Involution

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involution

[‚in·və′lü·shən]
(biology)
A turning or rolling in.
(embryology)
Gastrulation by ingrowth of blastomeres around the dorsal lip.
(mathematics)
Any transformation that is its own inverse.
In particular, a correspondence between the points on a line that is its own inverse, given algebraically by x ′ = (ax + b)/(cx-a), where a 2+ bc ≠ 0.
A correspondence between the lines passing through a given point on a plane such that corresponding lines pass through corresponding points of an involution of points on a line.
(medicine)
The retrogressive change to their normal condition that organs undergo after fulfilling their functional purposes, as the uterus after pregnancy.
The period of regression or the processes of decline or decay which occur in the human constitution after middle life.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Involution

 

(raising to a power), an algebraic operation consisting in repeating a quantity a n number of times:

The number a is the base of the power, n is the exponent, and an is the power. For example, 3x3x3x3 = 34 = 81. The second power of a number is called its square and the third power, its cube.


Involution

 

(regression), in biology, a reduction or loss, in the process of evolution, of certain organs, and a simplification of their organization and functions (for example, various degrees of intestinal reduction in certain parasitic worms and arthropods). Degenerative changes in protozoans and bacteria caused by unfavorable conditions in the habitat are also called involutional. In medicine, the term sometimes refers to atrophy of organs and tissues, such as in aging.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Hartmann, head of the Mayo Clinic's benign breast disease study team, said that in order to standardize assessment of lobular involution and make it faster and more clinically practical, she and her colleagues have developed a quantitative involution measure based upon computerized calculation of lobular area and the number of acini per lobular unit.