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Glossary

Drusen

Drusen are fatty deposits that develop in the eye. Sometimes this symptom is related to a higher risk developing age-related macular degeneration. Drusen usually have no symptoms, and are diagnosed during routine eye exams.


Dystrophy

The progressive weakening of tissue or organs in the body. The word dystrophy is used to describe cell death. In the eye, dystrophy means certain parts of the eye are getting weaker or dying.


DNA

A molecule that makes up the physical structure and function of all living things. Sometimes referred to as “the code of life,” DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is an extremely important molecule that determines the physical structure and functionality of almost all organisms. Shaped like a ladder that has been twisted, the famous “double helix,” DNA contains four chemical bases arranged like rungs holding the ladder together: A, T, C, and G, with A always pairing with T on the other side of the ladder, and C always with G. The order of these bases, collected in larger segments called “genes,” defines the shape of an organism and how its parts function. Because of its structure, DNA can replicate itself, a process at the heart of cell division: the ladder is “unzipped” down the middle, allowing the detached sides to pair with the appropriate bases and form new sequences.


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