cDNA Complementary DNA; made from messenger RNA (mRNA).

Commensals Two organisms of different species in a relationship that benefits one but does not affect the other species.

Common query language A formal language for representing queries to information retrieval systems.

Comparative genomics The comparison of gene and genome structure, function, and evolution across taxa.

DNA fingerprinting An analysis used to identify an individual’s unique sequence of DNA base pairs by exposing the individual’s DNA sample to molecular probes.

DNA marker A DNA sequence in a known location of a chromosome that has a particular trait.

Epigenetics The study of heritable changes in gene function that occur without a change in the DNA sequence.

Epigenomics The study of alterations to the genome DNA sequence that alters gene function without a change in DNA sequence.

Expressed gene content The sum of all mRNAs expressed in a given sample.

Expressed sequence tag (ESTs) The result of large-scale partial sequencing of randomly selected cDNA clones. ESTs are a useful tool for gene identification, localization, and mapping.

Extensible markup language A general purpose language used to describe data in a platform-neutral way so that data can be shared across multiple platforms.

Functional genomics The study of genomes to determine the biological function of all the genes and their products.

Gene expression The transcription, translation, and phenotypic manifestation of a gene.

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