis were seen in the brain.
Multiple and metastases are incompatible terms since the former refers
to plural and the latter to singular. Whenever you use a Latin term check
its singular and plural forms. Metastasis is singular whereas metastases is
plural so that
there are multiple metastasis
is not correct. In this case, you
should write:
Multiple metastases were seen in the brain.
An European expert on stem cells chaired the session.
Although European starts with a vowel and you may think the article which
must precede it is “an” as in “an airport”, the correct sentence, in this case, would
be:
European expert on stem cells chaired the session.
The lab meeting began a hour ago.
Although hour starts with a consonant and you may think the article
which must precede it is “a” as in “a cradle”, the correct sentence, in this case,
would be:
The lab meeting began an hour ago.
Words starting with a silent “h” are preceded by “an” as if they started with
a vowel.
The senior technician operates on the confocal microscope for everyone in
the lab.
This sentence is not correct since the verb “to operate” carries the preposition
“on” when it is used from a surgical point of view (with regard to both
patients and parts of the anatomy) but not when it refers to operation of
machinery or equipment. The correct sentence would have been:
The senior technician operates the confocal microscope for everyone
in the lab.
Common Grammatical Mistakes
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It allows to distinguish between …
You should use one of the following phrases:
It allows us to distinguish between …
It allows the distinction between …
The behaviour of the labeled cells was visualized by in situ hybridisation.
Check your paper or presentation for inconsistency in the use of American
and British English.
This example shows a sentence made up of American English words (
labeled
visualized
) and British English words (
behaviour
and
hybridisation
). So
choose American or British spelling depending on the journal or congress
you are sending your paper to.
The sentence should read:
The behaviour of the labelled cells was visualised by in situ hybridisation.
The behavior of the labeled cells was visualized by in situ hybridization
Please would you tell me where is the IR suite?
Embedded questions are always troublesome. Whenever a question is
embedded in another interrogative sentence its word order changes. This
happens when, trying to be polite, we incorrectly change
What time is it?
to
Would you please tell me what time is it?
instead of to
Would you please tell
me what time it is?
The direct question
where is the IR suite?
must be transformed to its embed
ded form as follows:
Please would you tell me where the IR suite is?
Most of the times hemangiomas …
You can say
many times
but not
most of the times
Most of the time
is correct
and you can use
commonly
or
frequently
as equivalent terms. Say instead:
Most of the time hemangiomas …
I look forward to hear from you.
This a very frequent mistake at the end of formal letters such as those sent
to editors. The mistake is based upon a grammatical error.
may be either
a part of the innitive or a preposition. In this case
is not a part of the
innitive of the verb
but a part of the prepositional verb
look forward
it is indeed a preposition.
There may be irreparable consequences of making this mistake. If you are
trying to have an article published in a prestigious journal you cannot make
formal mistakes which can preclude the reading of your otherwise interest
ing article.
So instead of
look forward to hear from you
, you should write:
I look forward to hearing from you.
Unit III
Usual Mistakes Made by Scientists Speaking and Writing in English
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So from now on, identify false friends in your own language and make a list
beginning with those belonging to your specialty; it is no use knowing false
friends in a language different from your own.
Common Grammatical Mistakes
These are some of the most common mistakes made by scientists speaking in
English:
The biology seminar will be held in the university library in the third floor.
Non-native speakers often choose the wrong preposition. In general, we use
“on” for a surface and “in” for an enclosed space.
The biology seminar will be held in the university library on the third floor.
You cannot go in to the radioactive room while an experiment is in progress.
Into/in often cause a lot of confusion for non-native speakers of English.
You cannot go into the radioactive room while an experiment is in
progress.
The complex binds to the 5’-end of a mRNA molecule.
Although
a messenger ribonucleic acid
… is correct, when you use the acronym
do not forget that “m” is read “em” which starts with a vowel, so the article to
be used is “an” instead of “a”. In this case you should write:
The complex binds to the 5’-end of an mRNA molecule.
The chairman of biology came from an university hospital.
Although university starts with a vowel, and you may think the article which
must precede it is “an” as in “an airport”, the “u” is pronounced “you” which
starts with a consonant, so the article to be used is “a” instead of “an”. In this
case you should write:
The chairman of biology came from a university hospital.
A 22-years-old man presenting …
Many times the rst sentence of the rst slide of a presentation contains the rst
error. For those lecturers at an intermediate level, this simple mistake is so evident
that they barely believe it is one of the most frequent mistakes ever made.
It is quite obvious that the adjective
22-year-old
cannot be written in the plu
ral and it should be written:
A 22-year-old man presenting …
There was not biopsy of the tissue.
This is a frequent and relatively subtle mistake made by upper-intermediate
speakers. If you still prefer the use of the negative form you should say:
There was not
any
biopsy of the tissue.
But the afrmative form is:
There was no biopsy of the lesion.
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Unit III
Usual Mistakes Made by
Scientists Speaking and Writing
In this section we try to share with you what we have found to be some of the
great hurdles in scientic English. There are many things that certainly can go
wrong when one is asked to give a lecture in English or whenever one is supposed
to communicate in English, and there are specic units to discuss those. This
unit is by no means an exhaustive account. After reviewing English grammar
usage, we think it is useful to pass our recollection of the commonest mistakes
from what we have learnt from our own experience in the fascinating world of
scientic English.
We have grouped these usual mistakes into four danger zones, in the hope
that their classication will make them become less of a problem. The categories
are the following:
Misnomers and false friends
Common grammatical mistakes
Common spelling mistakes
Common pronunciation mistakes
Misnomers and False Friends
Every tongue has its own false friends. A thorough review of false friends is
beyond the scope of this manual, and we suggest that you look for those tricky
names that sound similar in your language and in English but have completely
different meanings.
Think, for example, about the term
graft versus host disease
. The translation
of
has not been correct in some romance languages, and in Spanish the
term
, which in this context means recipient, has been translated as
huésped
which means
person staying in another’s house
. Many Spanish medical students
and patients have problems understanding this disease because of the terminol
ogy used. Taking into account that what actually happens is that the graft reacts
against the recipient, if the disease had been named
graft versus recipient disease
the concept would probably be more precisely conveyed.
R. Ribes et al.,
English for Biomedical Scientists,
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-77127-2_3, © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009
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Ellipsis
An ellipsis is a punctuation symbol that indicates an intentional omission of a
word or a phrase from an original text. In addition, in the grammar of a sentence
an ellipsis is a construction that lacks an element, which is omitted because the
logic or pattern of the whole sentence makes it unnecessary. Redundant informa
tion is often omitted in conversational English. Obviously, native-English speak
ers use ellipsis to a greater extent than non-native-English speakers. Using ellipsis
appropriately is a sign of uency in any language. Ellipsis can be used in replies,
at the beginning of a sentence, at the end of a sentence, to substitute a whole
innitive, after auxiliary verbs, and with a variety of conjunctions, pronouns and
prepositions among others. Take a minute to look at the examples below.
Can you speak English? Yes, I can.
The short answer
Yes, I can
, means
Yes, I can speak English
. Both are grammati
cally correct, but the long answer (without ellipsis) is generally not the choice
that most native-English speakers make when answering the question.
What is your name? John
The short answer
John
, means,
My name is John
Where are my samples? In the cold room.
The short answer
In the cold room
, means,
Your samples are in the cold room
Are you and John going to the Neuroscience meeting in Toronto ? We hope to.
The short answer
We hope to
, means,
Yes, we hope to go to the Neuroscience meet
ing in Toronto
Have you nished making the solutions? Yes, I have.
The short answer
Yes, I have
, means,
Yes, I have nished making the solutions
He worked in Dr. Smith’s laboratory, and so did I. (with ellipsis)
He worked in Dr. Smith’s laboratory, and I worked in Dr. Smith’s laboratory too.
(without ellipsis)
Which tubes are you going to use? These.
The short answer
These
, means,
I am going to use these tubes.
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Unit II
English Grammar Usage
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When you are talking about the past, you can use
by the time
By the time
they got to the hotel the congress had already started.
In/At/
We use
as in the following examples:
a room
a building
a town/
a country (Dr. Vida works
Cordoba.)
the water/ocean/river
a row
We use
as in the following examples:
the bus stop
the door/window
the top/bottom
the airport
work
an event (I saw Dr. Jules
the residents’ party.)
We use
as in the following examples:
the ceiling
the floor
the wall
a page
your nose
a farm
In or At?
We say
in the corner of a room, but at the corner of a street
We say
or
college/school. Use
when you are thinking of the college/
school as a place or when you give the name of the college/school:
Thomas will be
college for three more years.
He studied medicine
Harvard Medical School.
With buildings, you can use
or
Arrive
. We say:
Arrive in
a country or town (Dr. Vida
arrived in
Boston yesterday.)
Arrive at
other places (Dr. Vida
arrived at
the airport a few minutes ago.)
But:
arrive home
(Dr. Vida
arrived home
late after sending the article to
Nature.)
Prepositions
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We also say
in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening
I’ll give you the lab report
in the morning
We use
with days and dates:
October 24th
Monday
Saturday mornings
the weekend (
the weekend in British English)
We do not use
before
next
I’ll be in the laboratory
next
Saturday.
They bought a new scanner
year.
We use
before a period of time (i.e., a time in the future):
Our student went to Boston to do a rotation in Dr MacDonald’s laboratory.
He’ll be back
a year.
For, During,
While
We use
for
to say to how long something takes:
I’ve worked as a lab technician at this university
for
ten years.
You cannot use
during
in this way:
It rained
for
five days (not
during
five days).
We use
during
+ noun to say when something happens (not how long):
The student fell asleep
during
the safety meeting.
We use
while
+ subject + verb:
The student fell asleep
while
he was attending the safety meeting.
+ a time (i.e., not later than; you cannot use
until
with this meaning):
I mailed the article on hybrid human-animal embryos today, so they should
receive it
Tuesday.
Until
can be used to say how long a situation continues:
Let’s wait
until
the patient gets better.
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Unit II
English Grammar Usage
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Such
such
make the meaning of the adjective stronger.
We use
with an adjective without a noun or with an adverb:
The first-year PhD student is
so clever
The animal technician injected the drug
so carefully
that the animal did not
notice it.
We use
such
with an adjective with a noun:
She is such a
clever student
Prepositions
At/
n/In Time
We use
with times:
7 o’clock
midnight
breakfast time
noon (
midday in British English)
We usually leave out
when we ask (
what time
What time
are you reporting this evening?
What time
are you leaving the lab tonight?
We also use
in these expressions:
night
the moment
the same time
the beginning of
the end of
For example:
I don’t like to work alone
at night
Dr. Knight is giving a seminar
at the moment
We use
for longer periods of time:
June
summer
Adjectives
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Like
Like
Like
is a preposition, so it can be followed by a noun, pronoun or
form.
It means
similar to
or
. We use it when we compare things:
Under a microscope, adipose tissue looks like a collection of bubbles.
What does he do? He is a scientist,
like
+ subject + verb:
Don’t change the anesthetic dose. Leave everything
The tissue sample should have been treated
I showed you.
Meaning
what
The student did
he was told.
He carried out the experiment with only one sample,
I expected.
you know, we are sending an article to Nature Neuroscience next week.
I thought, the sample was contaminated.
can also be a preposition, so it can be used with a noun, but it has a
different
meaning from
like
+ noun is used to say what something really is or was (especially when we talk
about someone’s job or how we use something):
Before becoming a research scientist I worked
a research technician in a
small village.
