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Report provided to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, April 2011 - page 40 / 45

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in an animal or human and can replicate themselves indefinitely

Epigenetic

Changes in phenotype that can be inherited, but are not caused by the underlying DNA

Founding cells

The small number of cells that give rise to a larger number of cells/tissues later in development

Gene expression

The process by which a gene results in a phenotype

Genetic counselling

The process that helps individuals, couples, or families to understand genetic information and issues that may have an impact on them

Germ cells

Any cell that will give rise to sperm or egg cells

Germline

The sequence of cells that give rise to sperm or egg cells that will pass genetic information on to a child

Germline mosaicism

A difference in the mutations within germ cells, compared to the individuals adult cells. This may lead to a disease in offspring where the mother is not affected

Heteroplasmy

Where two or more different mtDNA types coexist in a single cell, commonly used (as in this report) where one type is abnormal, and the other normal

Homoplasmy

Where all the mitochondria in a cell contain the same mtDNA, which can either be all abnormal or all normal

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