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How often do mutations occur?

Genetics as it applies to evolution, molecular biology, and medical aspects.

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Postby kolean » Wed Oct 14, 2009 12:33 pm

Entropy is the name of the game. Play the game well. Mutation is not all disaster and disease. Mutations can be for the best of us. It is in how the game is played and the hand that you are dealt.
Personally I am trying to learn the rules, and see how I can manipulate the game - within the rules of the game of course (unless I can find a way to cheat, which to me is just a short cut :-) ).
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Postby TheVirus » Mon Nov 02, 2009 2:08 am

Mutations do happen very often, even though the cell has mechanisms of repairing some of the mutated DNA, but as you said, either they are neutral with little or no effect or they are harmful, causing cancer or any of the hundreds genetic diseases, which are "meant" to eliminate species. Genetic mutations that actually help the species to adapt or give them any kind of advantage over the others are awfully rare, and unfortunately, these are the kind of mutations actually involved in evolution, giving individuals new "devices" that they can use in the Earth's constantly changing environment, such as when some reptiles started getting wings and feathers and became birds (supposedly, not really proven yet, only theoretically). Some mutations may be more..."subtle", for example, people who have a stronger immune system, or a very good vision... not superstrength or X-ray vision (that'd be way cooler, i admit, but well, we can't always get what we want :wink: )
”It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
~Charles Darwin
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Postby qqsvery » Mon Nov 02, 2009 6:52 am

You can see this paper:High mutation rate and predominance of insertions in the Caenorhabditis elegans nuclear genome.
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Re:

Postby JackBean » Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:53 am

TheVirus wrote:Mutations do happen very often, even though the cell has mechanisms of repairing some of the mutated DNA, but as you said, either they are neutral with little or no effect or they are harmful, causing cancer or any of the hundreds genetic diseases, which are "meant" to eliminate species. Genetic mutations that actually help the species to adapt or give them any kind of advantage over the others are awfully rare, and unfortunately, these are the kind of mutations actually involved in evolution, giving individuals new "devices" that they can use in the Earth's constantly changing environment, such as when some reptiles started getting wings and feathers and became birds (supposedly, not really proven yet, only theoretically). Some mutations may be more..."subtle", for example, people who have a stronger immune system, or a very good vision... not superstrength or X-ray vision (that'd be way cooler, i admit, but well, we can't always get what we want :wink: )

Well, not really, the neutral mutations can become positive (or negative as well) after enviroment change and THAT is evolution ;)
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

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Postby TheVirus » Mon Nov 02, 2009 2:33 pm

Oh, yeah. I hadn't thought about that. You're right.
”It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
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