As if
as though
are used to say how someone or something looks, sounds, feels,
…, or to say how someone does something:
The principal investigator treated me
I were an undergraduate student.
John sounds
as though
he has got a cold.
Expressions with
Such as
As usual
(Dr. Mas was late as usual.)
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Unit II
English Grammar Usage
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For example:
Common sense and patience are
the most important
things for a scientist.
This is the
brain CT I have reported in years.
Irregular Forms of Adjectives
good
better the best
bad
worse the worst
far farther/further the farthest/furthest
For example:
My ultrasound technique is
worse
now than during my first year of residence
in spite of having attended several ultrasound refresher courses.
Comparatives with
The
We use
+ comparative to talk about a change in one thing which causes a
change in something else:
The nearer the X-ray focus the better image we have.
The more you practice ultrasound the easier it gets.
The higher the contrast amount the greater the risk of renal failure.
Two things happening at the same time or over the same period of time:
The PhD student listened carefully
Dr. Fraser explained to his staff the
results obtained by the two techniques was unsatisfactory.
The accident occurred as I was leaving the laboratory.
One thing happening during another:
The patient died
the CT scan was being performed.
I had to leave the meeting just
the stem cell discussion was getting interesting.
Note that we use
only if two actions happen together. If one action follows
another we don’t use
, we use the particle
when
When
the injured scientist came to my office, I decided to call the ambulance.
Meaning
because
I was feeling sick, I decided to go to the doctor.
Adjectives
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For example:
I am going to try something
much simpler
to solve the problem.
The patient is
a little better
today.
The little boy is
a bit worse
today.
Sometimes it is possible to use two comparatives together (when we want to say
that something is changing continuously):
It is becoming
more and more
difficult to find a job in the pharmaceutical
industry.
We also
say twice as … as, three times as … as
Going to the American Society for Neuroscience meeting
is twice as expensive
going to the German one.
The Superlative
The form used for a superlative depends upon the number of syllables in the
adjective:
Adjectives of One Syllable
One-syllable adjectives are used with expressions of the form:
For example:
The number of scientists in your country is the
highest
in the world.
Adjectives of Two Syllables
Two-syllable adjectives are used with expressions of the form:
For example:
Phosphorus-32 (32P) is one of the
commonest
radioactive isotopes used in
basic research.
Phosphorus-32 (32P) is one of the
most common
radioactive isotopes used in
basic research.
Adjectives of Three or More Syllables
Adjectives of three or more syllables are used with:
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Unit II
English Grammar Usage
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For example:
Getting research grants is
less hard than
a few years ago.
Eating in the hospital is
as cheap as
eating at the Medical School.
Ultrasound examinations are difficult nowadays because people tend to be
fatter than
Adjectives of Two Syllables
Two-syllable adjectives (for example
dirty
clever
) are used with expressions
of the form:
(inferiority)
(equality)
more
(superiority)
We prefer
-er
for adjectives ending in
funny
pretty
…) and other adjectives
(such as
quiet
simple
narrow
clever
…). For other two-syllable adjectives we
more
For example:
The technical problem is
less simple than
you think.
My arm is
as painful as
it was yesterday.
The board exam was
easier than
we expected.
His illness was
more serious than
we first suspected, as demonstrated on the
high-resolution chest CT.
Adjectives of Three or More Syllables
Adjectives of three or more syllables (for example
expensive
comfort
able
) are used with expressions of the form:
(inferiority)
(equality)
more
(superiority)
For example:
Studying medicine in Spain is
less expensive than
in the States.
The small hospital was
as comfortable
as a hotel.
The results were
more interesting than
I had thought.
Before the comparative of adjectives you can use:
a (little) bit
much
a lot
Adjectives
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Adjective
rder
We have
fact adjectives
and
opinion adjectives
. Fact adjectives (
large
new
white
…) give us objective information about something (size, age, color, …). Opin
ion adjectives (
nice
beautiful
intelligent
, …) tell us what someone thinks of
something.
In a sentence, opinion adjectives usually go before fact adjectives:
An
intelligent
(opinion)
young
(fact) research associate visited me this
morning.
Dr. Spencer has a
nice
(opinion)
red
(fact) Porsche.
Sometimes there are two or more fact adjectives describing a noun, and
generally
we put them in the following order:
Size/length
Shape/width
3.
Age
Color
Nationality
Material
For example:
A tall young student.
A small round lesion.
A black latex leaded pair of gloves.
A large new white latex leaded pair of gloves.
An old American professor.
A tall young Italian post-doc.
A small square old yellow metal Geiger Counter.
egular Comparison of Adjectives
The form used for a comparison depends upon the number of syllables in the
adjective.
Adjectives of One Syllable
One-syllable adjectives (for example
tall
) are used with expressions of
the form:
(inferiority)
(equality)
(superiority)
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Unit II
English Grammar Usage
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-Ing and -Ed Forms Introducing a Clause
We can use an
form instead of a relative pronoun and an active verb:
Scientists
wanting
to train abroad should have a good level of English.
We can use an
-ed
form instead of a relative pronoun and a passive verb:
The scientist
injured
in the lab was taken to the hospital.
The
form or the
-ed
form can replace a verb in a present or past tense.
Why, When, and Where
We can use
why
when
, and
where
in a dening relative clause.
We can leave out
why
or
when
. We can also leave out
where
, but then we must
use a preposition.
We can form non-dening relative clauses with
when
where
The clinical history,
where
everything about a patient is written, is a very
important document.
We cannot leave out
when
where
from a non-dening clause.
Adjectives
An adjective describes (tells us something about) a noun.
In English, adjectives come before nouns (old hospital) and have the same
form in both the singular and the plural (new hospital, new hospitals) and in the
masculine and in the feminine.
An adjective can be used with certain verbs such as
get
seem
appear
look
seem
),
feel
sound
taste …
He has been
ill
since Friday, so he couldn’t attend the conference.
The patient was getting
worse
The pronuclear microinjection of DNA into fertilized oocytes seemed
but it wasn’t.
Myelinated axons appear
black
when stained with Sudan Black.
You look rather
tired
. Have you tested your RBC?
She felt
sick
, so she stopped the renal transplant scan.
Food in hospitals tastes
horrible
As you can see, in these examples there is no noun after the adjective.
Relative Clauses
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We can leave out
who
which
or
When it is the object of a relative clause.
The article on the spleen that you wrote is great.
The article on splenic embolization you wrote is great.
When there is a preposition. Remember that, in a relative clause, we usually
put a preposition in the same place as in the main clause (after the verb):
The congress that we are going to next week is very expensive.
The congress we are going to next week is very expensive.
Prepositions in
elative Clauses
We can use a preposition in a relative clause with
who
which
, or
, or without
a pronoun.
In relative clauses we put a preposition in the same place as in a main clause
(after the verb). We don’t usually put it before the relative pronoun. This is the
normal order in informal spoken English:
This is a problem
which
we can do very little about.
The student (
who
) I spoke to earlier isn’t here now.
In more formal or written English we can put a preposition at the beginning of
a relative clause. But if we put a preposition at the beginning, we can only use
which
or
whom
. We cannot use the pronouns
or
who
after a preposition:
This is a problem
about which
we can do very little.
The student
to whom
I spoke earlier isn’t here now.
elative Clauses Without a Pronoun (Special Cases)
Infinitive Introducing a Clause
We can use the innitive instead of a relative pronoun and a verb after:
The first, the second, … and the next
The only
Superlatives
For example:
Marie Curie was the first person
to win
two Nobel Prizes.
Rudolf Virchow was the first
to describe
glial cells.
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elative Pronouns
Relative pronouns are used for people and for things.
For people:
Subject:
who
Object:
who
whom
Possessive:
whose
For things:
Subject: which, that
Object: which, that
Possessive: whose
is used only for people. It can be the subject or the object of a relative
clause:
The woman
who
had only one copy of the mutation is said to have sickle cell
anemia.
Which
is used only for things. Like
who
, it can be the subject or object of a rela
tive clause:
The materials
which
are used for pronuclear microinjection of mouse zygotes
are very expensive.
is often used instead of
who
or
which
, especially in speech.
is used only for people. It is grammatically correct as the object of a rela
tive clause, but it is very formal and is not often used in spoken English. We can
whom
instead of
who
when
who
is the object of the relative clause or when
there is a preposition after the verb of the relative clause:
The graduate student
who
I am going to the meeting with is very nice.
The graduate student with
whom
I am going to the meeting is a very nice and
intelligent person.
Who is writing the letter?
To whom are you writing?
The professor
who
I saw in the Dean’s Office yesterday has been suspended
for having an inappropriate relationship with his student.
The professor
whom
I saw in the Dean’s Office yesterday has been suspended
for having an inappropriate relationship with his student.
Whose
is the possessive relative pronoun. It can be used for people and things.
We cannot omit
whose
Technicians
whose
wages are low should be paid more.
Relative Clauses
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In negative sentences we put
probably
before the negative:
probably
won’t see you at the safety course.
We also use
all
both
in these positions:
Jack and Tom are
both
able to carry out a PCR.
We
all
felt sick after the meal.
elative Clauses
A clause is a part of a sentence. A relative clause tells us which person or thing
(or what kind of person or thing) the speaker means.
A relative clause (e.g.,
who is on call?
) begins with a relative pronoun (e.g.,
who
which
whose
Do you know the student
who
is talking to Dr. Sirolli?
A relative clause comes after a noun phrase (e.g., the doctor, the nurse).
Most relative clauses are dening clauses and some of them are non-dening
clauses.
Defining Clauses
The book on developmental biology (that) you lent me is very interesting.
The relative clause is essential to the meaning of the sentence.
Commas are not used to separate the relative clause from the rest of the
sentence.
is often used instead of
who
or
which
, especially in speech.
If the relative pronoun is the object (direct object) of the clause, it can be
omitted.
If the relative pronoun is the subject of the clause, it cannot be omitted.
Non-defining Clauses
The first bone marrow transplant in Australia, which took place at our
hospital,
was a complete success
The relative clause is not essential to the meaning of the sentence; it gives us
additional information.
Commas are usually used to separate the relative clause from the rest of the
sentence.
cannot be used instead of
who
or
which
The relative pronoun cannot be omitted.
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English Grammar Usage
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Islands don’t use
with individual islands but do use it with groups:
Dr. Holmes comes from Sicily and her husband from the Canary Islands.
Lakes don’t use
; oceans, seas, rivers and canals do use it.
Lake Ontario is beautiful.
Panama Canal links
Atlantic Ocean to
Pacific Ocean.
We use
with streets, buildings, airports, universities, etc., according to the
following rules:
Streets, roads, avenues, boulevards, and squares don’t use
The university is sited at 15th. Avenue.
Airports don’t use
The plane arrived at JFK airport.
We use
before publicly recognized buildings:
White House,
Empire
State Building,
Louvre museum,
Prado museum,
CN Tower.
We use
before names with of:
Tower of London,
Great Wall of China.
Universities don’t use
: I studied at Harvard.
Word
rder
The order of adjectives is discussed in the section Adjectives under the heading
Adjective Order
The
verb
object
of the verb normally go together:
I studied radiology because I like
watching images
very much (
not
I like very
much watching images).
We usually say the place before the time:
She has been Chair of the Biology department at Harvard since April 2006.
