One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The extent to which a particular gene or set of genes is expressed in the phenotypes of individuals carrying it, measured by the proportion of carriers showing the characteristic phenotype.
- ‘High penetrance susceptibility genes probably account for no more than 5-10% of cases.’
- ‘Because of reduced penetrance, individuals of different genotypes can have the same phenotype.’
- ‘With the exception of the relatively rare high penetrance, single gene disorders, genetic tests differ little from most other medical tests, providing evidence of statistical risk only.’
- ‘The penetrance of these phenotypes was background dependent.’
- ‘However, other low penetrance susceptibility genes may exist which may alter individual predisposition to breast cancer.’
1930s: from German Penetranz.
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