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Last updated: July 22, 2017

What Does Mutation Mean?

Mutation is defined as a sudden change in the characteristics of a plant or animal, which causes new characteristics that are different from what is normal. Mutation happens as cells divide and parent cells give forth child cells, which show visible differences from their parents. Mutation is caused by changes in a gene or a protein within the cell, which can affect future cells as reproduction continues.

Safeopedia Explains Mutation

Mutation involves changes in deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) which can have a number of contributing factors. Evolutionary scientists hold that mutation is a natural process and possibly accounts for today's variety of species; however, it often has an external cause by different environmental conditions. Changes in exposure to specific chemicals or ionizing radiation can change the structure of DNA within a cell.


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