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noun, plural: biomarkers

Any substance used in the detection and identification of the type of cell, organelle, sub-component, biological state, or biological process


In cell biology, biomarkers are used to detect and isolate a target organelle or cell type, such as by marker enzymes.

In molecular biology, biomarkers are used to detect the presence of DNA sequence associated with specific diseases, such as by genetic markers.

In medicine, biomarkers are detectable substance present (such as antibodies) or administered into the body (like radioactive isotopes) for diagnostic purposes.

In geology, biomarkers are organic compounds, which when detected in geologic rocks or crude oils indicate the presence of previously living organism.

Biomarkers are also used to identify the exposure to a chemical and measure the effects of the exposure.

Also called:

  • biological marker

Related term(s):