Gene Family
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A gene family is a set of several similar genes, formed by duplication of a single original gene, and generally with similar biochemical functions. One such family are the genes for human haemoglobin subunits; the ten genes are in two clusters on different chromosomes, called the Human α-globin locus|α-globin and Human β-globin locus|β-globin loci. Genes are categorized into families based on shared nucleotide or protein sequences. phylogeny|Phylogenetic techniques can be used as a more rigorous test. The positions of exons within the coding sequence can be used to infer common ancestry. Knowing the sequence of the protein encoded by a gene can allow researchers to apply methods that find similarities among protein sequences that provide more information than similarities or differences among DNA sequences. Furthermore, knowledge of the protein's secondary structure gives further information about ancestry, since the organization of secondary structural elements presumably would be con...
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