Gene Mutations

Track 5: Gene Mutation

In biology, a mutation is the permanent alteration of the nucleotide sequence of the genome of an organism, virus, or extra chromosomal DNA or other genetic elements. Mutations result from errors during DNA replication or other types of damage to DNA, which then may undergo error-prone repair or cause an error during other forms of repair, or else may cause an error during replication translation synthesis. Mutations may also result from insertion or deletion of segments of DNA due to mobile genetic elements. Mutations may or may not produce discernible 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 functional diversity. The genomes of RNA viruses are based on RNA rather than DNA. The RNA viral genome can be double stranded DNA or single stranded. In some of these viruses such as the single stranded human immunodeficiency virus replication occurs quickly and there are no mechanisms to check the genome for accuracy.

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