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All cells in the body other than those that lead to the production of gametes.

Use in clinical context

The DNA within somatic cells may change during an individual’s lifetime, but these changes will not be passed on to any children. Such genetic variants can, however, be responsible for some conditions such as cancer. In this case, the DNA of the cancer could be sequenced and compared to the germline DNA of the individual to look for changes that may provide diagnostic, prognostic or treatment information.

Last updated on 31st May, 2019