Genetic meltdown: A genomic crisis due to an extraordinarily high rate of mutation, a phenomenon known to occur in viruses and perhaps in other organisms.
For example, the antiviral agent Ribavirin acts by inducing genomic meltdown. The drug accelerates the already-high mutation rate of RNA viruses, creates a genomic crisis, and destroys the infectivity of the virus.
There is a limit to how much variation a genome can tolerate without irretrievably degrading its genetic information. If a population of viruses is replicating at the brink, just a bit of extra pressure from a mutagen, such as ribavirin, can nudge it into the abyss of genetic meltdown, resulting in an inability for it to replicate and survive.
- Genetic screening
Genetic screening: Testing of a population to identify individuals who are at risk for a genetic disease or for transmitting a gene for a genetic disease.
- Genetic testing
Genetic testing: Tests done for clinical genetic purposes. Genetic tests may be done for diverse purposes pertaining to clinical genetics, including the diagnosis of genetic disease in children and adults; the identification of future disease risks; the prediction of drug responses; and the detection of risks of disease to future children.
- Genetic transformation
Genetic transformation: A process by which the genetic material carried by an individual cell is altered by the incorporation of foreign (exogenous) DNA into its genome.
- Genetic transport defect
Genetic transport defect: Within the body, many molecules are able to pass across the membranes that surround cells. These molecules can accomplish this feat due to specific transport systems. These systems include special receptors on the membrane of the cell and special carrier proteins. The receptor recognizes the molecule and receives it on the cell […]
- Genetic transposition
Genetic transposition: The ability of genes to change position on chromosomes, a process in which a transposable element is removed from one site and inserted into a second site in the DNA. Genetic transposition was the first type of genetic instability to be discovered. This remarkable phenomenon was discovered by the great American geneticist Barbara […]