This section contains information on the inherited aspect of human existence, in a word: genes. Reducing the billions of man-hours of labour carried out by the countless professors, scientists and students in the thousands of research laboratories in the world to a single word is obviously a gross oversimplification, but this is a lexicon, a collection of information on related terms.
Current estimates put the number of genes in the human genome at about 23,000. The bulk of the material in this section is definition of genes. Each includes the gene’s aliases/synonyms, a paragraph or two of information on what the gene does, diseases specifically caused by or associated with the defects of the gene, if known, and one or two hot links to a genes database (http://www.genecards.org) or protein database (http://www.uniprot.org) so the reader can get more information with a minimal effort.
This section has information on cellular genes and proteins, mitochondrial genes and proteins, cell biology, protein complexes, genomics and other -omics, genetics and genetic engineering. Because of genes’ central importance to a medical dictionary meant to serve the needs of practitioners in the 21st century, until most of the estimated 23,000 genes in the human genome have been defined to my satisfaction, work on the Molecular medicine section of this work will stay focused on genes.
In this section’s above right sidebar, the reader will find a beta version of the Genes sub-database which I’ve been developing from the Modern Medical Dictionary database. This product has information (aliases, definition and references) on about 8200 genes which I’ve come across in my reading of the literature. To put this number in perspective, the most current (32nd edition, 2012) of the Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary has information on 57 (fifty-seven) genes*.
*That number would be 67, if you count the aliases and synonyms as separate entries—if we included the aliases and synonyms in the count, we’d have 106,600 entries.