Skip to main content

Table 2 Examples of common verbs with senses specific to the biological sciences

From: BioVerbNet: a large semantic-syntactic classification of verbs in biomedicine

  Sense Example
silence To inactivate expression of a gene. Eukaryotic cells express small noncoding RNAs to silence target genes
dampen To suppress the immune response. Propathogenic cells dampen the early T cell response
scavenge To combine with and remove reactive oxygen species. Antioxidant properties of plants scavenge reactive oxygen species
prime To present antigen to naïve lymphocytes, causing them These antigens may prime an immune response
  to differentiate.  
reprogram To transform one cell type into a different cell type. Mash1 and Brn2 reprogram fibroblasts into neurons
imprint To inactivate expression of a gene through methylation. A period of stimulation could imprint on a T cell a “biochemical memory”
divide To undergo cell division into two or more daughter cells. Cultures of Tetrahymena pyriformis were induced to divide synchronously
isolate To extract a cell population or substance in a pure form. We used soft agar to isolate phototrophic bacteria