Corneal Disease Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Corneal Disease article.

Abnormal: Outside the expected norm, or uncharacteristic of a particular patient.

Absorb: 1. To take something in, as through the skin or the intestine.
2....

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Acyclovir: (Brand name: Zovirax) One of a group of antiviral drugs that acts against the...

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Allergic reaction: The hypersensitive response of the immune system of an allergic indiv...

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Allergy: A misguided reaction to foreign substances by the immune system, the body system ...

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Amyloid: Any of a number of complex proteins that are deposited in tissues and that share ...

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Anterior: The front, as opposed to the posterior. The anterior surface of the heart is tow...

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Antibiotic: A drug used to treat infections caused by bacteria and other microorganisms. ...

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Antihistamines: Drugs that combat the histamine released during an allergic reaction by bl...

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Aqueous humor: In medicine, humor refers to a fluid (or semifluid) substance. Thus, the aq...

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Arthritis: Inflammation of a joint. When joints are inflamed they can develop stiffness, w...

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Astigmatism: A common form of visual impairment in which part of an image is blurred due t...

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Atrophy: A wasting away or diminution. Muscle atrophy is a decrease in muscle mass, often ...

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Bacteria: Single-celled microorganisms that can exist either as independent (free-living) ...

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Bacterial: Of or pertaining to bacteria, as in a bacterial lung infection.

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Basement membrane: A thin membrane that is composed of a single layer of cells.

Blindness: Loss of useful sight. Blindness can be temporary or permanent. Damage to any p...

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Blurred vision: Lack of sharpness of vision with, as a result, the inability to see fine d...

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Brain: The portion of the central nervous system that is located within the skull. It func...

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Cavities: Holes or structural damage in the two outer layers of a tooth called the enamel...

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Cell: The basic structural and functional unit of any living thing. Each cell is a small c...

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Cheek: The side of the face, which forms the side wall of the mouth. The cheekbone is part...

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Chickenpox: A highly infectious viral disease also known medically as varicella -- in many...

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Chronic: In medicine, lasting a long time. A chronic condition is one that lasts 3 months ...

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Clinical trials: Trials to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of medications or medical...

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Collagen: The principal protein of the skin, tendons, cartilage, bone, and connective tiss...

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Complication: In medicine, an unanticipated problem that arises following, and is a result...

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Cone: A type of specialized light-sensitive cell (photoreceptor) in the retina of the eye ...

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Congenital: A condition that is present at birth, whether or not it is inherited.

Conjunctiva: A thin, clear, moist membrane that coats the inner surfaces of the eyelids (p...

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Conjunctivitis: Inflammation of the membrane covering the surface of the eyeball. It can b...

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Connective tissue: A material made up of fibers forming a framework and support structure...

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Cornea: The clear front window of the eye, which transmits and focuses light into the eye....

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Corneal: Pertaining to the cornea, the clear front window of the eye that transmits and fo...

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Corneal dystrophy: A condition in which one or more parts of the cornea lose their normal ...

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Corneal transplant: Replacement of a portion of the clear window on the front of the eye (...

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Decongestant: A drug that shrinks the swollen membranes in the nose, making it easier for ...

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Discharge: 1.The flow of fluid from part of the body, such as from the nose or vag...

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Donor: The giver of a tissue or an organ, such as a blood donor or kidney donor.

Down syndrome: A common birth defect that is usually due to an extra chromosome 21 (trisom...

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Drain: A device for removing fluid from a cavity or wound. A drain is typically a tube or ...

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Dry eye: A deficiency of tears. The main symptom is usually a scratchy or sandy feeling as...

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Edema: The swelling of soft tissues as a result of excess fluid accumulation. Edema is oft...

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Endothelial: Relating to the endothelium.

Endothelium: A layer of flat cells lining the closed internal spaces of the body such as t...

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Epithelial: Relating to the epithelium.

Epithelium: The outside layer of cells that covers all the free, open surfaces of the body...

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Erosion: An erosion is an eating away of a surface. ("Erodere" in Latin means to eat out.)...

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Erythema: Redness of the skin that results from capillary congestion. Erythema can occur w...

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Erythema multiforme: See: Stevens-Johnson syndrome.

Essential: In medicine, of unknown cause, as in essential hypertension (high blood pressur...

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Excimer laser: A laser that emits very concentrated light in the ultraviolet (UV) region o...

