recombination

In genetics, recombination is the process of two organisms exchanging pieces of genetic material. It's through recombination that two brown-eyed parents can end up with a blue-eyed baby.

Recombination is responsible for genetic diversity — in other words, for offspring that aren't just like their parents. It happens at various stages of reproduction, notably during meiosis when chromosomes swap segments of DNA. This science term comes up in chemistry and physics as well, when molecules bond together or ions and electrons are joined. Recombination, "be united again," comes from the Late Latin combinationem, "a joining together two by two."

Definitions of recombination
  1. noun
    (genetics) a combining of genes or characters different from what they were in the parents
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    type of:
    combine, combining
    an occurrence that results in things being united
  2. noun
    (physics) a combining of charges or transfer of electrons in a gas that results in the neutralization of ions; important for ions arising from the passage of high-energy particles
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    type of:
    combine, combining
    an occurrence that results in things being united
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