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sex cell, sperm or egg


matching chromosomes; same genes and location, may have different alleles


segment of DNA that codes for a specific protein


linear, or threadlike structures found in the nucleus of eukaryotic organisms


regular chromosomes that do not determine the sex of an individual


show an individuals chromosomes useful for detecting chromosomal abnormalities


different forms a gene can take

sex chromosome

23rd pair of chromosomes


having one set of chromosomes


process that makes gametes

recombinant DNA

DNA combined from two or more sources


combination of egg and sperm


process that makes somatic cells


having two sets of chromosomes

gene locus

gene location

somatic cell

a body cell


the sum total of all of the genes in a given species


change in a DNA sequence; could be inherited from parents DNA or caused by chemicals known as mutagens or could be a result of errors in DNA replication


a type of protein whose function is to control chemical reactions in the body


a type of macromolecule that has several functions in the body; made of amino acids strung together in a specific order which is specified by DNA

amino acid

one of 20 naturally occuring molecules which are put together in a specific order to make a specific protein; order in a protein determines the shape the protein will take, the proteins shape determine what function the protein will have.


the study of methods of improving the quality of the human race


occurs when bacteria exchange plasmids

antibiotic selection

scientists used antibiotic resistance genes as genetic markers to identify which bacteria were transformed

Bt crops

gene from soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis that creates a protein that is toxic to certain insects

genetic marker

gene that makes it possible to distinguish bacteria that carry a plasmid with foreign DNA from those that don't

restriction enzyme

cuts DNA at specific sites known as recognition sequences; naturally found in bacteria as a defense mechanism against invading viral DNA; digestion produces sticky ends or blunt ends

round up ready crops

contain a gene for round up resistance


a virus that infects bacteria


a circular DNA molecule that is usually found in bacteria and that can replicate independent of the main chromosome


unicellular, prokaryotes, reduced by fission, can be infected by bacteriophages, killed by antibiotics

sticky ends

the uneven ends of a double-stranded DNA molecule that has been cut with a restriction enzyme


technique of using microorganisms, such as bacteria, to perform chemical processing to produce materials (antibiotics and genetic engineering, hormones, vaccines, etc.)

genetic engineering

artifical manipulation of genes or the transfer of genes from one organism to another

gene therapy

attempts to correct a disease or a disorder

gene enhancement

attempts to improve a healthy individual

germline engineering

changes in the sperm, egg, or early embryo; changes will be passed down to offspring, may allow changes in the phenotype

somatic cell engineering

changes in the somatic cells; does not affect sperm or egg, difficult to change phenotype


preimplantation genetic diagnosis - a single cell is removed from the 8 cell embryo and tested


a technique in which eggs are surgically removed from a woman and fertilized with sperm in the laboratory and then put into a women's uterus


genetically modified organism

transgenic organism

containing a gene from a different species

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