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Definition of Hereditary mutation

Hereditary mutation: A gene change that occurs in a germ cell (an egg or a sperm) and is then incorporated into every cell in the developing body of the new organism. Hereditary mutations play a role in cancer, as, for example, in the eye tumor retinoblastoma and Wilms' tumor of the kidney. Also known as germline mutation.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=3723
Last Editorial Review: 3/19/2012

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