Biological Markers

Biological Markers Photo
A biomarker, or biological marker, generally refers to a measurable indicator of some biological state or condition. A biomarker is "a characteristic that is objectively measured and evaluated as an indicator of normal biological processes, pathogenic processes, or pharmacologic responses to a therapeutic intervention.” In medicine, a biomarker can be a traceable substance that is introduced into an organism as a means to examine organ function or other aspects of health. Biochemical biomarkers are often used in clinical trials and Other biomarkers can be based on measures of the electrical activity of the brain (using Electroencephalography) or volumetric measures of certain brain regions(using Magnetic resonance imaging) or saliva testing of natural metabolites, such as saliva nitrite, a surrogate marker for nitric oxide. One example of a commonly used biomarker in medicine is prostate-specific antigen (PSA). This marker can be measured as a proxy of prostate size with rapid changes potentially indicating cancer. The most extreme case would be to detect mutant proteins as cancer specific biomarkers through Selected Reaction Monitoring (SRM), since mutant proteins can only come from an existing tumor, thus providing ultimately the best specificity for medical purposes.

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