We put some adverbs in the middle of the sentence:
If the verb is one word we put the adverb before the verb:
I performed his carotid duplex ultrasound and
also spoke
to his family.
We put the adverb after
to be
You are
always
on time.
We put the adverb after the rst part of a compound verb:
Are you
definitely
attending the safety course?
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Articles:
A/An
The
We use
for musical instruments:
Can you play
We use
with absolute adjectives (adjectives used as nouns). The meaning is
always plural. For example:
The rich
The old
The blind
The sick
The disabled
The injured
The poor
The young
The deaf
The dead
The unemployed
The homeless
We use
with nationality words (note that nationality words always begin
with a capital letter):
British,
Dutch,
We don’t use
before a noun when we mean something in general:
I love scientists (not the scientists).
With the words
school
college
prison
jail
church
we use
when we mean the
buildings and leave the substantives alone otherwise. We say:
go to bed
go to
work
, and
go home
. We don’t use
We use
with geographical names according to the following rules:
Continents don’t use
Our new resident comes from Asia.
Countries/states don’t use
The student that rotated in Dr. Sirolli’s lab came from China.
(except for country names that include words such as Republic, Kingdom,
States…; e.g., the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and
The Netherlands).
As a general rule, cities don’t use
The next International Conference on Neural Transplantation and Repair
will be held in Toronto.
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To talk about the present result of a past action.
To talk about a recent happening.
In the latter situation you can use the present perfect with the following
particles:
Just
(i.e., a short time ago): to say something has happened a short
time ago:
Dr. Ho
has just arrived
at the hospital. He is our new pediatric
oncologist.
Already
: to say something has happened sooner than expected:
The second-year PhD student
has already finished
her presentation.
Remember that to talk about a recent happening we can also use the
To talk about a period of time that continues up to the present (an
unfinished period of time):
We use the expressions:
today, this morning, this evening, this week
We often use
ever
never
To talk about something that we are expecting. In this situation we
yet
to show that the speaker is expecting something to happen,
but only in questions and negative sentences:
Dr. Helms
has not arrived yet
To talk about something you have never done or something you have
not done during a period of time that continues up to the present:
have not performed
a PCR since I was a post-doc.
To talk about how much we have done, how many things we have
done, or how many times we have done something:
have reported
that regional brain perfusion scan twice because
the first report was lost.
Dr. Yimou
has performed
twenty tail biopsies this week.
To talk about situations that exists for a long time, especially if we say
always
. In this case the situation still exists now:
Embryonic stem cells
have always been
a controversial issue.
Dr. Olmedo
has always been
a very talented scientist.
We also use the present perfect with these expressions:
Superlative:
It is the most
This is
bizarre result I
have ever gotten
convincing speaker
I have ever heard
The
first
second
third …
time
This is the
first time
that I
have seen
a CT of a vertebral hemangi
opericytoma.
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Talking About the Past
Simple Past
Future Perfect
To say that we will be in the middle of something at a certain time in
the future:
This time tomorrow morning I
will be performing
my first PCR.
To talk about things that are already planned or decided (similar to
the present continuous with a future meaning):
will be making
no decisions tonight about the prospective employees.
To ask about people’s plans, especially when we want something or
want someone to do something (interrogative form):
Will
you
be helping
me mark the laboratory reports this evening?
Will have
+ past participle of the verb.
To say that something will already have happened before a certain
time in the future:
I think the student
will
already
have arrived
by the time we begin
Next spring I
will have been working
for 25 years in the Cancer
Biology Department of this institution.
The simple past has the following forms:
Affirmative:
The past of the regular verbs is formed by adding -
to the
infinitive.
The past of the irregular verbs has its own form.
Negative:
Did
didn’t
+ the base form of the verb.
Questions:
Did I
you
/ … + the base form of the verb.
Tenses
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Future Continuous
We use
will
when we decide to do something at the time of speak
ing (remember that in this situation, you cannot use the simple
present):
Have you finished the experiment?
No, I haven’t had time to do it.
OK, don’t worry, I
will
do it.
When offering, agreeing, refusing, and promising to do something,
or when asking someone to do something:
That experiment looks difficult for you. Do not worry, I
will
help
you out.
Can I have the book about embryonic stem cells that I lent to you?
Of course. I
will
give it back to you tomorrow.
Don’t ask to use the confocal microscope without supervision. Dr.
Harris
won’t
allow you to.
I promise I
will
send you a copy of the latest article on molecular
immunology as soon as I get it.
Will
you help me out with this time-lapse experiment, please?
You do not use
will
to say what someone has already decided to do or
arranged to do (remember that in this situation we use
going to
or the
present continuous).
To predict a future happening or a future situation:
Scientific research
will
find a cure for ALS.
Treatments for cancer
won’t
be the same in the next two decades.
Remember that if there is something in the present situation that shows
us what will happen in the future (near future) we use
going to
instead
of
will
With expressions such as:
probably, I am sure, I bet, I think, I suppose,
will probably
attend the International Symposium.
You should listen to Dr. Helms giving a conference. I am
sure
you
will
love it.
I bet the animal
will
recover satisfactorily after the brain surgery.
will
see you at the next annual meeting.
Will be
+ gerund of the verb.
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Talking About the Future
Going To
To say what we have already decided to do or what we intend to do in
the future (do not use
will
in this situation):
am going to
attend the 40
annual meeting of the Society for
Neuroscience next month.
There is a stem cell course in Boston next fall.
Are you going to
attend it?
To say what someone has arranged to do (personal arrangements),
but remember that we prefer to use the present continuous because
it sounds more natural:
What time
are you going to meet
the Administrative Director?
What time
are you going to
begin the PCR?
To say what we think will happen (making predictions):
The animals are agitated. I think we
are not going to
I/We
will
or
shall
will
is more common than
shall
Shall
is often used in
questions to make offers and suggestions):
Shall
we go to the journal club next week? Oh, great idea!
Shall
I order more flasks for the laboratory?
What
shall
we do now?
You/he/she/it/they will.
Negative:
shan’t, won’t
Simple Future
(Will)
Tenses
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The simple present has the following forms:
Affirmative (remember to add -
or -
to the third person singular)
Negative
I/we/you/they don’t …
He/she/it doesn’t …
Interrogative
Do I/we/you/they … ?
Does he/she/it … ?
Study this example:
Dr. Allan is the chairman of the Cancer Biology Department. He is at
an international course in Greece at this moment.
: He
is not running
the Cancer Biology Department now (because he
is in Greece), but
he runs
the Cancer Biology Department.
To talk about something that happens all the time or repeatedly or
something that is true in general. Here it is not important whether
the action is happening at the time of speaking:
research using live animals.
Animal technicians
take care
of animals that are used in research.
For in situ hybridization experiments, all solutions
are
RNase-free.
To say how often we do things:
start
my experiments at 9:30 every morning.
Dr. Taylor
teaches
biology twice a week.
How often
do you go
to an international stem cell course? Once a year.
For a permanent situation (a situation that stays the same for a long time):
work
as a research assistant in the Cancer Biology department at
Harvard Medical School. I have been working there for ten years.
Some verbs are used only in simple tenses. These verbs are verbs of
thinking or mental activity, feeling, possession and perception, and
reporting verbs. We often use
instead of the present tense with
verbs of perception:
can understand
now why the microscope is in such a bad condition.
can see
now the solution to the diagnostic problem.
The simple present is often used with adverbs of frequency such as
always
often
sometimes
rarely
never
every week
, and
twice a year
PhD students
always
work very hard.
We
have
a lab meeting
every week
Simple present with a future meaning. We use it to talk about timetables,
schedules…
What time
does
the lab safety course
start
? It
starts
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Unit II
English Grammar Usage
BookID 158386_ChapID 2_Proof# 1 -
Simple Present
Simple present shows an action that happens again and again (repeated action)
in the present time, but not necessarily at the time of speaking.
To talk about:
Something that is hapzpening at the time of speaking (i.e., now):
Dr. Hudson
is going
to the tissue culture room.
Dr. Smith’s colleague
is performing
Something that is happening around or close to the time of speaking,
but not necessarily exactly at the time of speaking:
Jim and John are postdoctoral associates in Dr. Smith’s laboratory
and they are having lunch in the cafeteria. John says: “I
am writing
an interesting article on origins of oligodendrocytes in the spinal
cord. I’ll give you a copy when I’ve finished writing it”. As you
can see John is not writing the article at the time of speaking. He
means that he has begun to write the article but has not finished it
yet. He is in the middle of writing it.
Something that is happening for a limited period of time around the
present (e.g., today, this week, this season, this year …):
Our PhD students
are working
hard this term.
Changing situations:
Scientists
are getting
closer to understanding how the brain
works.
Temporary situations:
am living
with other students until I can buy my own apartment.
am doing
a rotation in Dr. Thomson’s laboratory until the end
of May.
Special use
: Present continuous with a future meaning
In the following examples doing these things is already arranged.
To talk about what you have arranged to do in the near future (per
sonal arrangements).
We
are going
to the Neuroscience conference in London this
month.
am having
dinner with a Nobel Prize scientist from Edinburgh
tomorrow.
We do not use the simple present or
will
for personal arrangements.
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Unit II
English Grammar Usage
The rst chapters are probably the least read by most readers in general and
scientists in particular, and in our opinion it is precisely in the rst chapters that
the most important information of a book is displayed. It is in its rst chapters
that the foundations of a book are laid, and many readers do not optimize the
reading of a manual because they skip its fundamentals.
This is a vital chapter because unless you have a sound knowledge of English
grammar you will be absolutely unable to speak English as is expected from a
well-trained researcher. At your expected English level it is denitely not enough
just to be understood; you must speak uently and your command of the
English
language must allow you to communicate with your colleagues regardless of
their nationality.
As you will see immediately, this grammar section is made up of scientic
sentences, so at the same time that you revise, for instance, the passive voice, you
will be reviewing how to say usual sentences in day-to-day English used in labo
ratories, such as “the scientist wears two pairs of latex gloves during a radioactive
experiment in case one of them tears.”
Tenses
Talking About the Present
Present Continuous
Present continuous shows an action that is happening in the present time at or
around the moment of speaking.
Present simple of the verb
to be
+ gerund of the verb:
are
…-ing.
Study this example:
It is 8:30 in the morning. Dr. Hudson is in his new car on his way to the
laboratory.
: He
is driving
to the laboratory. He is driving to the laboratory means that
he is driving now, at the time of speaking.
R. Ribes et al.,
English for Biomedical Scientists,
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-77127-2_2, © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009
BookID 158386_ChapID 2_Proof# 1 -
Structure of the Book
BookID 158386_ChapID 1_Proof# 1 -
laboratory animal work. This preparation will surely reduce the anticipated stress
of having to learn important matters directly “on the job”, will boost self-condence,
and secure more efcient and productive communication from the start.
Two additional units, XV and XVI, on classic terminology and acronyms, and
Unit XVII, with a general conversation survival guide will complete the structure
of the book.
Unit I
BookID 158386_ChapID 1_Proof# 1 -
Structure of the Book
In order to deal with various practical aspects of the professional use of English
by non-native biomedical scientists, we have structured this book in seventeen
units, including this introduction (Unit I). The logical order of the units goes
from a general grammatical summary to more practical and specic tasks in
English, written English rst, spoken English later, and specic scientic English
terminology at the end.
Units II and III provide you with general background on English grammar
usage and usual mistakes made by non-native English-speaking biomedical sci
entists. Unless you have a sound knowledge of general English grammar, you
should probably start with these two units to set a solid foundation for your
work in the rest of the units.
