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Mutation - Mutation Mutation is the alteration of DNA...

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Mutation Mutation is the alteration of DNA sequence, whether it be in a small way by the alteration of a single base pair, or whether it be a gross event such as the gain or loss of an entire chromosome. It may be caused through the action of damaging chemicals, or radiation, or through the errors inherent in the DNA replication and repair reactions. One consequence may be genetic disease. However, although in the short term mutation may seem to be a BAD THING , in the long term it is essential to our existance. Without mutation there could be no change and without change life cannot evolve. If it had not been for mutation the world would still be covered in primeval slime! In this course we are not going to consider the molecular events involved in mutation but instead will concentrate on the genetic consequences of mutation. Somatic or germinal? The first point to consider is where is the mutation occuring? Most of our cells are somatic cells and consequently most mutations are happening in somatic cells. New
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