What is Mutation: Definition and 48 Discussions

In biology, a mutation is an alteration in the nucleotide sequence of the genome of an organism, virus, or extrachromosomal DNA. Viral genomes contain either DNA or RNA. Mutations result from errors during DNA or viral replication, mitosis, or meiosis or other types of damage to DNA (such as pyrimidine dimers caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation), which then may undergo error-prone repair (especially microhomology-mediated end joining), cause an error during other forms of repair, or cause an error during replication (translesion synthesis). Mutations may also result from insertion or deletion of segments of DNA due to mobile genetic elements.Mutations may or may not produce detectable changes in the observable characteristics (phenotype) of an organism. Mutations play a part in both normal and abnormal biological processes including: evolution, cancer, and the development of the immune system, including junctional diversity. Mutation is the ultimate source of all genetic variation, providing the raw material on which evolutionary forces such as natural selection can act.
Mutation can result in many different types of change in sequences. Mutations in genes can have no effect, alter the product of a gene, or prevent the gene from functioning properly or completely. Mutations can also occur in nongenic regions. A 2007 study on genetic variations between different species of Drosophila suggested that, if a mutation changes a protein produced by a gene, the result is likely to be harmful, with an estimated 70% of amino acid polymorphisms that have damaging effects, and the remainder being either neutral or marginally beneficial. Due to the damaging effects that mutations can have on genes, organisms have mechanisms such as DNA repair to prevent or correct mutations by reverting the mutated sequence back to its original state.

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  1. A

    Virus mutation by artificially guided selection

    I came across an article on CNN on a bunch of scientists researching the dangers of very old viruses that have been "paused" within the northern permafrost and their prospects of causing infection due to their release which might happen as the permafrost decreases...
  2. jk22

    Medical Color of eyes : mutation due to evolution or racial selection?

    If different eyes appeared let say to less sun or an accidental mutation, has it become subject to selection of individuals like eugenism or due to modern gene technology nowadays ?
  3. F

    Can prime editing fix every harmful mutation in all our cells?

    https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.01.08.425835v1.full Can prime editing fix every mutation in every type of cell in the body?. From what I read in the article the editing efficiency of prime editing using adeno-associated virus is 1.82%, so what prevent us from repeating the same...
  4. Ygggdrasil

    COVID SARS-CoV-2 Mutations: B.1.1.7, B.1.351 & D614G Research

    Given the seeming increased transmissibility of the new SARS-CoV-2 variants being identified, I thought I'd start a general thread to collect and organize information on the various mutations to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. B.1.1.7 variant (aka 20B/501Y.V1, VOC 202012/01; originally identified in the...
  5. kyphysics

    Is Random Mutation Totally "Random" In Biology/Evolution?

    When I see the term random mutation in popular writings on evolution (social sciences major here, so please forgive my ignorance), I wonder what it precisely refers to. I understand we can have have gene mutations due to exogenous factors, such as exposure to UV light, or from "errors" in the...
  6. T

    COVID Current COVID-19 widespread mutation is more infectious than the original

    Yup, it's mutated to be more contagious and has a higher viral load in patients, but does NOT change the severity of symptoms. It is a mutation that was noted back in Feb., 2020 of the original version from China, it has spread worldwide. 52 page research article in Cell ...
  7. Ygggdrasil

    Measuring off target mutations during CRISPR gene editing

    https://www.physicsforums.com/insights/dont-fear-https://www.physicsforums.com/insights/dont-fear-crispr-new-gene-editing-technologies-wont-lead-designer-babies/-new-gene-editing-technologies-wont-lead-designer-babies/ is a newly developed tool that allows researchers to easily make changes to...
  8. Beth N

    Biology Genetics: Mutation and Complementation

    Homework Statement Question 2[/B] You mutagenize male flies with EMS. Next you mate an EMS-treated male fly to a wild-type female fly. (i) If you find an F1 offspring with a sleep-too-little mutant phenotype, what does that suggest to you about this mutation? (ii) You expect that majority of...
  9. TytoAlba95

    Silent mutation and third position

    I got this question in an exam. Why do silent mutations always affect the third position of a codon? I have no clue about it.
  10. tze liu

    Is Mutation related to quantum jump?

    is Mutation /evolution as a result of quantum jump? and is it possible that the collapse of the quantum state alters the nucleotide sequence of the genome of some creatures. thank you ! <mentor moved the thread from Biology to Quantum Physics>
  11. B

    Is the Random Mutation Problem in Evolution a Valid Criticism?

    1.Above sentence means in 1074 mutations(Events) just one of them could make a functional protein and that mutation is beneficial? 2.Is above sentence similar to "Hoyle's calculation of the Odds of Life", thus the criticism against Hoyle's idea can apply to above sentence? Like this:
  12. I

    What happens to a protein built from mutated RNA?

