key

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Key

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Ernst A.H., Swedish anatomist and physician, 1832-1901. See: foramen of Key-Retzius, sheath of Key and Retzius.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

key

a character of special significance in an organism. Such characters are used in a system for determining the identity of an organism on the basis of the presence or absence of a succession of characters. Usually such keys are DICHOTOMOUS (2); that is to say, at each step there is a choice between two possibilities. Keys, however, may have more than two characters at each step and there is a gradual elimination of absent characters until identification is made.
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Sub-keys are generated by inputting the 500 random keys into the key schedule algorithms.
The expectation is that the only attributes existing on the fact, other than the foreign keys into the associated dimensions, are the numeric values to be summed, averaged, or otherwise manipulated.