Definition of Mutation

The mutation is a change in the sequence of the DNA, the hereditary material. It can occur due to a number of events such as exposure to ionizing radiations, replicating mistakes made during the division of the cell, exposure to certain chemicals known as mutagens, viral infections, etc. The mutations can occur in both somatic as well as germline cells.


Somatic mutations remain in the body and are not passed on but they become the reason for a number of cancers whereas the germline mutations occur in the eggs and sperms and hence are inherited by the next generation and cause birth defects.

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