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Eye bank: A place to store corneas (the clear "front window" of the eye) for use in future...

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Eyelid: The lid or cover of the eye, a movable fold of skin and muscle that can be closed ...

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Family history: The family structure and relationships within the family, including inform...

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Farsightedness: An error of refraction in the human eye that causes light rays to focus be...

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Fever: Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 degr...

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Flare: 1. an exacerbation of a chronic disease. Sometimes referred to as a flare-up, a fla...

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Focal: Pertaining to a focus which in medicine may refer to:
1. The point at ...

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Fungi: Plural of fungus.

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Genes: The basic biological units of heredity. Segments of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) nee...

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Genetic: Having to do with genes and genetic
information.

Genital: Pertaining to the external and/or internal organs of reproduction.

Glaucoma: A common eye condition in which the fluid pressure inside the eyes rises becaus...

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Graft: Healthy skin, bone, kidney, liver, or other tissue that is taken from one part of t...

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Herpes: A family of viruses. Herpes also refers to infection with one of the human herpesv...

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Herpes zoster: Also called shingles, zona, and zoster. The culprit is the varicella-zoster...

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Humor: In medicine, a fluid or semifluid substance. For example, the aqueous humor is the ...

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Hyperopia: Farsightedness; the ability to see distant objects more clearly than close obj...

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Immune: Protected against infection, usually by the presence of antibodies.

Immune system: A complex system that is responsible for distinguishing a person from every...

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Indicate: In medicine, to make a treatment or procedure advisable because of a particular ...

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Infection: The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, an...

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Inflammation: A localized reaction that produces redness, warmth, swelling, and pain as a ...

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Injury: Harm or hurt. To harm, hurt, or wound. The word injure may be in physical or emot...

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Involuntary: Done other than in accordance with the conscious will of the individual. The ...

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Iris: The circular, colored curtain of the eye. The opening of the iris forms the pupil. T...

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Iritis: Inflammation of the iris. The iris is the circular, colored curtain in the front o...

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Itching: An uncomfortable sensation in the skin that feels as if something is crawling on ...

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Keratectomy: Removal of part of the cornea. This can be done by surgical excision or by l...

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Keratitis: Inflammation of the cornea. Keratitis can occur due to abrasion trauma, infecti...

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Keratoconjunctivitis: Inflammation of the eye that involves both the cornea and conjunctiv...

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Keratoconus: A cone-shaped cornea, with the apex of the cone being forward. Keratoconus ca...

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Laser: A powerful beam of light that is used in some types of surgery to cut or destroy ti...

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Lattice dystrophy: A form of hereditary corneal dystrophy in which there is an accumulatio...

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Lens: The transparent structure inside the eye that focuses light rays onto the retina.

Lipid: Another word for "fat." (Please see the various meanings of Fat.) A lipid is more f...

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Longitudinal: Along the length of something; running lengthwise or, by extension, over the...

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Membrane: A very thin layer of tissue that covers a 'surface.

Menopause: The time in a woman's life when menstrual periods permanently stop; it is also...

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Microscope: An optical instrument that augments the power of the eye to see small objects....

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Mouth: 1. The upper opening of the digestive tract, beginning with the lips and con...

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Mucous: Pertaining to mucus, a thick fluid produced by the lining of some tissues of the b...

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Mumps: An acute (sudden, shortlived) viral illness that usually presents with inflammation...

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Myopia: Nearsightedness, the ability to see close objects more clearly than distant objec...

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Nail: In medicine, there are two types of nails. One is just a plain old metal nail used t...

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Nasal: Having to do with the nose.

Nearsightedness: The ability to see near objects more clearly than distant objects. Also ...

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Neck: The part of the body joining the head to the shoulders. Also, any narrow or constric...

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NEI: Stands for National Eye Institute, one of the US National Institutes of Health.

Nerve: A bundle of fibers that uses electrical and chemical signals to transmit sensory an...

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Nevus: A pigmented spot on the skin, such as a mole. The plural of nevus is nevi.

Nose: The external midline projection from the face. The purpose of the nose is to warm, c...

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Ocular: Having to do with the eye.

Onset: In medicine, the first appearance of the signs or symptoms of an illness as, for ex...

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Operation: In medicine, a surgical procedure. Many operations are named after persons. The...