Units IV and V leave introductions behind and dive in for the main general
tasks that a scientist has to perform in English: delivering good scientic writing
in English and being able to effectively write scientic correspondence. We will
provide you with the tools to communicate with journal editors and reviewers
in a formal manner, and with principles and many examples of scientic writing
in English as a foreign language.
Units VI to VIII move away from writing English and on to putting spoken
English into practice. Attending a scientic course or conference in English,
making a scientic presentation in English, and chairing a scientic session in
English are all important tasks you need to prepare for. Don’t let your lack of
uency in day-to-day English undermine your ability to actively participate or
chair a session in a scientic meeting, or to deliver a good or even great presen
tation. We will discuss in detail practical aspects, tips, and useful sentences that
will help you succeed in this task.
Unit IX starts a second part of the book that focuses on the English needs
of biomedical scientists that are planning to work in an English-speaking lab.
Their needs go beyond adequately reading, writing, and presenting in occasional
conferences, to actually making the transition into a new professional environ
ment in English. This second part of the book will introduce issues related to
this language transition, which are somewhat more specic in some units of
this book for biomedical scientists. Such scientists will have to be able to apply
for jobs and write résumés and personal statements in English (Unit IX). Even
more, they will have to be able to conrm the good initial impression from their
résumés and cover letters in job interviews that will be held in English, as the
readers will review in Unit X.
As if all these tasks weren’t enough, the transition also demands rapid acquaint
ance with the new working environment. Units XI through XIV are designed to
provide the non-native biomedical scientist with enough prior knowledge of labo
ratory work in English, including the laboratory environment itself, laboratory
writing in English, laboratory safety, and biohazards which you will be required to
know and understand before you even start working, as well as specic aspects of
Your First Exercise in English for Biomedical Scientists
BookID 158386_ChapID 1_Proof# 1 -
Again, if you are an international scientist in search of a postdoctoral posi
tion in the eld of neurodevelopmental biology in the USA, this looks as a very
appealing opportunity. You can read the advertisement without problem. If you
are in the eld, you probably know about TXUK and SOX, and the rest of it
seems pretty self-explanatory. Are there any words that you do not understand
or know how to spell correctly? Check them up in the dictionary. Read it out
loud. Not bad so far.
Now the next step of the exercise is to sit down in front of a computer and
try to write your cover letter or letter of intent. I see…, not so easy any more,
right? Is the page still blank? Let us give you a hint. A cover letter is a letter
that you send along with your CV, and allows you to introduce yourself to
the employer or evaluator and express your interest in the position that you
are applying for. But in addition, it is really your brief opportunity to cap
ture the recipient’s attention and direct it towards the information on your
CV that is of particular value for the post. So, it is a very important docu
ment in a job application. And since we are at it, what about your résumé?
In addition to being a brief written account of your personal, educational,
and professional qualifications and experience, your CV is your ticket to an
interview. Are you ready to write a competitive CV in
English that will get
you that ticket to a job interview? If your page remains blank and you have
not been able to put together these basic documents, you will certainly need
to carry on reading this book.
Notice how many problems have been raised by just one small paragraph of
scientic English. Our advice is, once you have diagnosed your actual level of
biomedical scientic English:
Do not get depressed if it is below your expectations.
Keep doing these exercises with progressively longer paragraphs that belong
to your scientific field.
Arrange scientific sessions in your group or institution in English. A session
once a week, for instance a journal club, might be a good starting point. The
sessions will keep you, and your colleagues, in touch with your scientific Eng
lish. You will notice that you feel much more confident talking to colleagues
with a similar level of English than talking to your native English teacher, as
you will feel better talking to non-native English-speaking biomedical sci
entists than talking to native English-speaking ones. In these sessions you
can rehearse the performance of talks and lectures so that when you give a
presentation at an international meeting it is not the first time it has been
delivered.
Follow the units of this book in whichever order you think suits your
needs best. The book follows a logical structure (see below), but since you
are already a scientist who knows some general English, you may want to
take the units in a different order based on your experience or upcoming
challenges.
Unit I
BookID 158386_ChapID 1_Proof# 1 -
Your First Exercise in English for Biomedical Scientists
Let’s do a simple exercise. Read the following two examples of biomedical
scientic English:
Combined stimulation with SCF and G-CSF leads to a complete phosphor
ylation of STAT3 on serine727, which is mediated by the phosphatidylinosi
tol-3 kinase pathway, and leads to maximal STAT transcriptional activity and
synergistic effect on cell proliferation.
If you are an international biomedical scientist, we are pretty condent that
you have understood what you have just read. You may not understand every
acronym if you are not specialized in cytokines and cell signaling, but overall you
understand the sentence and are perfectly capable of translating it into your own
language. Unfortunately, translation is not only useless but deleterious to your
scientic English with regard to uency.
If you try to read the paragraph in English out loud, you may encounter
difculties. For a start, it may feel natural to pronounce SCF or G-CSF just sim
ply as S – C – F or G – C – S – F (spelling the letters out). But would you pronounce
STAT3 as S – T – A – T – three, or would you rather say stat – three?
If a conversation on the sentence starts and the audience is waiting for your
opinion, you may begin to sweat.
Check all the words you are not able to pronounce easily and look them up
in the dictionary.
Ask an English-speaking colleague to read it aloud; try to write it; you will
probably nd some difculty in writing certain words.
Now check the words you are not able to write properly and look them up in
the dictionary.
Finally, try to have a conversation on the topic.
August 1st, 2008 -- Postdoctoral Position in Neurodevelopmental Biology,
Seattle, Washington. Postdoctoral position in the University of Washington in
Seattle available for two years to study the role of TXUK and SOX molecules in
brain development. Candidates must have a PhD in Neurosciences, molecular,
cellular, developmental biology or related field. Basic cellular and molecular
biology and microscopy skills required. Highly motivated, mature and respon
sible scientist committed to working in a competitive academic environment
sought. Please send résumé, cover letter and 3 reference contacts to: George
Chen, Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle WA 98195.
E-mail: [email protected]
BookID 158386_ChapID 1_Proof# 1 -
Unit I
Introduction
English is the global language of communication in all major scientic, medical
and technological elds today. For biomedical sciences in particular, English has
now become the norm for communicating and sharing scientic information.
Therefore, biomedical scientists require not only scientic skills and expertise,
but also the capacity to communicate effectively in scientic English.
The majority of non-English biomedical scientists would have normally
studied English as a second language at some point during their training. They
are likely to read English without major problems. This is as long as it is just
reading silently to themselves (?). Reading aloud is a totally different issue. The
real challenge commences when faced with the fact that in order to be part of
the global biomedical scientic world, they will require to understand and to
express themselves using professional English for international presentations
and meetings. Although these challenges are common to doctors in many
medical specialties, as seen in other books of this series, the case for biomedi
cal scientists is even stronger. As a professional group, international biomedi
cal scientists are very likely, actually they are almost expected, to move to a
foreign laboratory at some point in their careers, most commonly to an Eng
lish-speaking country, in order to continue professional training and career
development. For this reason, their English needs go well beyond reading,
writing, and presenting, to actually being capable of applying for jobs, writ
ing résumés, facing job interviews in English, and settling into a new working
environment in English. In addition to biomedical scientists, biomedical sci
entic English is becoming a common requirement for international medical
doctors from nearly every medical or surgical specialty. Many medical doctors
from a variety of specialties complete their clinical training with laboratory-
based research training periods.
We believe that this book of the series has great potential to train biomedical
scientists who need a good command of English for professional purposes. The
practical approach of the various units from direct experience of the authors
will surely reduce the anticipated stress of having to learn important matters
directly “on the job,” will boost self-condence, and secure more efcient and
productive communication from the start.
R. Ribes et al.,
English for Biomedical Scientists,
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-77127-2_1, © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009
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xviii
Contents
......................................
.......................................
...............................
....................................
..............................................
...................................................
..........................................
.......................................................
.............................
.......................................
Having a Drink (or Two)
.......................................
................................................
Emergency Situations
.........................................
..........................................
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Contents
xvii
....................................
Unit XV
Latin and Greek Terminology
.................................................
.................................................
List of Latin and Greek Terms and Their P●ura●s
....................
Unit XVI
Acronyms and Abbreviations
................
....
Methods and Techniques Used in Biomedica● Research
..........................................
.........................................
Unit XVII
Conversation Survival Guide
.................................................
...................................................
................................................
...........................................
.................................
.............................................
......................................
....................................
City Transmortation
...........................................
...................................................
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Unit XII
Laboratory Writing
...........................................
.........................................
.......................
...........................................
Unit XIII
xvi
Contents
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Unit IX
Curriculum Vitae, Cover Letters, and Other
Contents
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Unit VI
Attending a Scientific Course or Conference
.................................................
Trave● and Hote● Arrangements
...................................................
...........................................
In the Taxi (
........................................
...............................................
...............................................
Unit VII
Giving Presentations for Biomedical Scientists
Know Your Audience
Put Together Your Presentation: Structure and De●ivery
Unit VIII
Chairing a Scientific Discussion
.................................
......................................
.............................
What the Chairmerson Shou●d Say When Something Is Going Wrong
...........................................
Technica● Prob●ems
.........................................
...................................
Contents
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Contents
................................
Unit IV
Writing a Manuscript
Pre●iminary Work
...............................................
Tit●e
.....................................................
..................................................
Main Text
...............................................
...................................................
................................................
..........................................
..................................................
.........................................
...........................................
Tab●es
...................................................
Fina● Tims
Unit V
Writing Scientific Correspondence
.........................................
.......................................
.........................................
................................................
........
.................................................
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Contents
.............................................
........................................
.............................
...................................................
Tag Questions
Verb +
Verb + In�nitive
Verb + Premosition +
...........................................
.........................................
Word Order
.................................................
...........................................
..........................................
...............................
Re●ative C●auses Without a Pronoun (Smecia● Cases)
...............
..................................................
............................................
.............................
............................................
.................................
......................................
...............................................
.................................................
At/On/In Time
.............................................
For, During
......................................
E●●imsis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Unit III
Usual Mistakes Made by Scientistis Speaking
and Writing in English
...................................
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Contents
Unit I
Methodological Approach to English
for Biomedical Scientists
.................................................
Your First Exercise in Eng●ish for Biomedica● Scientists
..............
Unit II
English Grammar Usage
Tenses
Ta●king About the Present
....................................
Ta●king About the Future
Ta●king About the Past
Moda● Verbs
.......................................
........................................
Main Tymes of Conditiona● Sentences
...................
Passive Voice
Passive Forms of Present and Past Tenses
...................................
