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In medicine an ectopia is a displacement or malposition of an organ of the body. Most ectopias are congenital but some may happen later in life.

  • Ectopia lentis is the displacement of the crystalline lens of the eye
  • Ectopia cordis is the displacement of the heart outside the body during fetal development
  • Renal ectopia occurs when both kidneys occur on the same side of the body
  • Ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg implants anywhere other than the uterine wall
  • Cardiac ectopy occurs when electrical signals for a heartbeat originate in the wrong part of the heart muscle.

In molecular biology the term ectopic is used for at least three purposes:

  • ectopic recombination refers to recombination between sites, usually containing identical or similar sequences, at different locations in the genome, leading to deletions, insertions, or chromosomal crossovers
  • a gene is ectopically expressed when it is expressed in an abnormal place.
  • in transgenic experiments, ectopic integration indicates the insertion of the transgene at a site other than its natural chromosomal locus

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ectopia". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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