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Biomarker: An Indicator of a Biological State and its Applications

BY: Muniba Safdar | Category: Biotechnology-products | Submitted: 2011-02-11 19:18:26
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Article Summary: "What is a biomarker? Introduction and its role in different fields. Used as an indicator that can be used to distinguish between an individual and population. It indicates a biological state or may indicate a presence of disease..."


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Introduction:

A biomarker, or in other words biological marker, is a chemical substance, physiological characteristic, gene, etc. Used as an indicator that can be used to distinguish between an individual and population. It indicates a biological state or may indicate a presence of disease. As biomarker is used in the field of science, it has a characteristic that is factually measured and estimated as an indicator. This indicates the normal biological processes (a process of living organism), pharmacologic, or pathogenic responses to a therapeutic intervention (an interpersonal approach to curing people through positive communication).

Role of Biomarker in Cell Biology:


Cell biology, a scientific discipline, is the study of cells which includes their structure, their physiological properties (relating to normal healthful functioning), and their interactions with the environment, their organelles, their life cycle, division and death. The study of cells is performed on a molecular and microscopic level. In cell biology, research covers on single-celled organisms for example bacteria, protozoa as well multicellular organisms like humans. And this research is related to many other fields including biochemistry (is the study of chemical processes in living organisms), immunology (the study of all aspects of the immune system in all organisms), molecular biology, genetics etc.

In cell biology, the function of biomarker is to allow for the detection and separation of a specific cell type. For example, the protein called octamer-binding transcription factor 4 or Oct-4 is used as a biomarker that identifies embryonic stem cells or pluripotent stem cells or involved in self-renewal of undifferentiated embryonic stem cell in humans.
In the field of genetics (the science of genes, heredity, and variation in living organisms), a biomarker is basically a genetic marker of gene or DNA sequence that is concomitant to disease or causes disease.

Role of Biomarker in Medicine:


Medicine, a field of science, is an art of healing that encompasses prevention and treatment of illness or diseases by doing healthcare practices to maintain health. These treatments can be done through biomedical research, medical technology, by studying health sciences to diagnose or analyze and treat the disease.

In the field of medicine, a biomarker is defined as a traceable substance, a substance that is hosted into an organism to determine an organs function or other health aspects. For example, rubidium chloride (the alkali metal halide RbCl and found diverse Uses from electrochemistry to molecular biology) that is used as a radioactive isotope (radioactive isotope or radioisotope, natural or artificially created isotope of a chemical element having an unstable nucleus) to assess the intromission of heart muscle. Moreover, if we want to detect a specific disease state like the presence of an antibody that may indicate an infection, this substance can also be used. There is another special kind of biomarker called an endophenotype (is associated with illness in the population or manifests in an individual whether or not illness is active) used to find genetic causes for diseases like schizophrenia (a mental disorder characterized by disintegration of thought processes and of emotional responsiveness).

Role of Biomarker in Geology and Astrobiology:

Geology, a field of science, is the study of the solid earth. It is the process by which the earth is shaped and changed. For the indication of existence, past or present, of living organism, a biomarker is used and it can be any molecule.

Astrobiology is an interdisciplinary field of chemistry, biology, physics, astronomy, ecology, molecular biology, geography, planetary science and geology. It is used to investigate the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life on other worlds. A term used as Biosignature (any substance -such as an element, isotope, or molecule - or phenomenon that provides scientific evidence of past or present life) which includes biomarkers in competition with geomarker. To describe biological involvement the word biomarker is used in the pathways of petroleum.

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