Summosed To
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We wou●d ●ike to thank Rafae● Duarte-Lesmes for the cartoons in Units XI
Acknowledgments
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We we●come your comments and suggestions, critica● or otherwise. They
form the basis for an immroved next edition of this book. Write to us at
Rafae● F. Duarte
Preface
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Preface
Biomedica● scientists wishing to immrove their camacity to communicate
effective●y in scienti�c Eng●ish can �nd a great abundance of texts on the tomic,
from standard textbooks on Eng●ish grammar to more mractica● manua●s on
scienti�c writing. Why then, you may wonder, wou●d anyone want to write yet
another book about scienti�c Eng●ish? The quick answer is that our book is the
�rst one to be aimed at a different groum of readers. Other books on scienti�c
Eng●ish are written exc●usive●y by and for native Eng●ish smeakers. Even the
books that have added occasiona● chamters or ammendixes for the bene�t of
internationa● readers take for granted that their readershim’s mother tongue is
Eng●ish. The rea●ity is that this is not the case for virtua●●y a●● internationa●
biomedica● scientists working in non-Eng●ish
smeaking countries. Even so, they
sti●● need to communicate in scienti�c Eng●ish on many occasions. Nor is it the
case for a very signi�cant mercentage of biomedica● scientists at ear●y stages in
their career training and working at ●eading universities and research centers
in Eng●ish-smeaking countries. Our book is directed at a●● those internationa●
scientists who, in addition to deve●oming their scienti�c ski●●s, have to face the
additiona● cha●●enge of communicating and being commetitive in a ●anguage
that is not their own. Our book shares with you more than ten years of �rst-hand
exmerience in various areas associated with the use of Eng●ish for biomedica●
scientists. We, the authors, have faced the very cha●●enge that the book describes
The information contained in this book is as commrehensive as mossib●e,
but a●so mresented in a mractica●, easy-to-read and understandab●e way with
many examm●es. Some units cover somewhat more genera● tomics on Eng●ish
grammar and Eng●ish writing amm●ied to biomedica● sciences. Others dea● with
mractica● mrofessiona● information such as résumé and cover-●etter writing,
attendance at internationa● conferences, scienti�c mresentations, or mremaring
for a successfu● job interview in Eng●ish. Fina●●y, there are units on technica●
asmects such as ●aboratory environment and writing, safety and biohazards,
and anima● work. This a●●-in-one commrehensive combination, with a focus on
BookID 158386_ChapID FM_Proof# 1 -
To my sister Carmen Ribes Bautista
for always being there.
Ramón Ribes
To our son, who is a wonderful blend
of our three cultures.
Rafael F. Duarte & Palma Iannarelli
BookID 158386_ChapID FM_Proof# 1 -
BookID 158386_ChapID FM_Proof# 1 -
Palma Iannarelli
University College London
Serv. Radiología
Rafael F. Duarte
Hospital Duran i Reynals
Av. Gan Via s/n km 2.7,
Springer Dordrecht Heidelberg London NewYork
© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009
are liable to prosecution under the German Copyright Law.
BookID 158386_ChapID FM_Proof# 1 -
English for Biomedical
Scientists
Cars
BookID 158386_ChapID 17_Proof# 1 -
I want a shave.
A razor cut, please.
Just a trim, please.
Leave the sideburns as they are (!).
Trim the moustache.
Trim my beard and moustache, please.
Towards the back, without any parting.
I part my hair on the left/in the middle.
Leave it long.
Could you take a little more off the top/the back/the sides?
How much do you want me to take off?
Women
How do I set your hair?
What hair style do you want?
I would like my hair dyed.
Same color?
A little darker/lighter.
I would like to have a perm (permanent wave).
Cars
As always, begin with key words. Clutch, brake, blinkers (
, indicators), trunk
, boot), tank, gearbox, windshield (
, windscreen) wipers, (steering)
wheel, unleaded gas (
, petrol), etc., must belong to your fund of knowledge
of English, as well as several usual sentences such as:
How far is the nearest gas (petrol) station? 20 miles from here.
In what direction? Northeast/Los Angeles.
Unit XVII
Conversation Survival Guide
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Next in line (queue).
Could you gift-wrap it for me?
Can I have a receipt, please?
Is there a cashpoint near here?
At the Hairdresser
When I was in Boston I went to a hairdresser’s and my lack of uency was
responsible for a drastic change in my image for a couple of months so that
my wife almost did not recognize me when I picked her up at Logan on one
of her multiple visits to New England. I can assure you that I will never forget
the word “sideburns”; the hairdresser, a robust Afro-American lady, drastically
cut them before I could recall the name of this insignicant part of my facial
hair. To tell you the truth, I did not know how important sideburns were until
I didn’t have them.
If you do not trust an unknown hairdresser, “just a trim” would be a polite
way of avoiding a disaster.
I recommend, before going to the hairdresser, a thorough review of your
guide so that you get familiar with key words such as: scissors, comb, brush,
dryer, shampooing, hair style, hair cut, manicure, dyeing, shave, beard, mous
tache, sideburns (!), fringe, curl, or plait.
Men and Women
How long will I have to wait?
Is the water OK? It is fine/too hot/too cold.
My hair is greasy/dry.
I have dandruff.
I am losing a lot of hair.
A shampoo and rinse, please.
How would you like it?
Are you going for a particular look?
I want a (hair) cut like this.
Just a trim, please.
However you want.
Is it OK?
That’s fine, thank you.
How much is it?
How much do I owe you?
Do you do highlights?
I would like a tint, please.
Shopping
BookID 158386_ChapID 17_Proof# 1 -
At the Bookshop/Newsagent’s
I would like to buy a book on the history of the city.
Has this book been translated into Japanese?
Have you got Swedish newspapers/magazines/books?
Where can I buy a road map?
At the Photography Shop
I want a 36-exposure film for this camera.
I want new batteries for my camera.
Could you develop this film?
Could you develop this film with two prints of each photograph?
How much does developing cost?
When will the photographs be ready?
My camera is not working, would you have a look at it?
Do you take passport (ID) photographs?
I want an enlargement of this one and two copies of this other.
Have you got a 64-megabyte data card to fit this camera?
How much would a 128-megabyte card be?
How many megapixels is this one?
Has it got an optical zoom?
Can you print the pictures on this CD?
At the Florist
I would like to order a bouquet of roses.
You can choose violets and orchids in several colors.
Which flowers are the freshest?
What are these flowers called?
Do you deliver?
Could you please send this bouquet to the NH Abascal hotel manager at 47
Abascal St. before noon?
Could you please send this card too?
Paying
Where is the cash machine (or ATM machine)?
Is there a cashpoint near here?
How much is that all together?
Will you pay cash or by credit card?
Unit XVII
Conversation Survival Guide
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Sorry, there are no tickets available.
Would you like to make a reservation for another night?
I would like two seats for tonight’s performance, please.
Where are the best seats you have left?
Do you have anything in the first four rows?
Do you have matinees?
How much are the tickets?
Is it possible to exchange these for another night?
Do you take a check/credit cards?
How long does the show run? About two hours.
When does the show close?
Is there an intermission? There is an intermission.
Where are the rest rooms?
Where is the cloakroom?
Is there anywhere we can leave our coats?
Do you sell concessions?
How soon does the curtain go up?
Did you make a reservation?
What name did you reserve the tickets under?
The usher will give you your program (
, programme).
At the Drugstore (
, Chemist)
Prescription, tablet, pill, cream, suppository, laxative, sedative, injection,
bandage, sticking plasters, cotton wool, gauze, alcohol, thermometer, sanitary
towels, napkins, toothpaste, toothbrush, paper tissues, duty chemist.
Fever, cold, cough, headache, toothache, diarrhea, constipation, sickness,
insomnia, sunburn, insect bite.
I am looking for something for …
Could you give me …?
Could you give me something for …?
I need some aspirin/antiseptic/eye drops/foot powder.
I need razor blades and shaving cream.
What are the side effects of this drug?
Will this make me drowsy?
Should I take this with meals?
Shopping
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At the Shoe Shop
A pair of shoes, boots, sandals, slippers …, shoelace, sole, heel, leather, suede,
rubber, shoehorn.
What kind of shoes do you want?
I want a pair of rubber-soled shoes/high-heeled shoes/leather shoes/suede
slippers/boots.
I want a pair of lace-up/slip-on shoes good for the rain/for walking.
What is your size, please?
They are a little tight/too large/too small.
Would you please show me the pair in the window?
Can I try a smaller/larger size, please?
This one fits well.
I would like some shoe polish.
I need some new laces
I need a shoe-horn.
At the Post Office
I need some (first class) stamps, please.
First class, please.
Air mail, please.
I would like this to go express mail.
I would like this recorded/special delivery.
I need to send this second-day mail (US).
Second-class for this, please (
I need to send this parcel post.
I need to send this by certified mail.
I need to send this by registered mail.
Return receipt requested, please.
How much postage do I need for this?
How much postage do I need to send this air mail?
Do you have any envelopes?
How long will it take to get there? It should arrive on Monday.
The forms are over there. Please fill out (
, fill in) a form and bring it back
to me.
Going to the Theater (
, Theatre)
Sorry, we are sold out tonight.
Sorry, these tickets are non-refundable.
Unit XVII
Conversation Survival Guide
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Buying Clothes/Shoes
Please can you show me some natural silk ties?
I want to buy a long-sleeved shirt.
I want the pair of high-heeled shoes I have seen in the window.
Would you please show me the pair in the window?
What material is it?
What material is it made of? Cotton, leather, linen, wool, velvet, silk, nylon,
acrylic fiber.
What size, please?
What size do you need?
Is this my size?
Do you think this is my size?
Where is the fitting room?
Does it fit you?
I think it fits well, although the collar is a little tight.
No, it doesn’t fit me.
May I try a larger size?
I’ll try a smaller size. Would you mind bringing it to me?
I’ll take this one.
How much is it?
This is too expensive.
Oh, this is a bargain!
I like it.
May I try this on?
In which color? Navy blue, please.
Do you have anything to go with this?
I need a belt/a pair of socks/pair of jeans/pair of gloves …
I need a size 38.
I don’t know my size. Can you measure me?
Would you measure my waist, please?
Do you have a shirt to match this?
Do you have this in blue/in wool/in a larger size/in a smaller size?
Do you have something a bit less expensive?
I’d like to try this on. Where is the fitting room?
How would you like to pay for this? Cash/credit.
We don’t have that in your size/color.
We are out of that item.
It’s too tight/loose.
It’s too expensive/cheap.
I don’t like the color.
Is it on sale?
Can I have this gift wrapped?
Shopping
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Three tickets, please.
Where must I get off for …?
Is this seat occupied/vacant?
Where can I get a taxi?
How much is the fare for …?
Take me to … Street.
Do you know where the … is?
Shopping
Asking About Store Hours
When are you open?
How late are you open today?
Are you open on Saturday?
Preliminary Exchanges
Hello sir (madam), may I help you?
Can I help you find something?
Thank you, I am just looking.
I just can’t make up my mind.
Can I help you with something?
If I can help you, just let me know.
Are you looking for something in particular?
I am looking for something for my wife.
I am looking for something for my husband.
I am looking for something for my children.
It is a gift.
Hi, do you sell …?
I am looking for a … Can you help me?
Would you tell me where the music department is?
Which floor is the leather goods department on? On the ground floor (on the
mezzanine, on the second floor …)
Please would you show me …?
What kind do you want?
Where can I find the mirror? There is a mirror over there.
The changing rooms are over there.
Only four items are allowed in the dressing room at a time.
Is there a public rest room here?
Have you decided?
Have you made up your mind?
Unit XVII
Conversation Survival Guide
BookID 158386_ChapID 17_Proof# 1 -
BookID 158386_ChapID 17_Proof# 1 -
What is there for dessert?
Anything else, sir?
No, we are fine, thank you.
The same for me.
Enjoy your meal, sir.
How was everything, sir?
The meal was excellent.
The sirloin was delicious.
Excuse me, I have spilt something on my tie. Could you help me?
Complaining
The dish is cold. Would you please heat it up?
The meat is underdone. Would you cook it a little more, please?
