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Genetic Drift

  Life scientists use the phrase ‘genetic drift’ to describe the phenomenon in which the frequency of individual genes varies within a population. When a gene is present at a low frequency, there is a chance that none of the individuals carrying it will reproduce successfully and the gene will be lost. The gene pool is thus changed over time by genetic drift. Genetic drift is distinct from both natural selection and mutation, and is a feature of small populations where the number of potential mates is limited. RB

See also speciation.



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