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A single chain of amino acids held together by peptide bonds. Proteins are made up of one or more polypeptide molecules.
A test for a genetic condition that is carried out on embryos created through IVF before they are implanted into the woman. It enables people with a family history of a genetic condition to ensure that only embryos without the genetic condition are used and that the risk of their child being unhealthy is reduced.
Genetic tests designed to detect specific mutated genes to determine the likelihood of an individual developing a particular disease.
Genetic tests carried out in the first, second and third trimesters to help determine whether a foetus has a disease or genetic abnormality, such as Down’s syndrome.
A short strand of RNA that acts as a starting point for DNA replication.
Large molecules made up of chains of amino acids. Proteins are essential to the functioning of our cells.
Material that emits radiation energy.
When the allele of a gene shows its effect only if there are two copies in the genome, for example the allele for blue eyes.
Doughnut shaped cells found in the blood. They are responsible for carrying oxygen to all of the organs and tissues in the body.
The genome sequence of an organism that is used as a representative example of the set of genes in the genome of that particular species. It can be used as a template for assembling and comparing individual genomes of the same species.
A layer of tissue lining the inner surface of the eye that contains cells sensitive to light. These cells trigger nerve impulses that pass, via the optic nerve, to the brain, forming an image and enabling us to see.
A group of RNA viruses which insert a DNA copy of their genome into the host cell in order to replicate, for example, HIV.
Small organelles found in our cells. They are responsible for assembling amino acids into proteins during protein synthesis.
A nucleic acid similar in structure and properties to DNA, but it only has a single strand of bases and instead of the base thymine (T), RNA has a base called uracil (U).
A group of bacteria that cause a wide spectrum of infectious diseases, including food poisoning and typhoid fever.
The first DNA sequencing method, developed in 1977 by Fred Sanger and his team.
The process of breeding animals or plants to bring out particular desirable characteristics in future generations.
Term to describe DNA after replication, DNA molecules consist of one brand new and one of the original chains of nucleotide bases.
The method of determining the order of letters or bases in DNA, or the order of amino acids in a protein molecule.
A group of closely related microorganisms distinguished by a common set of antigens.
A genetic disorder characterised by a reduced number of immune cells. Can be treated with gene therapy.
A chromosome that contains gender-specific genetic information. In humans, men have an X chromosome and a Y chromosome whereas women have two X chromosomes. Some genetic disorders are a result of changes in the sex chromosomes.
An inherited blood disorder in which red blood cells, which usually carry oxygen, develop abnormally.
Medical procedure where a doctor looks into the rectum and bowel of a patient using an instrument, inserted into the bottom, called a sigmoidoscope.
Disorders caused by defects in one particular gene, and often have simple and predictable inheritance patterns.
Most common type of genetic variation among people. They represent a change in a single DNA base (A, C, G or T) in the DNA code.
Any cell forming the body of an organism. Includes all cells except the sex cells/germ cells.
A group of closely-related organisms that have common physical and genetic characteristics and are able to interbreed to produce fertile offspring.
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