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Mutation Definition

A mutation is a change in an organism's genetic material (DNA). For example, brittle bone disease is caused by a genetic mutation.

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Genes & Mutations

Fun Facts

  • A mouse that inherits a gene with a mutation may not grow any hair.
  • Sun exposure without sunscreen can cause a mutation leading to skin cancer.
  • Mutations are not always harmful, they are just changes in an organism's genetic material.

Why Do We Need To Know About Mutation

Learning about mutations helps us know how they help solve crimes and fight off diseases. In forensic science, which is like detective work for science, tiny changes in DNA help identify who may have committed a crime. This is because everyone’s DNA has small differences, and these can point to a specific person.

In medicine, especially when dealing with viruses, knowing about these tiny changes is key to making medicines and stopping diseases from spreading. Most of the time, mutations don’t do much, but sometimes they can make a virus more dangerous. By studying these changes, scientists can figure out how to fight the virus. Studying mutations has very important uses in real life, from keeping us safe from criminals to fighting diseases.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is DNA and why is it important?
DNA is short for deoxyribonucleic acid and it is the genetic material that contains the code that makes an organism.
What are chromosomes and what do they do?
Chromosomes are tightly coiled strands of DNA that are in the cells of all living things.
What are genes and how do we get them?
Genes are sections of DNA that are found in our chromosomes. Genes are passed from parents to offspring.
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