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Preferred Spellings and Usage

A

Non-preferred spelling / usage Preferred spelling / usage
acetyl CoA acetyl-CoA (with hyphen)
acetyl-coenzyme A acetyl coenzyme A (no hyphen)
α cell alpha cell
adapter adaptor
African American, Mexican American, etc. African-American, Mexican-American, etc. (include hyphen, not en-dash)
Akaike information criterion Akaike’s information criterion
AKT Akt (this is treated as the protein name, rather than an abbreviation, and does not need to be written in full)
albumin-to-creatinine ratio (or other variations) albumin/creatinine ratio
amido black Amido Black
(amino acid chains) Gly-Lys-Ala
amphetamine (USAN) amfetamine (INN)
anti-diabetic drug glucose-lowering drug or hypoglycaemic drug
anti-oxidant antioxidant
apolipoproteins If using abbreviation, format as
e.g. ApoA-I, ApoB-100 (initial capital)
around [e.g. 3 ml urine] about 3 ml urine

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B

Non-preferred spelling / usage Preferred spelling / usage
base line baseline
B-cell B cell
β cell beta cell (but β OK for chemicals, etc.)
beta blocker β-blocker
biobreeding (BB) rats BioBreeding (BB) rats
birth weight birthweight
bisulfite bisulphite
breast-fed, breast-feeding breastfed, breastfeeding

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C

Non-preferred spelling / usage Preferred spelling / usage
C or COOH terminal C- or COOH-terminal (hyphen optional with terminus)
C3 C-3 (third carbon atom)
C3 (chain of three carbon atoms)
calorie energy (e.g. low-energy diet, % of energy from fat; note that the abbreviation VLCD [very low calorie diet] is acceptable)
cAMP cyclic AMP (or use cAMP as a defined abbreviation)
CD4+ CD4+
C peptide C-peptide
caesarean Caesarean
case−cohort case-cohort (with hyphen − N-rule is not appropriate as cases fall within the cohort)
case-control case−control (with N-rule)
Chinese Han Han Chinese
chi-square test χ2 test
cholecalciferol vitamin D3
cholesterol ester cholesteryl ester
Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel Cochran–Mantel–Haenszel
Cochran’s Q Cochran’s Q
Coenzyme Q10 Coenzyme Q10
colocalise co-localise
co-morbid comorbid
co-ordinate coordinate
Cox-Mantel Cox–Mantel
coxsackie Coxsackie (upper case C as named after the town of Coxsackie, although sometimes lower case when used as the vernacular; Coxsackie B virus and Coxsackievirus B are both acceptable)
cross over crossover
Cross-talk crosstalk
C-statistic C statistic (upper case C, non-italic, no hyphen)
Ct Ct (cycle threshold: upright font)
cytochrome c cytochrome c (c in italics)

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D

Non-preferred spelling / usage Preferred spelling / usage
dark-grey dark grey
data is data are (plural)
data set dataset
day time/day-time daytime [no hyphen]
deuterated 2H-labelled or similar (e.g. 2H2O)
df df
D glucose d-glucose (small cap) (Capital G if at the beginning of a sentence)
DI DI (disposition index)
diabetic pregnancy pregnancy affected by diabetes, diabetic woman etc.(depending on context)
dietician dietitian
disk for computer disk
DM diabetes mellitus (do not use DM in text. It may be used in the tables and figures with a written-out explanation)
dose dose refers to single amount of a drug
dosage dosage also includes details of the timing
double blinded double-blinded
down-regulate downregulate
drop-out dropout

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E

Non-preferred spelling / usage Preferred spelling / usage
EIF eIF (eukaryotic initiation factor, e is generally styled as lower case)
electrophoretic mobility-shift assay electrophoretic mobility shift assay
Embase EMBASE
EMPA-REG OUTCOME EMPA-REG OUTCOME® (confirm with authors that it is correct to add the ® symbol. No need to write in full)
end point endpoint
end product end-product
enzymic enzymatic
et al. et al (no full point)
etiology aetiology
euglycaemic hyperinsulinaemic clamp euglycaemic−hyperinsulinaemic clamp
evidenced-based evidence-based

