NCI Dictionary of Genetics Terms

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Welcome to the NCI Dictionary of Genetics Terms, which contains technical definitions for more than 150 terms related to genetics. These definitions were developed by the PDQ® Cancer Genetics Editorial Board to support the evidence-based, peer-reviewed PDQ cancer genetics information summaries.

carrier frequency
(KAYR-ee-er FREE-kwen-see)
The proportion of individuals in a population who have a single copy of a specific recessive gene mutation; also sometimes applied to the prevalence of mutations in dominantly acting genes such as BRCA1 and BRCA2. Also called carrier rate.