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a mature sexual reproductive cell having a single set of unpaired chromosomes


term used to refer to chromosomes that each have a corresponding chromosome from the opposite-sex parent


a segment of DNA that is involved in producing a polypeptide chain


threadlike structure within the nucleus containing the genetic information that is passed from one generation of cells to the next


any chromosome that is not a sex chromosome


A picture of all the chromosomes in a cell arranged in pairs


one of two alternate forms of a gene that can have the same locus on homologous chromosomes and are responsible for alternative traits

Sex Chromosome

a chromosome that determines the sex of an individual


an organism or cell having only one complete set of chromosomes


cell division that produces reproductive cells in sexually reproducing organisms


An offspring whose phenotype differs from that of the parents.


the joining of a sperm cell and an egg cell


in eukaryotic cells, a process of cell division that forms two new nuclei, each of which has the same number of chromosomes


a cell or organism having two sets of chromosomes or twice the haploid number

Gene Locus

specific location of a gene on a chromosome

Somatic Cell

any of the cells of a plant or animal except the reproductive cells


complete set of an organism's genetic material


an organism that has characteristics resulting from chromosomal alteration


complex protein that is produced by cells and acts as a catalysts in specific biochemical reactions


an organic compound that is made of one or more chains of amino acids and that is a principal component of all cells

Amino Acid

basic building blocks of protein molecules


the study of methods of improving genetic qualities by selective breeding (especially as applied to human mating)


modification of a cell or bacterium by the uptake and incorporation of exogenous DNA

Antibiotic Selection

scientists use antibiotic resistance genes as genetic makers to identify which bacteria were transformed

Bt Crops

transgenic crops that contain a gene from the bacterial species Bacillus thuringiensis that allows a natural insecticide to be produced in the crop.

Genetic Marker

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

Restriction Enzyme

enzyme that cuts nucleic acid at specific restriction sites and produces restriction fragments

Round Up Ready Crops

Crops that have been genetically engineered to be resistant to herbicides, so that it can be blanket spread across a field and only kill the weeds


a virus that infects bacteria


small ring of DNA found in a bacterial cell that is used as a biological vector


single-celled organisms that lack a nucleus; prokaryotes

Sticky Ends

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


The manipulation of a living organism to produce a different useful product

Genetic Engineering

process of making changes in the DNA code of living organisms

Gene Therapy

the replacement of a defective gene with a normal version

Gene Enhancement

attempts to improve a healthy gene

Germline Engineering

altering the genetic make up of specific types of somatic cells within an individual, changes in the sperm, egg, or early embryo where changes will be passed down to offspring and may allow changes in phenotype

Somatic Cell Engineering

Changes in somatic cells, difficult to change in phenotype, changes genetic make up


a single cell is removed from the 8 cell embryo and tested for possible disorders


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


organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques

Transgenic Organism

an organism that contains genes from other organisms

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