Excuse me. This is not what I asked for.
Could you change this for me?
The fish is not fresh. I want to see the manager.
I asked for a sirloin.
The meal wasn’t very good.
The meat smells off.
Could you bring the complaints book?
This wine is off, I think …
Waiter, this fork is dirty.
The Check (
, The
Bill
The check, please
Would you bring us the check, please?
All together, please.
We are paying separately.
I am afraid there is a mistake, we didn’t have this.
This is for you.
Keep the change.
City Transportation
I want to go to the Metropolitan museum.
Which bus/tram/underground line must I take for the Metropolitan?
Which bus/tram/underground line can I take to get to the Metropolitan?
Where does the number … bus stop?
Does this bus go to …?
How much is a single ticket?
At the Restaurant
BookID 158386_ChapID 17_Proof# 1 -
At the Restaurant
“The same for me” is one of the most common sentences heard at tables around
the world. The non-uent English speaker links his/her gastronomic fate to a
reportedly more uent one in order to avoid uncomfortable counter-questions
such as “How would you like your meat, sir?”
A simple look at a guide a few minutes before the dinner will provide you with
enough vocabulary to ask for whatever you want.
Do not let your lack of uency spoil a good opportunity to taste delicious
dishes or wines.
Preliminary Exchanges
Hello, have you got a table for three people?
Hi, may I book a table for a party of seven at 6 o’clock?
What time are you coming, sir?
Where can we sit?
Is this chair free?
Is this table taken?
Waiter/waitress, I would like to order.
Could I see the menu?
Could you bring the menu?
Can I have the wine list?
Could you give us a table next to the window?
Could you give me a table on the mezzanine?
Could you give us a table near the stage?
Ordering
We’d like to order now.
Could you bring us some bread, please?
We’d like to have something to drink.
Here you are.
Could you recommend a local wine?
Could you recommend one of your specialties?
Could you suggest something special?
What are the ingredients of this dish?
I’ll have a steamed lobster, please.
How would you like your meat, sir?
Rare/medium-rare/medium/well-done.
Somewhere between rare and medium rare will be OK.
Is the halibut fresh?
Unit XVII
Conversation Survival Guide
BookID 158386_ChapID 17_Proof# 1 -
BookID 158386_ChapID 17_Proof# 1 -
Courtesy Sentences
Thank you very much. You are welcome (don’t mention it).
Would you please …? Sure, it is a pleasure.
Excuse me.
Pardon.
Sorry.
Cheers!
Congratulations!
Good luck!
It doesn’t matter!
May I help you?
Here you are?
You are very kind. It is very kind of you.
Don’t worry, that’s not what I wanted.
Sorry to bother/trouble you.
Don’t worry!
What can I do for you?
How can I help you?
Would you like something to drink?
Would you like a cigarette?
I would like …
I beg your pardon.
Have a nice day.
Speaking in a Foreign Language
Do you speak English/Spanish/French …? I do not speak English/Only a bit/
Not a word.
Do you understand me? Yes, I do. No, I don’t.
Sorry, I do not understand you.
Could you speak slowly, please?
How do you write it?
Could you write it down?
How do you spell it?
How do you pronounce it?
Sorry, what did you say?
Sorry, my English is not very good.
Sorry, I didn’t get that.
Could you please repeat that?
I can’t hear you.
Personal Data
BookID 158386_ChapID 17_Proof# 1 -
Good night.
How are you? (Very) Well, thank you.
How are you getting on? All right, thank you.
I am glad to see you.
Nice to see you (again).
How do you feel today?
How is your family?
Good-bye.
Bye-bye.
See you later.
See you soon.
See you tomorrow.
Give my regards to everybody.
Give my love to your children.
Presentations
This is Mr./Mrs. …
These are Mister and Missus …
My name is …
What is your name? My name is …
Pleased/Nice to meet you.
Let me introduce you to …
I’d like to introduce you to …
Have you already met Mr. …? Yes, I have.
Personal Data
What is your name? My name is …
What is your surname/family name? My surname/family name is …
Where are you from? I am from …
Where do you live? I live in …
What is your address? My address is …
What is your email address? My email address is …
What is your phone number? My phone number is …
What is your mobile phone/cellular number? My mobile phone/cellular
number is …
How old are you? I am …
Where were you born? I was born in …
What do you do? I am a scientist.
What do you do? I do research on …
Unit XVII
Conversation Survival Guide
BookID 158386_ChapID 17_Proof# 1 -
BookID 158386_ChapID 17_Proof# 1 -
So, do not be ashamed of carrying and reading a guide, even in public; they are
the shortest way to uency in those unfamiliar situations that sporadically test
our English level and, more importantly, our self-condence in English.
Whenever you have to go out for dinner, for example, review the key words
and usual sentences of your conversation guide. It will not take more than ten
minutes, and your dinner will taste even better since you have ordered it with
unbelievable uency and precision. What is just a recommendable task for
upper-intermediate speakers is absolutely mandatory for lower-intermediate
speakers who, before leaving the hotel, should review and rehearse the sentences
they will need to ask for whatever they want to eat or, at least, to avoid ordering
what they never would eat in their own country. Looking at the faces of your
colleagues once the rst course is served, you will realize who is eating what he
wanted and who, in contrast, does not know what he ordered and, what is worse,
what he is actually eating.
Let us think for a moment about the incident that happened to me when I was
at UCSF Medical Center. I was invited to have lunch at a diner near the hospital,
and when I asked for still mineral water, the somewhat surprised waiter answered
that they did not have still mineral water but sparkling, because no customer
had ever asked for such a “delicacy,” and offered me plain water instead. (If you
do not understand this story, the important words to look up in the dictionary
are “diner”, with one “n”, “still”, “sparkling,” and “plain.”)
Would you be uent without the help of a guide in a car breakdown? I actually
had a leaky gas tank on a trip with my wife and mother-in-law from Boston to
Niagara Falls and Toronto. I still remember the face of the mechanic in Toronto
when asking me if we were staying in downtown Toronto. I answered that we
were on our way back to … Boston. I can tell you that my worn guide was vital;
without it, I would not have been able to explain what the problem was. This was
the last time I had to take the guide from a hidden pocket in my suitcase. Since
then I have kept my guide with me, even at … the beach, because unexpected
situations may arise at any time by denition. Think of possibly embarrassing,
although not infrequent, situations and … do not forget your guide on your
next trip abroad (the inside pocket of your jacket is a suitable place for those
who still have not overcome the stage of “guide-ashamedness”).
Those who have reached a certain level are aware of the many embarrassing
situations they have had to overcome in the past to become uent in a majority
of circumstances.
BookID 158386_ChapID 17_Proof# 1 -
Unit XVII
Conversation Survival Guide
Introduction
Fluency gives self-condence while its lack undermines you.
The intention of this unit is not to replace conversation guides; on the con
trary, we encourage you, according to your level, to use them.
Without including translations, it would have been foolish to write a con
versation guide. Why, then, have we written this unit? The aim of the unit is to
provide a “survival guide,” a basic tool, to be reviewed by upper-intermediate
speakers who are actually perfectly able to understand all the usual exchanges,
but can have some difculty in nding natural ways to express themselves in cer
tain unusual situations. For instance, we are strolling with a colleague who wants
us to accompany him to a jeweler’s to buy a bracelet for his wife. Bear in mind
that, even in your own language, uency is virtually impossible in all situations.
I have only been upset and disappointed (in English) three times. At a laundry,
at an airport, and, on a third occasion, at a restaurant. I had considered myself
relatively uent in English up to that time, but, under pressure, thoughts come
to mind much faster than words and your level of uency can be overwhelmed
as a consequence of the adrenaline levels in your blood. Accept the following
piece of advice: unless you are bilingual, you cannot afford to get into arguments
in a language other than your own.
Many upper-intermediate speakers do not take a conversation guide when
traveling abroad. They think their level is well above those who need a guide to
construct basic sentences and are ashamed of being seen reading one (I myself
went through this stage). I was (and they are) utterly wrong in not taking a guide
because, for upper-intermediate speakers, a conversation guide has different and
very important uses (as my level increased, I realized that my use of these guides
changed; I did not need to read the translations, except for a few words, and
I just looked for natural ways of saying things).
In my opinion, even for those who are bilingual, conversation guides are
extremely helpful whenever you are in an unfamiliar environment such as,
for example, a orist. How many names of owers do you know in your own
language? Probably fewer than a dozen. Think that every conversation scenario
has its own jargon and a conversation guide can give you the hints that an
upper-intermediate speaker may need to be actually uent in many situations.
R. Ribes et al.,
English for Biomedical Scientists,
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-77127-2_17, © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009
BookID 158386_ChapID 17_Proof# 1 -
UNIT XVII
Unit XVI
Acronyms and Abbreviations
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Hour
Hertz
Joule
Kilo (10
Kilobases
Kilodalton
Liter
Pounds
Molar
Meter
Milliamps
Megabase
Milligram
Minute
Milliliter
Millimolar
Millimole
Month
Mole
ms, msec
Milliseconds (ms is generally used)
Millivolt
Molecular weight
Newton
Nano or sample size
Nanogram
Nanometer
Optical density
oz
Ounces
Power of hydrogen
Revolution
rpm
Revolutions per minute
Svedberg units
s, sec
Seconds (s is generally used)
Melting temperature
Unit
Micron
Micromolar
Micrometer
w, W
Watt (W is commonly used)
wk
Week
wt
Weight
Weight to volume
Year
Maximum velocity
Volume to volume
Units of Measurement
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(monkey kidney)
CV-C
African green monkey kidney cell line
Embryonal carcinoma (human)
Human bladder cancer cell line
Rat pituitary tumor cell line
HaCaT
Human keratinocyte cell line
Human embryonic kidney
HeLa
Henrietta Lacks (human cervical cell line)
HL-60
Human leukemia cell line
MCF-7
Human breast cancer cell line
MDCK
Madin-Darby canine kidney
Mouse myeloma cell line
Chromafn cell line (rat)
SCLC
Small cell lung cancer cell line
SPEV
Swine kidney cell line
Human colon cancer cell line
Human glioblastoma-astrocytoma cell line
Human astrocytoma cell line
Units of Measurement
Always abbreviate units when reporting numerical information. However, if
you write the number out in full, you must spell out the unit of measurement.
Always put a space between the number and the unit. When starting a sentence
with a number and unit, both must be spelled out as words. Abbreviations for
most units of measurement use small letters. The following abbreviations of
units of measurement are frequently used in biomedical research.