    I was wondering if anyone knew what happens to a protein that gets wrongly assembled due to a mutated RNA? Does it just do a slightly different or very destructive action in the organism, or does the organism catch it and kick it out? Also an extra side question: Speaking of mutations of RNA...
  13. Ygggdrasil

    Insights What Causes Cancer: Bad Luck or Bad Lifestyles? - Comments

    Ygggdrasil submitted a new PF Insights post What Causes Cancer: Bad Luck or Bad Lifestyles? Continue reading the Original PF Insights Post.
  14. R

    Biology Point mutation, change in rna and protein

    Homework Statement UV Rays is said to induce point mutations which get incorporated during the DNA replication process. These mutations are corrected by the excision repair mechanism of the DNA polymerase but sometimes they might be left out. In one of such cases, point insertions were...
  15. L

    Evolutionary theorist here

    I am an evolutionary theoretician, focusing on the dynamics of process that shape the generation of variation in organisms, including properties such as mutational robustness, the evolution of evolvability, and modularity in the genotype-phenotype map. My main mathematical area is development...
  16. Graeme M

    What is meant by 'random' in DNA mutation?

    In a recent thread I posted there was mention of evolution having a specific sense in biology. I just spent an hour reading some evolution primers and I think I have a better sense of how this works at the molecular level but will need to read a lot more till it all hangs together in my mind...
  17. J

    Biology Gene Mutation Equations and Solution Explanation without Character Count

    Homework Statement Homework Equations The Attempt at a Solution From what I can see in the data given there must be at LEAST 3 mutations I found 5: Initial: UCU UAU GGC Final: UAU (1 mutation) UUA (2 mutaions) UUG (2 mutations) or Final: UAU (1 mutation) CUU (2 mutaions) UUG...
  18. Q

    Misformed amino acid as source of genetic mutation

    When I first encountered the term genetic mutation, I envisioned a gene that had somehow spoiled – like an orange with mole on it. A little research indicated that a gene is a linear string of amino acids that codes for a protein. The term mutant gene was being used to indicate a gene in...
  19. T

    Medical Does mutation occur due to quantum procees?

    Please tell me it dosent? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_theories_of_quantum_evolution
  20. L

    Evolution & Mutation: Electrical Engineer Explores

    I am an electrical engineer. Just curious about evolution. I was watching a documentary about evolution. So evolution happens because of mutation. But what exactly trigger or starts mutation. The DNA or part of DNA which turns ON/OFF other DNA, what exactly is it called. Where can I read...
  21. P

    ERCC2, Mutation, and Evolution?

    hey guys, sorry for coming here with these potentially stupid topics, but tbo, this is the closest thing I have to biologists or biology enthusiasts on the subject. My question came from creationist who does not accept evolution...He says that evolution is false because mutations are repaired...
  22. A

    Biology Endosymbiosis or mutation world problem

    Homework Statement there is a virus that infects a baterium. the viral genome was a 5000base long rna strand and it contained 4 genes for attacking the bacterium and reproducing. this rna strand was placed in a test tube with free nucleotides to allow it to reproduce. thus after many repeated...
  23. B

    Mutation Balance: Lost Traits & Complicated Species

    If a organism has a dna mutation, would this not imply that some trait is lost. If there is a mutation then somewhere in the dna there is a difference which would cause something to be missing. Is this right? If this is the case then how come complicated speices still have all there original...
  24. M

    Probability of a given mutation

    Consider the DNA of a human. How many single, individual, molecular mutations are possible?
  25. C

    Mutation - Addition/Deletion

    Hi, i would like to ask why is addition or deletion of one base in mutation is not as severe as addition or deletion of 3 base in mutation? If it were to make enzyme the shape would be gone right?
  26. G

    Biology Are Gene and Chromosomal Mutations Similar Through Translocation?

    Homework Statement Is it true that gene and chromosomal mutation are similar in the sense that they both can occur through translocation? Can an increase in genetic material occur in both then? Are chromosomal mutations due more often to mitosis or meiosis? Homework Equations The...
  27. S

    A definition of dominant mutation

    This is a question of semantics(?). Biologists are not known to be gods of well-definedness, but if there actually exists an argument over the following question (even a possibility), then I might get some credit back on some classwork. What is the definition of a dominant mutation (of a...
  28. A

    Biology How would a biologist determine that a mutation has occurred when ?

    Homework Statement The effects of a mutation are not always visible. How might a biologist determine whether a mutation has occurred, and if so, what type of mutation it is? Homework Equations The Attempt at a Solution Would it be correct to say that cancer is not always...
  29. E

    I comparing the rates of mutation over time

    I know this is a long post, but bear with me.. this is what I've got through several days of reserach. I've always woundered about the mathematical aspects of evolution. I've heard such facts that the mutation rate is fairly consistant and can be used as a biological "clock" to track events...
  30. L

    Has a Benficial Addition Mutation been observed?