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Ophthalmologist: A physician who practices ophthalmology.

Optic: Having to do with vision.

Optic nerve: The optic nerve connects the eye to the brain. The optic nerve carries the...

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Osteogenesis: The production of bone.

Osteogenesis imperfecta: A group of inherited connective tissue diseases, all of which res...

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Oxygen: The odorless gas that is present in the air and necessary to maintain life. Oxygen...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Pollen: Small, light, dry protein particles from trees, grasses, flowers, and weeds that m...

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Prematurity: Historically, the definition of prematurity was 2500 grams (about 5 1/2 pound...

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Prevalence: The proportion of individuals in a population having a disease or characterist...

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Progressive: Increasing in scope or severity, advancing, or going forward. For example, a ...

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Protein: One of the three nutrients used as energy sources (calories) by the body. Protein...

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Proteins: Large molecules composed of one or more chains of amino acids in a specific orde...

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Pterygium: A wing-like triangular membrane. Although a pterygium can be anywhere, includin...

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Pupil: The opening of the iris. The pupil may appear to open (dilate) and close (constrict...

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Radiation: 1. Rays of energy. Gamma rays and X-rays are two of the types of energy ...

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Rash: Breaking out (eruption) of the skin. A rash can be caused by an underlying medical c...

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Recipient: In medicine, someone who is given something, such as a blood transfusion or an ...

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Recurrence: The return of a sign, symptom, or disease after a remission. The reappearance ...

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Recurrent: Appearing or occurring again. For example, a recurrent fever is a fever that ha...

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Refract: In ophthalmology, to determine the bending of light that takes place within the h...

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Rejection: In transplantation biology, when the body's immune system attacks transplanted ...

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Retina: The retina is the nerve layer that lines the back of the eye, senses light, and c...

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Retinitis pigmentosa: A group of inherited disorders in which abnormalities of the photore...

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Retinopathy: Any disease of the retina, the light-sensitive membrane at the back of the ey...

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Rheumatoid arthritis: An autoimmune disease characterized by chronic inflammation of joint...

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Sclera: The tough white outer coat over the eyeball that covers approximately the posterio...

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Sensation: In medicine and physiology, sensation refers to the registration of an incoming...

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Sensitivity: 1. In psychology, the quality of being sensitive. As, for example, sen...

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Shingles: An acute infection caused by the herpes zoster virus, the same virus as causes ...

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Sleep: The body's rest cycle.

Sore: 1. (adjective) A popular term for painful, such as a sore throat. 2. (...

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Sore throat: Pain in the throat. Sore throat may be caused by many different causes, inclu...

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Steroid: One of a large group of chemical substances classified by a specific carbon struc...

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Stevens-Johnson syndrome: A serious systemic (bodywide) allergic reaction with a character...

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Stress: In a medical or biological context stress is a physical, mental, or emotional fact...

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Stroma: The supportive framework of an organ (or gland or other structure), usually compos...

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Stromal: Pertaining to the stroma of an organ. See: Stroma.

Substance: 1. Material with particular features.
2. The material that...

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Surgeon: A physician who treats disease, injury, or deformity via operative or manual meth...

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Surgery: The branch of medicine that employs operations in the treatment of disease or inj...

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Symptom: Any subjective evidence of disease. In contrast, a sign is objective. Blood comin...

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Syndrome: A combination of symptoms and signs that together represent a disease process.

Systemic: Affecting the entire body. A systemic disease such as diabetes can affect the wh...

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Tear: A drop of the salty secretion of the lacrimal glands which serves to moisten the con...

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Tear film: The liquid layer bathing the cornea and conjunctiva. It creates a perfectly smo...

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Therapy: The treatment of disease. Therapy is synonymous with treatment.

Throat: The throat is the anterior (front) portion of the neck beginning at the back of th...

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Translation: The process by which the genetic code carried by messenger RNA (mRNA) directs...

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Transplant: The grafting of a tissue from one place to another, just as in botany a bu...

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Trauma: A physical or emotional injury.

UV radiation: Ultraviolet radiation. Invisible rays that are part of the energy that comes...

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Viral: Of or pertaining to a virus. For example, if a person has a viral rash, the rash wa...

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Viral infection: Infection caused by the presence of a virus in the body. Depending on...

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Virus: A microorganism that is smaller than a bacterium that cannot grow or reproduce apar...

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