Ampere
Area
Absorbance measured at 260 nm
Becquerel
Coulomb
Degree Celsius
Calorie
Ci
Curie
Centimeter
cpm
Counts per minute
Day
Dalton
Days in vitro
dpm
Disintegrations per minute
Fahrenheit
g, gr
Gram (g is commonly used)
Unit XVI
Acronyms and Abbreviations
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NAAT
Nucleic acid amplication technique
Northern blot
PAGE
Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis
Polymerase chain reaction
Pulsed-eld gel electrophoresis
Primed in situ labeling
Quantitative PCR
RDA
Representational difference analysis
Restriction enzyme mediated integration
Restriction fragment length polymorphism
RGE
Rotating gel electrophoresis
RPA
Ribonuclease protection assay
Southern blot
Single cell gel electrophoresis
SDA
Strand displacement amplication
TAFE
Transverse alternating-eld electrophoresis
TAP
Tandem afnity purication
TGGE
Temperature gradient gel electrophoresis
TLC
Thin layer chromatography
Western blot
Radioactive Isotopes
Carbon-14
Tritium-3
Iodine-131
Phosphorus-32
Phosphorus-33
Sulfate-35
Cell Lines
Mouse embryo broblast cell line
Rat glioma
Human lung cancer cell line
Rat neuroblastoma
Baby hamster kidney cells
B-LCL
B-lymphoblastoid cell line
Rat glioma
Chinese hamster ovary
Carcinoma cell line
Canine mammary tumor
5-bromo-4-chloro-3-indolyl-beta-D-galactopyranoside
X-Gluc
5-bromo-4-chloro-3-indolyl-beta-D-glucuronic acid
Yttrium
tyrosine
YAC
Yeast Articial Chromosome
Ytterbium
Yeast and malt extract with glucose media
Yeast extract/peptone/dextrose bacterial media
Yeast extract/peptone/galactose bacterial media
YT
Yeast extract/tryptone bacterial media
Zinc
Zirconium
Please note that amino acids are given three-letter and one-letter abbreviations
(e.g. A or Ala for Alanine).
Unit XVI
Acronyms and Abbreviations
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N-Tris(hydroxymethyl)methyl-2- minoethanesulfonic acid
Transgenic
TGB
Tris/Glycine buffer
Th
Thorium
Thr
Threonine
Ti
Titanium
Thallium
Tm
Thulium
Thymidine phosphorylase
Tris-hydroxymethyl-aminomethanel
tRNA
Transfer RNA
Trp
Tryptophan
Tyr
Tyrosine
Uranium
uridine
Uridine phosphorylase
Ura
Uracil
Urd
Uridine
Uridine triphosphate
Untranslated region
Ununbium
Ununhexium
Ununnilium
Ununoctium
Ununpentium
Ununquadium
Ununseptium
Uut
Ununtrium
Unununium
Ultraviolet
Vanadium
valine
Val
Valine
Tungsten
tryptophan
WT
Wild-type
Xan
Xanthine
Xe
Xenon
General Abbreviations and Acronyms Used in Biomedical Research
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Radon
RNA
Ribonucleic acid
RNase
Ribonuclease
Ribonucleoprotein
RNA recognition motif
rRNA
Ribosomal ribonucleic acid
RT
Room temperature
reverse transcriptase
Ru
Ruthenium
Reaction
Sulphur
serine
Antimony
Scandium
Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate
Se
Selenium
Ser
Serine
Seaborgium
Si
Silicon
Sm
Samarium
Sn
Tin
Sarcoplasmic reticulum
Sr
Strontium
Single stranded
Sodium citrate buffer
Short tandem repeats
Threonine
Ta
Tantalum
TAE
Tris-acetate buffer
Taq
Thermus aquatic DNA polymerase
Terbium
Tris/Borate/EDTA buffer
Tris-Buffered Saline
Tris-Buffered Saline Tween-20
Technetium
TCA
Trichloroacetic acid
Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase
Te
Tellurium
Tris/EDTA buffer
Triethanolamine
-Tetramethylethylenediamine
Unit XVI
Acronyms and Abbreviations
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Phosphorus or praline
Pa
Protactinium
PAC
P1 articial chromosome
Lead
Peripheral blood mononuclear cells
Phosphate Buffer Saline
Palladium
PEI
Polyethylenimine
PEG
Polyethylene glycol
Plaque-forming units
Phenylalanine
Protein kinase
PIPES
Piperazine-N,N’-bis(2-ethanesulfonic acid)
Promethium
Phenylmethylsulfonyl uoride
Polynucleotide kinase
Po
Polonium
Poly(A)
Polyadenylic acid
Poly(A)+
Polyadenylated messenger Ribonucleic Acid
Poly(U)
Polyuridylic acid
Pr
Praseodymium
Pro
Proline
Pt
Platinum
Pertussis toxin
Pu
Plutonium
Puo
Purine nucleoside
Pur
Purine
PVC
Polyvinyl chloride
Pyd
Pyrimidine nucleoside
Pyr
Pyrimidine
Glutamine or ubiquinone (coenzyme Q)
Arginine
Ra
Radium
Rubidium
Re
Rhenium
Rutherfordium
Roentgenium
Rh
Rhodium
General Abbreviations and Acronyms Used in Biomedical Research
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Mn
Manganese
Mo
Molybdenum
4-Morpholinepropanesulfonic acid
mRNA
Messenger Ribonucleic Acid
Meitnerium
MTS
3-(4,5dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethozyphe
nyl-2-
(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium
mtDNA
Mitochondrial DNA
asparagine
nitrogen
Na
Sodium
NaF
Sodium uoride
NAD
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide
NADH
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (reduced form)
NADP
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate
NADPH

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate
(reduced form)
Niobium
NBT
Nitroblue tetrazolium
Neodymium
Neon
Ni
Nickel
NMDA
N-methyl-D-aspartic acid
No
Nobelium
Neptunium
nRNA
Nuclear RNA
Nucleotides
nuclear transfer or null type
Nucleoside triphosphate
NZCYM
Casein hydrolysate casamino acids yeast extract
magnesium medium
Oxygen
orotidine
Optical Density
Oilgo(dT)
Oligodeoxythymidylic acid
Orotidine monophosphate
Over night
Ord
Orotidine
Open reading frame
Oro
Orotate
Osmium
Unit XVI
Acronyms and Abbreviations
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Iodine or isoleucine
Ig
Immunoglobulin
IgA
Immunoglobulin A (gamma A immunoglobulin)
IgD
Immunoglobulin D (gamma D immunoglobulin)
IgE
Immunoglobulin E (gamma E immunoglobulin)
IgG
Immunoglobulin G (gamma G immunoglobulin)
IgM
Immunoglobulin M (gamma M immunoglobulin)
IIe
Isoleucine
In
Indium
Ino
Inosine
Isopentenyl diphosphate
IPTG
Isopropyl-beta-D-thiogalactopyranoside
Infrared
Ir
Iridium
Potassium
lysine
Krypton
Leucine
Lanthanum
Luria-Bertani medium
Luria broth
Leu
Leucine
Lithium
Lawrencium
LTA
Lipoteichoic Acid
Lutetium
Lys
Lysine
Methionine
mAb
Monoclonal antibodies
Multiple cloning site
Md
Mendelevium
MeOH
Methanol
Met
Methionine
Magnesium
MgCl
Magnesium chloride
MMLV
Moloney murine leukemia virus
Monomethoxytrityl
General Abbreviations and Acronyms Used in Biomedical Research
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Fermium
FOA
5-Fluoroacetic acid
Fr
Francium
Follicle-stimulating hormone
Gram
Gravitational force
Glycine
Gallium
Gadolinium
Germanium
Green Fluorescent Protein
Glutamine
Glu
Glutamic acid
Gly
Glycine
Genetically Modied
Genetically Modied Organisms
Beta-D-glucuronidase
Hydrogen
histidine
Hemoglobin
Hank’s Buffered Salt Solution
HCl
Hydrochloric acid
Hematoxylin and Eosin
He
Helium
HEPES
4-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-piperazineethanesulfonic acid)
Hafnium
Mercury
His
Histidine
HLA
Histocompatibility Leukocyte Antigen
Hydroxymethyl
Ho
Holmium
HPRT
Hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase
Horseradish peroxidase
Hassium
Heat Shock Protein
High temperature
Dihydrouridine
humi.
Humidity
Hyl
Hydroxylysine
Hyp
Hypoxanthine
Unit XVI
Acronyms and Abbreviations
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Digoxigenin
Days In Vitro
N,N-Dimethylformamide
Dimethylsulde
Dimethyl sulfoxide
Dimethyltryptamine
DNA
Deoxyribonucleic acid
DNase
Deoxyribonuclease
Dansyl
2,4-Dinitrophenyl
Deoxyribonucleotide triphosphate
DPI
Diphenylene iodonium
Dpr
2,3-Diaminopropionic acid
Darmstadtium
Double stranded
Diphtheria toxin
DTA
Diphtheria toxin A chain
Dithienylethene
DTT
Dithiothreitol
dTTP
Deoxythymidine triphosphate
Deoxyuridine triphosphate
DV
Dorsoventral
Dy
Dysprosium
Glutamic acid
1,2-Ethanedithiol
EDTA
Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid
EGTA
Ethylene glycol tetraacetic acid
Endoplasmic reticulum
Erbium
Einsteinium
EtBr
Ethidium Bromide
EtOH
Ethanol
Eu
Europium
exo
Exonuclease
Fluorine
phenylalanine
Formylaminoacyl
Fetal bovine serum
Fetal calf serum
Iron
FITC
Fluorescein isothiocyanate
General Abbreviations and Acronyms Used in Biomedical Research
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Br
Bromine
BrUrd
Bromouridine
Bovine serum albumin
Benzoyl
Benzyl
Carbon
cytosine
cysteine
Ca
Calcium
Casamino acids
CAT
Chloramphenicol acetyl
Central domain
Cadmium
cDNA
Complementary deoxyribonucleic acid
Cerium
Californium
Colony-forming units
Calf intestinal alkaline phosphatase
cl
Chloro
Cl
Chlorine
Curium
Co
Cobalt
Cr
Chromium
Cesium
Cerebrospinal uid
Cytidine 5’-triphosphate
Cu
Copper
Cyd
Cytidine
Cys
Cysteine
Aspartic acid
Deoxyadenosine monophosphate
dATP
Deoxyadenosine triphosphate
DAG
Diacylglycerol
Dubnium
Deoxycytidine triphosphate
ddATP
Dideoxycytidine triphosphate
Dideoxyadenosine triphosphate
Dideoxyguanosine triphosphate
Dideoxynucleoside triphosphate
Diethylaminoethyl
Diethyl Pyrocarbonate
Deoxyguanosine triphosphate
-di-isothiocyanato-2,2
-disulfostilbene
Unit XVI
Acronyms and Abbreviations
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Acm
Acetamidomethyl
Alcohol dehydrogenase
Adenosine diphosphate
7-Amino-4-trioromethyl-coumaride
Ag
Antigen
silver
Aha
7-Aminoheptanoic acid
Al
Aluminum
Ala
Alanine
Am
Americium
Adenosine monophosphate
Amp
Ampicillin
Anisoyl
ANOVA
Analysis of variance
Anteroposterior
action potential
alkaline phosphatase
Antigen presenting cells
apoE
Apolipoprotein E
Amyloid Precursor Protein
Ammonium persulfate
Argon
Arg
Arginine
As
Arsenic
Acetyl salicylic acid
Asn
Asparagine
Asp
Aspartic acid
At
Astatine
ATP
Adenosine 5’- triphosphate
ATPase
Adenosine triphosphatase
Au
gold
Boron
bromouridine
Ba
Barium
BAC
Bacterial articial chromosome
BAP
Bacterial alkaline phosphatase
5-Bromo-4-chloro-3-indolyl phosphate
Be
Beryllium
Benzhydryl
Bh
Bohrium
Bi
Bismuth
Bio-dNTP
Biotin-deoxynucleoside triphosphate
Bk
Berkelium
BLAST
Basic Local Alignment Search Tool
Beta-mercaptoethanol
Bone marrow (or blood and marrow) transplant
Base pair
General Abbreviations and Acronyms Used in Biomedical Research
BookID 158386_ChapID 16_Proof# 1 -
General Abbreviations and Acronyms Used
in Biomedical Research
Abbreviation
Denition
Adenine
Amino acid
aminoacyl
Ab
Antibody
ABU
L-a-Aminobutyric acid
2-Aminobenzoyl
AC
Accession number
ac
Acetyl
Ac
Actinium
Ac-CO A
Acetyl-coenzyme A
AChE
Acetylcholinesterase
Table 1.
