Glossary of Terms & Definitions
Listed Alphabetically - "K"

Karyotype: An arrangement of chromosomes based on shape, size and position of centromeres.

Keratin: An insoluble protein found in the hair, nails and other keratinized tissues of the epidermis.

Ketone bodies: Any of three acidic chemicals (acetate, acetoacetate, and beta-hydroxybutyrate). Ketone bodies may accumulate in the blood (ketosis) when the body has inadequate glucose to use for energy, and must increase the use of fat for fuel. Ketone bodies are acidic, and very high levels in the blood are toxic and may result in ketoacidosis.

Ketosis: Abnormal condition marked by excessive production of ketone bodies.  Often caused by high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets such as the Atkins diet.

Kidney stones: Also known as renal calculi, kidney stones are the result of crystallization of certain substances found in urine, including calcium, phosphate, oxalic acid, and uric acid. Stones may form in the urine collecting area (pelvis) of the kidney, as well as the ureters (narrow tubes connecting the kidney to the urinary bladder).

Kilocalorie (kcal): The amount of heat required to raise the temperature of 1000 grams of water from 14 to 15 degrees C; the unit used to express the heating value of foods and to measure metabolic rate.

Kinesiology: The study of the movement of body parts.

Kinesthesia: Ability to perceive extent, direction or weight of movement; muscle sense.

Krebs cycle: A series of biological reactions that occurs in the matrix of mitochondria in which electrons are transferred to coenzymes and carbon dioxide is formed.  The electrons carried by the coenzymes then enter the electron transport chain, which generates a large quantity of ATP.  Also called the citric acid cycle.