Hardy-Weinberg law


Har·dy–Wein·berg law

noun \ˌhär-dē-ˈwīn-ˌbərg-\

Definition of HARDY-WEINBERG LAW

:  a fundamental principle of population genetics: population gene frequencies and genotype frequencies remain constant from generation to generation if mating is random and if mutation, selection, immigration, and emigration do not occur —called also Hardy-Weinberg principle

Origin of HARDY-WEINBERG LAW

G. H. Hardy †1947 English mathematician and W. Weinberg †1937 German physician
First Known Use: 1950

Har·dy–Wein·berg law

noun \ˌhärd-ē-ˈwīn-ˌbərg-\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of HARDY–WEINBERG LAW

: a fundamental principle of population genetics that is approximately true for small populations and holds with increasing exactness for larger and larger populations: population gene frequencies and population genotype frequencies remain constant from generation to generation if mating is random and if mutation, selection, immigration, and emigration do not occur—called also Hardy-Weinberg principle

Biographical Note for HARDY–WEINBERG LAW

Hardy, Godfrey Harold (1877–1947), British mathematician. In his time Hardy was probably the leading pure mathematician in Great Britain. In 1908 he published a paper formulating the law of population genetics that the frequencies of both the different kinds of genes and of the different kinds of genotypes which they produce tend to remain constant over generations in large populations under general conditions.
Wein·berg \ˈvīn-berk\ , Wilhelm (1862–1937), German physician and geneticist. Weinberg made important contributions in medicine and human genetics to the study of multiple births, population genetics, and medical statistics. He ranks as one of the founders of population genetics. Independently of Hardy and at about the same time, he discovered the law of population genetics that is now called the Hardy-Weinberg law after both of them. In his studies of population genetics, Weinberg took into account both genetic and environmental factors. He was the first geneticist to partition the total variance of phenotypes into genetic and environmental portions.

Hardy-Weinberg law

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Equation that describes genetic balance within a population. It may be stated as follows: In a large, random-mating population, the proportion of dominant and recessive genes (see dominance and recessiveness) tends to remain constant from generation to generation unless outside forces act to change it. Forces that can disturb this natural balance are selection, mutation, gene flow, and natural selection. Certain gene-controlled traits are selected for or against by the partners involved. The law is used to determine whether the number of harmful mutations in a population is increasing.

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