Main glossary


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D

Data protection

All personal information is protected in the UK by the Data Protection Act (1998). This means that researchers have to put in all the necessary safeguards to protect the confidentiality of the information they collect about research participants. They should explain the patient information sheet:

  • how the participants' data will be collected
  • how it will be stored securely
  • what it will be used for
  • who will have access to the data that identifies participants
  • how long it will be kept
  • how it will be disposed of securely.

De novo

Latin term for 'new'.


Decision trees

A type of model that details a pathway of a disease as a set of potential outcomes, with different probabilities assigned to each of the outcomes.


Dissemination

Dissemination involves communicating the findings of a research project to a wide range of people who might find it useful. This can be done through:

  • producing reports (often these are made available on the Internet)
  • publishing articles in journals or newsletters
  • issuing press releases
  • giving talks at conferences

It is important to feed back the findings of research to research participants.


DNA

A chemical substance which makes up the genes, and which contains the information needed for the body to work. 


Drug reformulation

Drug reformulation is taking an existing approved drug and creating a new delivery form or a new dosage.


Drug repositioning

Drug repositioning is when a pharma company takes one of their patent protected drugs and creates a new disease use for it, and then starts marketing the drug for a new use. 


Drug reprofiling

Drug reprofiling changes an already approved drug by creating tiny variations (called isomers) so that it can be re-patented for a new disease indication. 


Drug repurposing

Drug repurposing is taking a drug already approved for human use in one disease and testing it to see if they will help another disease. 



Drug target

A drug target is anything in a living organism to which a drug can binds to, causing a change in its behaviour or function. Common biological targets are proteins and nucleic acids.