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Definition of Evolutionarily conserved gene

Evolutionarily conserved gene: A gene that has remained essentially unchanged throughout evolution. Conservation of a gene indicates that it is unique and essential: There is not an extra copy of that gene with which evolution can tinker, and changes in the gene are likely to be lethal.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=3344
Last Editorial Review: 3/19/2012

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