Gene Expression – DNA to Protein - 20Reviewing the Effects of MutationsThe rate of mutation is highly variable, and depends in part of the ability of repairenzymes such as DNA polymerase and DNA ligase to fix mistakes. Some genesmutate at much greater rates than others. The effect of a mutation is also highlyvariable. A mutation that does not harm the cell will be perpetuated in the cell line.Mutations that occur in gametes will be passed on to subsequent generations. Amutation in a somatic cell impacts only individual in which is occurs.While many times we stress that an alteration of the DNA produces harmfuleffects in the individual, it is by the act of mutation and gene alterations thatmany good variations also arise and can be passed on within populations. Withoutsuch variation, populations would not be able to respond to changing environments.Without such changes in the DNA over the millions of years of life on earth, we
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