Mutation - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Genetics

Robin Cook
This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 9 pages of information about Mutation.
This section contains 2,432 words
(approx. 9 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Mutation Encyclopedia Article

Mutation

A mutation is any heritable change in the genome of an organism. For a population, heritable mutations provide the source of genetic variation, without which evolution could not occur: If all individuals of a species were genetically identical, every subsequent generation would be identical regardless of which members of the species reproduced successfully. For an individual organism, mutations are rarely beneficial, and many cause genetic diseases, including cancer. For researchers, mutations (either spontaneous or introduced) provide important clues about gene location and function.

Phenotypic Effects and Evolution

Mutations in the germ-line cells are heritable and provide the raw material upon which natural selection operates to produce evolution. Mutations in somatic cells, which are cells that are not germ line, are not heritable but may lead to disease in the organism possessing them.

Most mutations do not cause disease and are said to be "silent" mutations. This is for...

(read more)

This section contains 2,432 words
(approx. 9 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Mutation Encyclopedia Article
Copyrights
Macmillan Science Library: Genetics
Mutation from Macmillan Science Library: Genetics. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
Follow Us on Facebook