    To jump from a single celled organism to a multicellular one, we need beneficial addition mutations in DNA sequences. My question is this: has this phenomena ever been observed? By beneficial I mean a mutation in the genotype that serves to cause some phenotype that can be used by an organism...
  31. W

    Can Humans Create a 'Super Race' Without Discarding Genetic Disorders?

    If you were to select healthy and smart people from our gene pool (in hopes of creating better humans), and let them reproduce in isolation without further intervention, would the generations of offspring down the line still develop the same ailments that the general population develops...
  32. O

    Biology 4 examples linking dna mutation to disease

    hi :smile: i am new over here,needed a little help from u people. i have an assignment to do in which i have to discuss about any 4 examples linking dna mutation to disease
  33. B

    Dendrochronology and DNA mutation rates?

    Using dendrochronology to get DNA mutation rates? A question: Would it be possible to use DNA analysis in combination with tree ring dating get an accurate DNA mutation rate? By extracting DNA from the inner rings of a tree, shouldn't it be possible to compare it to the DNA from outer...
  34. P

    The 'random' in random mutation

    What does the 'random' in random mutation really mean?
  35. Andrew Mason

    Radiation and Genetic mutation

    There is a general belief that radiation can cause genetic mutation. I have never understood the mechanism by which such mutation could result. An alpha particle (+helium nucleus), beta particle (-electron) or a gamma ray (high energy em radiation with a wavelength smaller than an atomic...
  36. H

    Evolution & Mutation: Harmful, Neutral, Beneficial?

    As I've learned it, mutations can be grouped into 3 categories as they relate to evolution: harmful, neutral, or beneficial. Is there any way to figure out the ratios (in relation to each other) of these types of mutations?
  37. H

    Mutation and Evolution: A Common Logic

    Hello all, First I'd like to say that I'm not a great scientists nor a great thinker. All I do is try to derive a common logic. A few days ago, I had a lesson on "how do mutations affect us." And so I copied all the definitions into my notebook. One of them was 'Germ-line mutation" and...
  38. Loren Booda

    Mutation with magnetic field reversals

    Here is another question (the previous one about meteor impact) concerning extraterrestrial effects upon terrestrial selection: Could the incidence of mutations increase substantially during times of magnetic pole shifts? The unstable Van Allen belts then might allow more radiation to reach...
  39. A

    Biology Project to do with viral mutation

    I have a project to do with viral mutation, but i haven't found any information how the virus changes, just that it does. can anyone tell me exactly how the virus mutates? Thanks :smile:
  40. E

    Understanding the Mutation Rate of Viruses: Statistics & Facts

    i...I'd like to know if all of the attacks made by any kinds of virus are the same all the time. My answer although i am still not really sure is NO, IT ISN'T, therefore, ii...the mutation rate of different virus is always different, but where can i find or how to know of how fast it really...
  41. S

    What are the factors that cause mutation?

    Mutation is one of the important factors to cause evolution, but besides radiation, what cause mutation to happen? Is it happen naturally?
  42. J

    Tell me one beneficial mutation example - if there is

    i always hear the same examples; antibiotics resistance of bacteria, ddt , anemia examples…. These are all invalid. Just please tell me one valid example of beneficial mutation if there is. Also backup your example please. By the way i suggest you to check this before you write...
  43. E

    Interested in finding out more about mutation

    I am interested in finding out more about mutation but so far I haven't found much on the topic... What would be a place to start if you are only familiar with the basics of DNA replication... translation.. transcription... I don't know much on the subject... thanks. News reguarding...
  44. Monique

    Gene mutation helped split humans and apes

    "The researchers' new discovery involves a gene called MYH16, which had apparently gone unrecognized because of a small mutation that had rendered it inactive for producing some jaw muscles for chewing and biting. The scientists found that this myosin gene was still intact today in other...
  45. iansmith

    What is the Role of Gene Mutation in Speciation and Environmental Adaptation?

  46. Monique

    Mutations: Transitions vs Transversions

    I am wondering, are there certain statistical probabilities of mutations? Like, which one is more likely a transistion or a transversion (and what do they mean)?
  47. Monique

    Dramatic muscle mass increase due to mutation

    Belgian farmers had been breeding a bull for its muscle size, finally getting a bull who is supermuscular http://www.ultimate-exercise.com/bravenewworld.html This supermuscularity is caused by a mutation is the myostatin gene. Why has this case not been exploited yet? Or am I just not...
  48. E

    What is the main cause behind mutation in evolution?

    What is the main cause behind mutation in evolution?