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F

Non-preferred spelling / usage Preferred spelling / usage
first born/first-born firstborn
firstly, secondly, thirdly … first, second, third
FM flash monitoring (do not abbreviate)
focussed focused
foetus/foetal fetus/fetal
follow up follow-up (when used as an adjective rather than verb)
free cholesterol non-esterified cholesterol
free fatty acids non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA)
f-test F test

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G

Non-preferred spelling / usage Preferred spelling / usage
glucose-6-phosphate glucose 6-phosphate but glucose-6-phosphatase (note hyphenation)
glutathione S-tranferase glutathione S-transferase (S in italics)
guinea-pig guinea pig

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H

Non-preferred spelling / usage Preferred spelling / usage
HbA1c HbA1c (note styling i.e. lower case subscript c)
HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, etc. HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, etc.
Hank’s balanced salt solution Hanks’ balanced salt solution
health care healthcare
high fat diet high-fat diet
high fat fed high-fat-fed (not high fat-fed, high-fat fed etc.)
hind limb hindlimb
HSV1 HSV-1
herpes simplex virus 1
hyperinsulinaemic euglycaemic clamp hyperinsulinaemic−euglycaemic clamp

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I

Non-preferred spelling / usage Preferred spelling / usage
IDDM patient type 1 diabetic patient
interleukin 2 interleukin-2 (with hyphen)
IL 2 IL-2 (with hyphen)
intima-media thickness intima–media thickness (en-dash)

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J

Non-preferred spelling / usage Preferred spelling / usage
JDRF Correct name of the charity (formerly Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). No need to expand

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K

Non-preferred spelling / usage Preferred spelling / usage
Kaplan-Meier Kaplan–Meier (en-dash)
KD kDa (abbreviation for kilodaltons)
knock-in knockin
knock-out knockout

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L

Non-preferred spelling / usage Preferred spelling / usage
L-cell L cell
leukemia leukaemia
leukocyte leucocyte
light-grey light grey
Log log (lower case l, and space, e.g. log tyiacylglycerol)
log rank logrank
lumenal luminal

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M

Non-preferred spelling / usage Preferred spelling / usage
MAFA MafA (a transcription factor)
male, female as nouns men, women
Mann-Whitney U test Mann–Whitney U test (en-dash)
Medline MEDLINE
metabolic syndrome the metabolic syndrome
methods methodology Not interchangeable. Methodology is a system of methods used in a particular area of study
mm Hg mmHg (closed up)
MTOR mTOR (mechanistic target of rapamycin)
M value M value (insulin sensitivity)
Myanmar Burma

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N

Non-preferred spelling / usage Preferred spelling / usage
N or NH2 terminal N- or NH2-terminal (hyphen optional with terminus)
naïve naive (no diaeresis)
Neuman-Keuls Neuman–Keuls (en-dash)
neurone neuron
NFκB NF-κB
NICE Expansion is the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (from 2013)
NIDDM type 2 diabetes
night time night-time [include hypen]
nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice non-obese diabetic mice (note that NOD is an accepted abbreviation)
Northern blot northern blot

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O

Non-preferred spelling / usage Preferred spelling / usage
OD (optical density) absorbance (the preferred technical term)
OD450 etc absorbance at 450 nm
omega fatty acid n-3 fatty acid (hyphen not en dash)
on line online
out-patient outpatient
over-express overexpress
over-nutrition overnutrition
overrepresent over-represent
over-stimulate overstimulate
over-weight overweight (avoid using as a noun)

