1. <computer programming> A property of a programming language where created objects and variables continue to exist and retain their values between runs of the program.

2. <computer hardware> The length of time a phosphor dot on the screen of a cathode ray tube will remain illuminated after it has been energised by the electron beam. Long-persistence phosphors reduce flicker, but generate ghost-like images that linger on screen for a fraction of a second.

(01 Mar 1994)

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1. The tendency of a cell to continue moving in one direction: an internal bias on the random walk behaviour that cells exhibit in isotropic environments.

2. Of viruses that persist in a cell population, animal, plant or population for long periods often in a nonreplicating form, by such strategies as integration into host DNA, immunological suppression or mutation into forms with slow replication.

This entry appears with permission from the Dictionary of Cell and Molecular Biology

(11 Mar 2008)

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