Germline mutations are more harmful than mutations in somatic cells?

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In summary, through mutations, cells can develop changes in their DNA that can have varying effects on the cell, ranging from barely noticeable to cell death. Mutations in somatic cells can have immediate negative effects, such as cancer, while mutations in germline cells can have long-term effects on offspring. Generally, mutations in germline cells have a higher chance of causing harm to offspring compared to mutations in somatic cells.
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FTM1000
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Sorry if my question contain misconceptions, I am just trying to learn biology on my own.
From what I understood, every cell contain the same DNA and different cells express/use different parts of that DNA according to whether they are blood cells, skin cells, muscles cells etc. And cells get mutations in their DNA, including the parts they don't use/express, right?. So when a somatic cell get a mutation on a gene it doesn't use can it have an impact on the cell?. And what about mutations in germline cells?, if a germline cell have a mutation that mutation will end up in the cells of the baby and at least one type of the baby's cells will express the mutated gene and the mutation can have an impact on the baby. am I right?.
So a mutation on germ cell have more chance of causing harm to the baby than the chance of the same mutation on somatic cell (that doesn't express the mutated gene) to cause harm to a person?.
 
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Mutations can kill or not kill the cells they are in, depending on the details of the mutation and the cell.
Mutations in somatic cells can have a relatively quick negative effect on an organism, possibly including death. Cancer is due to somatic mutations in the cells that are cancerous.
Mutations in germline cells may not kill the germline cells immediately, but could have negative effects on an offspring generated from a germline cell carrying a mutation. The mutation would be inherited by all the somatic cells of the new offspring and could affect any of the cell types the particular mutation might be able to affect.
 
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BillTre said:
Mutations can kill or not kill the cells they are in, depending on the details of the mutation and the cell.
Mutations in somatic cells can have a relatively quick negative effect on an organism, possibly including death. Cancer is due to somatic mutations in the cells that are cancerous.
Mutations in germline cells may not kill the germline cells immediately, but could have negative effects on an offspring generated from a germline cell carrying a mutation. The mutation would be inherited by all the somatic cells of the new offspring and could affect any of the cell types the particular mutation might be able to affect.
But am I right about what I said earlier? or I just misunderstood something?.
 
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FTM1000 said:
So when a somatic cell get a mutation on a gene it doesn't use can it have an impact on the cell?
Yes, it's possible for the mutation to have an effect. For example, if the mutation changes the base pairs in such a way as to form a start codon, then the cell can accidentally translate and produce proteins from the wrong portion of the DNA molecule. This can have any number of effects on the cell, from barely noticeable all the way up to cell death.
FTM1000 said:
And what about mutations in germline cells?, if a germline cell have a mutation that mutation will end up in the cells of the baby and at least one type of the baby's cells will express the mutated gene and the mutation can have an impact on the baby. am I right?.
It's possible. It depends on the exact mutation and its location. Some mutations are simply neutral. Some are negative, and some are positive depending on the interaction of the organism with its environment.
FTM1000 said:
So a mutation on germ cell have more chance of causing harm to the baby than the chance of the same mutation on somatic cell (that doesn't express the mutated gene) to cause harm to a person?.
Generally, yes, because, as you said, a mutation in the germline would be passed on to every cell in the offspring. So a mutation that degrades ATP production would harm only a single somatic cell, whereas in germline cells it can cause systemic, chronic, and potentially lethal birth defects in offspring.
 
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Related to Germline mutations are more harmful than mutations in somatic cells?

1. What is the difference between germline mutations and mutations in somatic cells?

Germline mutations occur in the cells that give rise to sperm and egg cells, while mutations in somatic cells occur in the cells that make up the body. Germline mutations can be passed down to offspring, while somatic mutations are not inherited.

2. Why are germline mutations considered more harmful?

Germline mutations can affect the entire organism and can be passed down to future generations, potentially causing genetic disorders. Somatic mutations, on the other hand, only affect the specific cells in which they occur and do not affect future generations.

3. Can germline mutations be prevented?

Yes, there are certain measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of germline mutations, such as avoiding exposure to harmful environmental factors and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, some germline mutations are spontaneous and cannot be prevented.

4. How do germline mutations impact evolution?

Germline mutations are a driving force of evolution, as they introduce new genetic variations into a population. These mutations can lead to beneficial traits that increase an organism's chances of survival and reproduction, ultimately shaping the genetic makeup of a species over time.

5. Are all germline mutations harmful?

No, not all germline mutations are harmful. Some may have no effect on an organism, while others may even provide a survival advantage. However, mutations that cause genetic disorders or significantly impact an organism's health are considered harmful.

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