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What is a mutation?

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What is a mutation? Mutations are changes in the DNA inside a cell that affect the genes and chromosomes. Mutations arise because of errors in the DNA molecule when it divides and re-forms in the new cells. When this happens in sperm or egg cells, it causes changes that can be passed on to a child. The appearance of haemophilia is an example of a mutation in a single gene.

All of the instructions for growing a new human being are coded into the DNA molecule. It is shaped like a ladder twisted into a spiral.The two long upright strands are joined by a series of rungs of pairs of amino acids, which can only join together in a limited number of ways.

The pattern in which these pairs appear is the code built into the DNA molecule, and groups of these connections form genes. Each DNA molecule is built up of between 100,000 to 10 million atoms.

Tags: dna, mutation, human, molecule

Category: Health  - ( Health Archive)

Date Added: 23 December '11

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