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Kangaroo Mother Care

(KMC) or Kangaroo care (KC) began in Bogota (Colombia) in 1978. It is therapeutic skin-to-skin contact between an infant and parent where the infant is usually held chest-to-chest in an upright prone position. A Cochrane Database review concluded: "Although KMC appears to reduce severe infant morbidity without any serious deleterious effect reported, there is still insufficient evidence to recommend its routine use in LBW infants. Well designed randomized controlled trials of this intervention are needed." PMID 12804436.
(More? Neonatal Development)


(Greek, karyon = kernel or nucleus) Stem cell term describing a nucleus isolated from a eukaryotic cell surrounded by a very thin layer of cytoplasm and a plasma membrane.
(More? Stem Cells)


Female Trisomy 21 Karyotype
Female Trisomy 21 Karyotype
(Greek, karyon = kernel or nucleus + typos = stamp) Term used to describe the chromosomal (genetic) makeup (complement) of a cell by the number and appearance of chromosomes. Note that chromosomes can only be seen in mitosis or meiosis at metaphase. Staining and identifying the chromosomes can be used in prenatal diagnosis of correct chromosome number or identifying any large chromosomal translocations or deletions.
(More? Histology stains | Mitosis | Meiosis | Week 1 | Genetic Abnormalities)


(cytokeratin) An intermediate filament protein of the cell cytoskeleton. There are many different keratins with different tissue expression profiles. The most common is often identified in skin and mutations in this gene lead to skin defects.
(More? Integumentary System Development)


A paired excretory organs that filter the blood and also have endocrine functions. The functional unit of the kidney is the nephron and the term renal also applies to the kidney. In humans, embryonically the intermediate mesoderm differentiates to form a series of developmental structures (pronephros, mesonephros) eventually forming the metanephros, that forms the adult kidney.
(More? Renal System Development | Endocrine Kidney)

killer immunoglobulin-like receptor

(KIR) Plasma membrane inhibitory receptor specific for allelic forms of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I molecules that block NK cell activation and function. HLA class I is expressed by natural killer (NK) cells and a subset of T lymphocytes. Cells lacking HLA class I molecules are promptly killed by NK cells.
(More? PMID 15342010)


See protein kinase.


A 17-ketosteroid is the excreted inactive derivative (breakdown product) of testosterone formed by conjugation in the liver.
(More? Endocrine Development)

knock out mice

A term used to describe the molecular biology technique of introducing a germ line gene specific disruption that results in mice that do not produce the protein product of that gene, it has been "knocked out". Technique required the development of stem cells to carry out the manipulation.
(More? Stem Cells | Mouse Development | Molecular Development)


An epithelial cell visibly infected by human papillomavirus (HPV).
(More? Viral Infection)

Kolliker's organ

(Kollicker's organ, greater epithelial ridge) A developing cochlear structure consisting of columnar-shaped supporting cells filling the inner sulcus and lying directly under the tectorial membrane. This transient organ regresses and generates the space of the inner sulcus. Named after Rudolph Albert von Kolliker (1817-1905).
(More? Inner Ear Development | Hearing)

Krabbe disease

(globoid cell leukodystrophy, galactosylcerebrosidase deficiency, galactosylceramidase deficiency) Rare abnormality lysosomal disorderdue to mutation in the GALC gene producing less galactosylceramidase, an enzyme required for glial cells to make myelin that insulates nerve cells. This is also classified as a lysosomal disorder. There is an early-onset form (appears first months of life, lethal before age 2) and a late-onset form (appears in late childhood or early adolescence). There is a neonatal test for the disease that has an autosomal recessive inheritance pattern.
(More? Neonatal Diagnosis | autosomal recessive inheritance | Neural Exam Movies | Inheritance Genetics)

Krüppel-like factor

(Klf) Group of evolutionarily conserved zinc finger-containing transcription factors described as having in many different cellular processes:proliferation, apoptosis, differentiation and development.
(More? Molecular Development)

Glossary Comments

Use this page to access brief definitions of specific embryology terms. Additional information can be accessed from links listed at the end of each definition. Glossary from the UNSW Embryology program compiled and written by Dr Mark Hill. Reference material used in preparing this glossary list includes: texts listed on page 1 "Reading" of each notes section, Department of Anatomy Publications, WWW resources from NCBI, NIH, OMIM, NHMRC (Australia), AMA (USA), Office of Rare Diseases (USA), PubMed Medline Dictionaries, MSDS, Merck Manual home edn. and WHO ART terminology (2009).

These notes are for Educational Purposes Only Please email Dr Mark Hill if you wish to make a comment about this current project.

Glossary Links

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Cite this page: Hill, M.A. 2017 Embryology K. Retrieved February 28, 2017, from https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/K

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© Dr Mark Hill 2017, UNSW Embryology ISBN: 978 0 7334 2609 4 - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G