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Encyclopedia > Mutagen

In biology, a mutagen (Latin, literally origin of change) is a physical or chemical agent that changes the genetic information (usually DNA) of an organism and thus increases the number of mutations above the natural background level. As many mutations cause cancer, mutagens are typically also carcinogens. Biology (from Greek βίος λόγος, see below) is the study of life. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ... The structure of part of a DNA double helix. ... A crab is an example of an organism. ... In biology, mutations are changes to the genetic material (either DNA or RNA). ... The term carcinogen refers to any form of substance, radionuclide or radiation which is an agent in the promotion or direct involvement in the facilitation of cancer or genomic instability due to the disruption or damage of cellular metabolic changes. ...


There are several different ways mutations occur in organisms, such as through error in DNA replication, repair and recombination in DNA sequences, which cause mutations called spontaneous mutations. Changes include substitution of base-pair nucleotides and insertions and deletions of one or more nucleotides in DNA sequences. The change in a population’s genetic material due to random chance is called drift and serves as a molecular clock. In general, the more nucleotide differences between two organisms, the more time has elapsed since their last common ancestor. Though it is difficult to determine in many organisms, estimates for mutation rates have been made for both E. coli and eukaryotes. It was estimated that in these organisms about one nucleotide in every 1010 is changed and continues through reproduction to future generations of cells. However, not all mutations result in changes in the function of the DNA because only about five percent of DNA actually codes for protein; about 95% of DNA is referred to as 'filler DNA'. Physical and chemical agents that react with DNA to cause mutations are referred to as mutagens. Hermann Muller, a scientist of the 1920’s, discovered that some fruit flies developed mutations caused by x-rays which he then used to create Drosophila mutants that he used in his studies of genetics. Also from this study he learned that not only did the x-rays mutate genes in fruit flies, but they also had effects on the genetic makeup of humans as well. [1] This article is about mutation in biology, for other meanings see: mutation (disambiguation). ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... A DNA sequence (sometimes genetic sequence) is a succession of letters representing the primary structure of a real or hypothetical DNA molecule or strand, The possible letters are A, C, G, and T, representing the four nucleotide subunits of a DNA strand (adenine, cytosine, guanine, thymine), and typically these are... Base pairs, of a DNA molecule. ... A nucleotide is an organic molecule consisting of a heterocyclic nucleobase (a purine or a pyrimidine), a pentose sugar (deoxyribose in DNA or ribose in RNA), and a phosphate or polyphosphate group. ... Binomial name Escherichia coli T. Escherich, 1885 Escherichia coli (usually abbreviated to E. coli) is one of the main species of bacteria that live in the lower intestines of warm-blooded animals (including birds and mammals) and are necessary for the proper digestion of food. ... Kingdoms Eukaryotes are organisms with complex cells, in which the genetic material is organized into membrane-bound nuclei. ... A representation of the 3D structure of myoglobin, showing coloured alpha helices. ... Hermann Joseph Muller (December 21, 1890 - April 5, 1967) was an American geneticist and educator. ... Type Species Musca funebris Fabricius, 1787 Drosophila is a genus of small flies whose members are often called small fruit flies, or more appropriately vinegar flies, wine flies, pomace flies, grape flies, and picked fruit-flies. ... Genetics (from the Greek genno γεννώ= give birth) is the science of genes, heredity, and the variation of organisms. ...


Mutagens are usually chemical compounds or ionizing radiation. These chemical mutagens can be divided into different categories according to their effect on DNA replication. A chemical compound is a chemical substance consisting of two or more different chemically bonded chemical elements, with a fixed ratio determining the composition. ... Radiation hazard symbol. ...


The Ames test is one method to determine how mutagenic an agent is. . ...

Contents

Examples

Nitrous acid (molecular formula HNO2) is a weak monobasic acid known only in solution and in the form of nitrite salts. ... Note: Ultraviolet is also the name of a 1998 UK television miniseries about vampires. ... Sodium azide (NaN3) is a highly toxic chemical that exists as an odorless white solid. ... This article is about electromagnetic radiation. ... An alpha particle is deflected by a magnetic field Alpha particles or alpha rays are a form of particle radiation which are highly ionizing and have low penetration. ... Ethidium bromide (EtBr) is an intercalating agent commonly used as a nucleic acid stain in molecular biology laboratories for techniques such as agarose gel electrophoresis. ...

Mutagens in fiction

  • In the 80's and early 90's radiation was the mutagen of choice for fictional works. [citation needed]
  • The T-Virus, appearing throughout the Resident Evil video game series, is a mutagenic virus which causes many various forms of horrific mutation depending on which part of the body it invades first. A second mutagen, the G-Virus, was the cause of the primary antagonist's superhuman strength and constantly morphing form.

This article or section may need to be cleaned up because it describes a work of fiction as a factual topic. ... Resident Evil, known in Japan as Biohazard, is a survival-horror franchise that started life as a video game series developed by Capcom and created by Shinji Mikami. ... The G-Virus is a fictional mutagenic virus in the Resident Evil series and the central plot point of Resident Evil 2. ... The Inhumans are a fictional race of superhumans in the Marvel Comics universe. ... Marvel Comics is an American comic book line published by Marvel Entertainment, Inc. ... The Terrigen Mist is a fictional substance from the Marvel Comics Universe, a natural mutagen able to alter Inhuman biology. ... The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. ... Splinter (a. ... Bebop in the 1987 TMNT cartoon Rocksteady in the 1987 TMNT cartoon Bebop and Rocksteady are a pair of dimwitted henchmen in the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series and the Archie TMNT Adventures comics. ... Metroid Prime (メトロイドプライム Metoroido Puraimu) is a first-person adventure/shooter video game developed by Nintendo-owned Retro Studios and released by Nintendo in 2002 for the GameCube (and later bundled with GameCube in 2004). ... In the Metroid Prime video game series, Phazon is a mutagenic mineral that emits ionizing radiation and possesses life-like qualities, though the exact specifics of these life-like qualities are never explicitly stated in the games. ...

References

  1. ^ Campbell, Neil A. and Jane B. Reece. Biology. 7th ed. San Francisco, CA: Pearson Education, Inc, 2005.

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
MilleGen - MutaGen™, High throughput Mutagenesis, Directed Evolution (370 words)
MutaGen™ a new technology for molecular evolution developed by MilleGen is able to mimic nature quickly and produce a large diversity (patent WO 02/387566).
MutaGen™ technology has the ability to sample a high range of protein variants in a single step.
MutaGen™ is also a technology, which generates a library of mutants, which can be easily screened.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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