Genetic mutation is changes in the cells’ genetic material (usually DNA, sometimes RNA). Mutations have several different causes, such as random in copying during cell division, due to the influence by radiation, certain chemical substances, and viruses. Genetic mutations are also included as a natural and necessary part of some processes in cells. For multicellular organisms, it may be interesting to distinguish between mutations in the cells that give rise to new organisms (gametes) and thus spread to future generations, and mutations in other cells (somatic cells), which only affect the current organism. The latter may give rise to cancer. The somatic mutations are not all bad. The immune B cells undergo somatic mutation during a process known as affinity maturation. This creates an immunological adjustment and increases the ability of cells to bind pathogens.
To write a successful research paper on the topic, a writer must know that the first type of genetic mutation is a prerequisite for evolution. The vast majority of mutations are negative or have no significant effect on survival or other success factors, and only a small number are advantageous for the offspring. You could say that mutations are bad for the individual but good for the gene pool. Through natural selection, the beneficial mutations increase in frequency because they make their carriers more successful in producing offspring, while those carrying negative mutation more or less will quickly disappear from the population by the corresponding reason. The more neutral mutations will also gradually accumulating in the population (in a stable population doubling the number of offspring of an average individual in each generation) and for doing that there is a spread of different properties. This proliferation and accumulation of neutral mutations is an important ingredient in the modern theory of evolution.
Mutations can be classified according to how they have influenced the sequence of nucleotides. We can speak about:
- Deletion – a part of the chromosome is lost.
- Reproduction or duplication – a part is repeated.
- Reversal or inversion – a part is used.
- Insertion – a part is copied and added at a different location.
- Translocation – two pieces from different chromosomes switch places.
Translocation should not be confused with crossover when on the same site parts in identical chromosomes switch places. The crossover occurs exactly at meiosis and are a natural part of the cell’s life.
Genetic mutations are divided into spontaneous and induced. Spontaneous mutations occur spontaneously throughout the life of the organism in its normal environmental conditions with a frequency of about a nucleotide per cell generation body.
Heritable mutations induced changes called genome resulting those or other mutagenic effects in vitro (experimental) conditions or adverse effects of the environment.
Mutations occur constantly occur in the processes in a living cell. The main processes leading to mutations ia DNA replication, violations of DNA, repair, transcription, and genetic recombination.
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