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Definition of Founder effect

Founder effect: The positive effect on gene frequency when a population (colony) has only a small number of original settlers, one or more of whom had that gene. For example, the gene for Huntington's disease was introduced into the Lake Maracaibo region in Venezuela early in the nineteenth century. This is now the largest known aggregation of the Huntington's gene in the world.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=3511
Last Editorial Review: 3/19/2012

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