Polymorphisms - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Genetics

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Polymorphisms

Genetic polymorphisms are different forms of a DNA sequence. "Poly" means many, and "morph" means form. Polymorphisms are a type of genetic diversity within a population's gene pool. They can be used to map (locate) genes such as those causing a disease, and they can help match two samples of DNA to determine if they come from the same source. Depending on its exact nature, a polymorphism may or may not affect biological function.

A short tandem repeat (STR) polymorphism at a particular locus on a chromosome. A short tandem repeat (STR) polymorphism at a particular locus on a chromosome.

Coding and Noncoding Sequences

The amino acid sequence of proteins is directed by the information found in genes, which in turn are made up of DNA. Genes that have different DNA sequences are said to be polymorphic. These different gene forms are called alleles, exemplified by the alleles that control eye color. When alleles result in differences in the amino acid...

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This section contains 1,398 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
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Macmillan Science Library: Genetics
Polymorphisms from Macmillan Science Library: Genetics. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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