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P

Non-preferred spelling / usage Preferred spelling / usage
pancreata pancreases
parameter variable
parasthesias parasthesiae
penicillin streptomycin penicillin−streptomycin
percent per cent
periodic acid-schiff’s reagent periodic acid–Schiff’s reagent (en-dash, capital S)
peroxisome proliferative-activated receptor, gamma, coactivator 1, alpha peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor, gamma, coactivator 1, alpha
persons people
person years person-years
phase 1/2 (trial) Phase I/II (upper case P, Roman numerals)
phosphorylase a phosphorylase a (a in italics)
post-hoc post hoc (no hyphen)
post-natal postnatal
post-prandial postprandial
posttranscriptional post-transcriptional
posttranslational post-translational
preadipocytes pre-adipocytes
pre-diabetic prediabetic
pre-prandial preprandial
prepregnancy pre-pregnancy
pro-inflammatory proinflammatory
pro-insulin proinsulin
program programme (but program is correct for computer program or when referring to cellular programming)
Pubmed PubMed

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Q

Non-preferred spelling / usage Preferred spelling / usage
quantitation, quantitate quantification, quantify

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R

Non-preferred spelling / usage Preferred spelling / usage
Ra, Rd (rate of appearance, rate of disappearance) RaRd
READ codes Read codes
realtime real-time (if adjective), otherwise real time
real-time PCR Don’t abbreviate to RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction)
receiver operator characteristic receiver operating characteristic
red blood cell erythrocyte
re-fed, re-feeding refed, refeeding
regime(n) regimen (treatment routine)
regime (governmental system)
regular insulin short-acting insulin
ROC Precede by ‘a’ rather than ‘an’ (pronounced as ‘rock’)
rpm rev/min (appropriate for shakers; convert to g for centrifuge speed)

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S

Non-preferred spelling / usage Preferred spelling / usage
sacrificed killed
side-effect side effect (unless adjectival)
skinfold skinfold thickness (but keep ‘sum of skinfolds’, and ‘skinfold’ can be used in tables/figures)
SNP Precede by ‘a’ rather than ‘an’ (pronounced as ‘snip’)
socio-economic socioeconomic
Sodium/glucose cotransporter 2 Sodium−glucose cotransporter 2
south Asian South Asian
southern blot Southern blot (for DNA) (invented by Prof. Southern, hence capital S)
Sprague-Dawley Sprague Dawley (no hyphen or N rule)
St. St (contraction, not abbreviation)
Student-Neuman-Keuls Student–Neuman–Keuls (en-dash)
Students t-test Student’s t test
sub-group subgroup
sub-population subpopulation
sulphonylurea sulfonylurea
super family superfamily
survival survival rate

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T

Non-preferred spelling / usage Preferred spelling / usage
T-cell T cell
The Netherlands the Netherlands
T-helper T helper
thin layer chromatography thin-layer chromatography (or TLC)
time-course time course
TNFα TNF-α
transaminase aminotransferase
triglyceride triacylglycerol (except adipose triglyceride lipase [ATGL])
tritiated 3H-labelled or similar (e.g. 3H2O)
tumoural tumoral
type 1 diabetes in the mouse mouse model of type 1 diabetes
type I diabetes type 1 diabetes
type II diabetes type 2 diabetes

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U

Non-preferred spelling / usage Preferred spelling / usage
under-estimate underestimate
underrecord under-record
underrepresent under-represent
United Kingdom UK
up-regulate upregulate
US OK if adjectival, otherwise USA

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V

Non-preferred spelling / usage Preferred spelling / usage
variable number of tandem repeats polymorphism variable-number-of-tandem-repeats polymorphism
versus vs
vitamin B12 vitamin B12
vitamin D3 vitamin D3
vitreous (as a noun) vitreous body or vitreous humour (ask author if this can be changed)

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W

Non-preferred spelling / usage Preferred spelling / usage
web site website
Western blot western blot (for protein)
western Europe Western Europe (upper case W)
… Whites … … whites … (lowercase)
wildtype wild-type
Wmax Wmax
World Health Organization WHO (standard abbreviation; -iz spelling in references)

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X

Non-preferred spelling / usage Preferred spelling / usage
X-ray x-ray

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Z

Non-preferred spelling / usage Preferred spelling / usage
z score z score
Z test Z test

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