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Definition of Family, gene

Family, gene: A group of genes related in structure and often in function. The genes belonging to a gene family are descended from an ancestral gene.

For example, the hemoglobin genes of critical importance to red blood cells belong to one gene family created by gene duplication (making extra copies of a gene) and divergence (divergent changes in the copies of the gene).

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=18317
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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