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alpha

 [al´fah]
the first letter of the Greek alphabet, α; used to denote the first position in a classification system; as, in names of chemical compounds, to distinguish the first in a series of isomers, or to indicate the position of substituent atoms or groups; also used to distinguish types of radioactive decay, brain waves or rhythms, adrenergic receptors, and secretory cells that stain with acid dyes, such as the alpha cells of the pancreas.
alpha-adrenergic blocking agent (alpha-blocker) (alpha-blocking agent) any of a group of drugs that selectively inhibit the activity of alpha receptors in the sympathetic nervous system. As with beta-adrenergic blocking agents, alpha-blocking agents compete with the catecholamines at peripheral autonomic receptor sites. This group includes ergot and its derivatives, and phentolamine.
alpha chain disease the most common heavy chain disease, occurring predominantly in young adults in the Mediterranean area, and characterized by plasma cell infiltration of the lamina propria of the small intestine resulting in malabsorption with diarrhea, abdominal pain, and weight loss, or, exceedingly rarely, by pulmonary involvement. The gastrointestinal form is immunoproliferative small intestine disease.
alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) a plasma protein produced by the fetal liver, yolk sac, and gastrointestinal tract and also by hepatocellular carcinoma, germ cell neoplasms, and other cancers in adults; elevated levels may also be seen in benign liver disease such as cirrhosis and viral hepatitis. The serum AFP level is used to monitor the effectiveness of cancer treatment.

During pregnancy some AFP crosses from the amniotic fluid to the mother's blood. If the fetus has a neural tube defect, large amounts of AFP will be found in the amniotic fluid and maternal blood. Blood screening tests for serum AFP can thus be done as a first step in the screening process; if test results are positive, further testing is indicated to diagnose the defect.
alpha particles a type of emission produced by the disintegration of a radioactive substance. The atoms of radioactive elements such as uranium and radium are very unstable, continuously breaking apart with explosive violence and emitting particulate and nonparticulate types of radiation. The alpha particles, consisting of two protons and two neutrons, have an electrical charge and form streams of tremendous energy when they are released from the disintegrating atoms. These streams of energy (alpha rays) can be used in treatment of various malignancies. See also radiation and radiation therapy.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

α

1. First letter of the Greek alphabet, alpha (α), used as a classifier in the nomenclature of many sciences.
3. In chemistry, denotes the first in a series, a position immediately adjacent to a carboxyl group, the first of a series of closely related compounds, an aromatic substituent on an aliphatic chain, or the direction of a chemical bond away from the viewer.
4. Abbreviation for alpha particle.
5. In chemistry, symbol for angle of optic rotation; degree of dissociation. For terms beginning with this prefix, see the specific term.

[α]


al·pha

(al'fă), The spelling alpha is used in chemical names, the spelling alfa in pharmaceutical names.
First letter of the Greek alphabet, α.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

ALPHA

Abbreviation for:
Access to Learning for the Public Health Agenda (Medspeak-UK)
Agenda for Leadership in Programs for Healthcare Accreditation (obsolete)
Antenatal Psychosocial Health Assessment
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.

α

Abbreviation for alpha.

al·pha

(α) (al'fă)
1. First letter of the Greek alphabet; used as a classifier in the nomenclature of many sciences.
3. chemistry Denotes the first in a series, a position immediately adjacent to a carboxyl group, the first of a series of closely related compounds, an aromatic substituent on an aliphatic chain, or the direction of a chemical bond away from the viewer.
4. Alpha (α) particle.
5. chemistry Symbol for angle of optic rotation; degree of dissociation.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012
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-- Extended clustering, performance, Internet and management capabilities with new versions of Tru64 UNIX and TruCluster Server
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It is hard to guess what a 64-way GS1280 could do, but with twice the main memory, very low memory latencies, twice the number of processors, and 16 times the I/O bandwidth, a 64-way Marvel machine could be anywhere from 600,000 to 800,000 TPM running Oracle on a big Marvel box equipped with Tru64 Unix. A lot depends on how I/O and memory constrained the Wildfire machines were when Compaq ran its last TPC-C benchmark on the AlphaServers back in July 2001.
Compaq offers all of this with its AlphaServer and StorageWorks storage systems, and its Tru64 UNIX operating system - a combination of capabilities unmatched in the field of human genome and bioinformatics research.
On August 3, 2000, the National Science Foundation selected Compaq and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center to build and manage the world's largest supercomputer (2,728 Alpha processors running Tru64 UNIX at six TeraOPS, and StorageWorks storage) for non-military, scientific applications such as the structure and dynamics of proteins useful in drug design, storm-scale weather forecasting, and the modeling of earthquakes and global climate change.
"We are investing aggressively to achieve the best Java application performance with Tru64 UNIX on AlphaServers as part of Compaq's NonStop eBusiness initiative," Heil says.
Like their "Wildfire" EV68 predecessors in the AlphaServer line and several prior generations of Alpha machines, the Marvel servers support HP's Tru64 Unix as well as OpenVMS operating systems.
It will also immediately begin to port Tru64 UNIX, OpenVMS and NonStop Kernel operating systems and development tools to the Itanium family.
The central system configuration consisting of an AlphaServer GS320 with 32 Alpha 21264 EV67 processors and 32 GB of memory connected to a Compaq StorageWorks storage subsystem with 1308 GB of disk space, running Tru64 UNIX Version 5.1 and Oracle8i release 8.1.6 as database outperformed expectations.
The system will run Compaq's Tru64 UNIX operating system with 2,728 Gigabytes of memory (1 Gigabyte per CPU) and 50 Terabytes of storage.
Continuing to deliver on its commitment to provide enterprise customers with all the tools to build, manage and grow an Internet infrastructure, Compaq Computer Corporation (NYSE: CPQ) has announced that Nupremis will host, manage and integrate Oracle solutions for broadband access carriers, applications service providers (ASP), end users and other businesses through licensing agreements in Nupremis data centers in North America, Europe and Asia on Compaq AlphaServer systems running Compaq Tru64 UNIX.