List of abbreviations and Latin expressions used in scientic writing
Abbreviation
Expression
Translation
c.
ca.
Circa
About (in reference to approximate date or time)
c.f.
Con fero
Compare, consult
Unit XVI
Acronyms and Abbreviations
BookID 158386_ChapID 16_Proof# 1 -
BookID 158386_ChapID 16_Proof# 1 -
However, some acronyms are no longer capitalized. Examples are laser, radar
and sonar.
A period is sometimes written after an abbreviated word (there is no strict
rule). The general modern trend is to omit periods from abbreviations (to
avoid an appearance of clutter).
Organizations, countries, and units of measure are not generally followed by
periods.
Examples:
not
E.U.)
not
U.N.)
not
I.B.M.)
not
5 mg.)
Periods are optional with degree titles (this is a matter of preference). How
ever, in modern usage, periods are usually omitted.
Examples where both forms are acceptable:
PhD or Ph.D.
BSc or B.Sc.
MD or M.D.
If a sentence ends with an abbreviation that requires a period, do not add
another period.
For example,
The technician will be here at 4 p.m.
not
The technician will be here at 4 p.m.
Abbreviations of chemicals from the periodic table always start with a capital
letter; if there is a second letter, it is always lowercase.
For example,

Nitrogen

Oxygen
Na
Sodium
Zinc
Do not divide abbreviations, or a numerical value followed by a unit of meas
ure, between lines on a page.

not

not

Abbreviation Rules and Style Conventions in English
BookID 158386_ChapID 16_Proof# 1 -
Exception 3:
If the abbreviation contains a period (full stop), form the plural
with an apostrophe and an
(’s). This is probably because it looks more awk
ward without apostrophes:
For example,
Ph.D.’s
M.D.’s
Exception 4:
Plurals of single-letter abbreviations are formed by adding [’s].
For example,
X’s
Abbreviations may be made possessive by adding
for singular possessive,
for plural possessive.
For example,
EMBO’s homepage
Articles are usually omitted when acronyms are used, being included only
when terms or names are written out in full.
Example:
The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund is a voluntarily
funded agency.
UNICEF was created on December 11, 1946.
The choice of an indefinite article (
or
before letter-by-letter abbreviations
depends on the pronunciation of the first letter of the abbreviation, not on the
written representation of the first letter. If the abbreviation begins with a con
sonant sound, use
. If it begins with a vowel sound, use
Examples:
an mRNA molecule - although “m” is a consonant, we use the
article
because the rst sound we make is an “em” sound.
an X-ray - this abbreviation begins with a consonant letter, but sounds like it
starts with a vowel. The rst sound we make is an “eks” sound.
There are several abbreviation styles used today. The only rule one should
remember is to have a consistent style.
Acronyms are generally presented in uppercase letters.
Examples:
AIDS, NATO, BBC, and SARS
Unit XVI
Acronyms and Abbreviations
BookID 158386_ChapID 16_Proof# 1 -
BookID 158386_ChapID 16_Proof# 1 -
consider universally known may be obscure to others. In addition, shortened
forms used in one country may not be understood in another. In order to elimi
nate guesswork and prevent frustration, we have put together an alphabetized
list of the most commonly used English acronyms and abbreviations in bio
medical research. We feel that having a central reference list at your ngertips
could be quite helpful for your scientic communications.
Abbreviation Rules and Style Conventions in English
Apply the following guidelines when using abbreviations:
On the first occurrence of an abbreviation, spell out the full term, with the
abbreviation in brackets. Thereafter the abbreviated form may be used by
itself.
For example,
Oligodendrocytes (OLs) are the cells responsible for producing a fatty protein
called myelin. Each OL can supply myelin for several axons and each axon can
be supplied by several OLs.
Abbreviations may be pluralized by adding an
to the end. Plurals of
capitalized abbreviations should have no apostrophe because the apostrophe
indicates possession. However, plurals of lowercase abbreviations have an
apostrophe.
Examples:
not
PCR’s)
BACs (
not
BAC’s)
Drs. (
not
Dr’s)
rbc’s (
not
rbcs)
Exception 1:
Plurals of some abbreviations, particularly in references, are not
formed by merely adding an
Examples:
p for page and pp for pages (
not
ps or pgs)
l for line and ll for lines (
not
c for column and cc for columns (
not
Exception 2:
Singular and plural units of measure are abbreviated the same.
An
is generally not added to the plurals.
not
BookID 158386_ChapID 16_Proof# 1 -
Unit XVI
Acronyms and Abbreviations
In many elds today abbreviations and acronyms are common. They provide
a useful tool for shortening long words or expression in order to save time and
space. Some well-known general examples are DVD (digital versatile disc),
UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund), NASA
(National Aeronautics and Space Administration), and UN (United Nations).
Abbreviations are extensively used in the scientic and medical communities. It
is common practice to use abbreviations for long names of many clinical diseases
and procedures, and for scientic techniques that have to be repeated many times
in medical or scientic papers, posters, and oral presentations. This can cause
substantial communication difculties for individuals who are not familiar
with English abbreviations in their eld. The example below is meaningless to
individuals who are not familiar with the abbreviations used.
For example,
IHC study of CNS tissue from MS subjects demonstrated loss of PLP-expressing
Many individuals, including native English speakers, do not know the differ
ence between an acronym and an abbreviation. Acronyms and abbreviations are
formed by combining the rst letter or letters of several words. All acronyms are
abbreviations, but not all abbreviations are acronyms. An acronym is a special
type of abbreviation that can be pronounced as a single word (it can be said),
while all other abbreviations are pronounced letter by letter (you say each letter
individually or spell it out).
For example,
is an acronym for
cquired
mmune
eciency
yndrome because
you say the abbreviation as a word (“aydz”); whereas
is an abbrevia
tion for
mmunodeciency
irus (in this case you say each letter
individually).
It can be extremely frustrating and time-consuming trying to nd out what certain
commonly used acronyms and abbreviations mean. Abbreviations that some
R. Ribes et al.,
English for Biomedical Scientists,
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-77127-2_16, © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009
BookID 158386_ChapID 16_Proof# 1 -
UNIT XVI
At the Police Station
BookID 158386_ChapID 17_Proof# 1 -
Emergency Situations
I want to report a fire/a robbery/an accident.
This is an emergency. We need an ambulance/the police.
Get me the police and hurry.
In the Bank
Nowadays, the spread of credit cards makes this section virtually unnecessary
but, in my experience, when things go really wrong you may need to go to a
bank. Fluency disappears in stressful situations so, in case you have to solve a
bank problem, review not only this bunch of sentences but the entire section in
your guide.
Where can I change money?
I’d like to change 200 Euros.
I want to change 1000 Euros into Dollars/Pounds.
Could I have it in tens, please?
What’s the exchange rate?
What’s the rate of exchange from Euros to Dollars?
What are the banking hours?
I want to change this travelers’ check.
Have you received a transfer from Rosario Nadal addressed to Fiona Shaw?
Can I cash this bearer check?
I want to cash this check.
Do I need my ID to cash this bearer check?
Go to the cash desk.
Go to counter number 5.
May I open a current account?
Where is the nearest cash machine?
I am afraid you don’t seem to be able to solve my problem. Can I see the manager?
Who is in charge?
Could you call my bank in France? There must have been a problem with a
transfer addressed to myself.
At the Police Station
Where is the nearest police station?
I have come to report a …
My wallet has been stolen.
Can I call my lawyer (
, solicitor)?
Unit XVII
Conversation Survival Guide
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BookID 158386_ChapID 17_Proof# 1 -
Two cubes of ice and a teaspoon, please.
This is on me.
What those ladies are having is on me.
Many problems start when you lift the receiver. You hear a continuous purring,
different from the one you are used to in your country, or a strange sequence
of rapid pips. Immediately, “what the hell am I supposed to do now” comes
to your mind, and we face one of the most embarrassing situations for non-
uent speakers. The phone has two added difculties: rstly, its immediacy and,
secondly, the absence of images (“if I could see this guy I would understand what
he was saying”). Do not worry; the preliminary exchanges in this conversational
scenario are few. Answering machines are another, and tougher, problem and
are out of the scope of this survival guide. Just a tip: do not hang up. Try to
catch what the machine is saying and give it another try in case you are not able
to follow its instructions. Many doctors, as soon as they hear the unmistakable
sound of these devices, terried, hang up thinking they are too much for them.
Most messages are much easier to understand and less mechanical than those
given by “human” (and usually bored) operators.
Where are the public phones, please?
Where is the nearest call-box?
This telephone is out of order.
Operator, what do I dial for the USA?
Hold on a moment … number one.
Would you get me this number please?
Dial straight through.
What time does the cheap rate begin?
Have you got any phone cards, please?
Can I use your cellular/mobile phone, please?
Do you have a phone book (directory)?
I’d like to make a reverse charge call to Korea.
I am trying to use my phone card, but I am not getting through.
Hello, this is Dr. Vida speaking.
The line is busy (
, engaged).
There’s no answer.
It’s a bad line.
I’ve been cut off.
I would like the number for Dr. Vida on Green Street.
What is the area code for Los Angeles?
I can’t get through to this number. Would you dial it for me?
Can you put me through to Spain?
Having a Drink (or Two)
BookID 158386_ChapID 17_Proof# 1 -
Unlimited mileage?
What is the cost per mile?
Is insurance included?
You need to leave a deposit.
Unit XVII
Conversation Survival Guide
BookID 158386_ChapID 17_Proof# 1 -
BookID 158386_ChapID 17_Proof# 1 -
At the Garage
My car has broken down.
What do you think is wrong with it?
Can you fix (
, mend) a puncture?
Can you take the car in tow to downtown Boston?
I see …, kill the engine, please.
Start the engine, please.
The car goes to the right and overheats.
Have you noticed if it loses water/gas/oil?
Yes, it’s losing oil.
Does it lose speed?
Yes, and it doesn’t start properly.
I can’t get it into reverse.
The engine makes funny noises.
Please repair it as soon as possible.
I wonder if you can fix it temporarily.
How long will it take to repair?
I am afraid we have to send for spare parts.
The car is very heavy on petrol.
I think the right front tire needs changing.
I guess the valve is broken.
Is my car ready?
Have you finished fixing the car?
Did you fix the car?
Do you think you can fix it today?
I think I’ve got a puncture rear offside.
The spare’s flat as well.
I’ve run out of gas (
, petrol).
At the Parking Lot (
, Car
Park
Do you know where the nearest car park is?
Are there any free spaces?
How much is it per hour?
Is the car park supervised?
How long can I leave the car here?
Renting a Car
I want to rent a car. (
I want to hire a car. (
For how many days?
Unit XVII
Conversation Survival Guide
BookID 158386_ChapID 17_Proof# 1 -
I have been assaulted.
My laptop has disappeared from my room.
I have lost my passport.
I will not say anything until I have spoken to my lawyer/solicitor.
I have had a car accident.
Why have you arrested me? I’ve done nothing.
Am I under caution?
I would like to call my embassy/consulate.

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