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lethal (le´thal)

Pertaining to or causing death; denoting especially the causal agent. [L. letalis, fr. letum, death]
clinical l. a disorder that culminates in premature death.
l. equivalent expression used of the genetic load of recessive genes in heterozygous state that if in homozygous state would cause death or carry a risk of death. The expected number of deaths from all such genes is expressed in l. equivalent.
genetic l. a disorder that prevents effective reproduction by those affected; e.g., Klinefelter syndrome.


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