allele Alternative form of a specific gene, sometimes leading to the production of different proteins or RNA products.

chromosome One of the DNA-protein structures that contains part of the nuclear genome of a eukaryote.

epistasis Alteration of phenotypic effects of one gene by the specific alleles of another gene.

gene A stretch of DNA coding for a specific protein or RNA product.

genetic correlation Correlation between the effects of one single gene or a set of genes on two different phenotypes; indicative of pleiotropy.

genome The entire genetic complement of a living organism.

genotype Genetic constitution (set of alleles present in each cell of a particular individual), as contrasted to phenotype.

heritability The proportion of phenotypic variation for a given character that can be associated with genetic variation in a given population. Heritability, commonly denoted h2, is therefore character and population specific.

homologous recombination A process by which one DNA segment can replace another DNA segment with a similar sequence.

inbreeding Reproduction by the mating of closely related individuals resulting in an increased frequency of homozygotes.

knockout mice A mouse that has been engineered so that it carries an inactivated gene.

locus A location on a specific chromosome defining the position of a specific DNA sequence.

phenotype A measurable characteristic manifested by an organism. Phenotypes can be defined at many levels, ranging from the isoform of a protein to a complex trait such as neuroticism. Two organisms may have the same genotypes but different phenotypes (owing to environmentally induced variation). Also, two organisms may have the same phenotypes but different genotypes (e.g., heterozygotes and homozygotes in the case of dominance).

pleiotropy A single gene affects two or more different phenotypes.

quantitative trait locus (QTL) A chromosomal locus correlated with individual differences in a given trait. Such a locus is believed to contain a gene in which differences in the coding DNA cause quantitative individual differences in that trait. A QTL generally explains only part of the total genetic variation.

recombination The process during germ cell formation that generates sperm or eggs with allele combinations different from those of the individual's own chromosomes.

selective breeding Also called artificial selection. Animals that score high (or low) on a desired trait are artificially selected and mated to produce offspring.

transgenic mice Mice that have a foreign gene inserted into their genome.

Encyclopedia of the Human Brain Copyright 2002, Elsevier Science (USA).

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wild type The most frequent allelic form of a gene found in natural (or laboratory) populations.

zygosity Twins may be dizygotic (stemming from two eggs), in which case they share on average half of their parental genes identical by descent. Twins may also be monozygotic (stemming from one egg), in which case they share all their genes identical by descent (so-called "identical" twins).

Behavioral neurogenetics is the study of the way in which genes, directly or in interaction with the environment, influence the structure, chemical composition, and/ or function of the central nervous system and, through this, cause individual differences in behavior. This article presents a brief overview of the field, providing some examples from human and animal studies.

Understanding And Treating Autism

Understanding And Treating Autism

Whenever a doctor informs the parents that their child is suffering with Autism, the first & foremost question that is thrown over him is - How did it happen? How did my child get this disease? Well, there is no definite answer to what are the exact causes of Autism.

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