In the living cell, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) undergoes frequent chemical change, especially when it is being replicated. Most of these changes are quickly repaired. Those that are not, result in a mutation. Thus, mutation is a failure of DNA repair. Mutagens are chemicals or physical factors (such as radiation) that increase the rate of mutation in the cells of bacteria, plants, and animals (including humans). Most mutagens are of natural origin and are not just a modern phenomenon.

Mutagens can be found in the food we eat, the air we breath, or the ground we walk on. Very small doses of a mutagen usually have little effect while large doses of a mutagen could be lethal. DNA in the nuclei of all cells encodes proteins, which play important structural and functional (metabolic) roles in the cell. Mutagens typically disrupt the DNA of cells, causing changes in the proteins that the cell produces, which can lead to abnormally fast growth (cancer), or even cell death. In rare incidences, mutagens can even cause protein changes that are beneficial to the cell.

Where mutagens exist

Mutagens can be found in foods, beverages, and drugs. Sometimes a substance is mutagenic because it is converted in the body into something harmful. Regulatory agencies are responsible for testing food and drugs to insure that the public is not unknowingly exposed to mu-tagens. However, some mutagen-containing substances are not tightly controlled. One such substance is found in the tobacco of cigars and cigarettes.

Some mutagens occur naturally, and some are synthetic. Cosmic rays from space are natural, but they are mutagenic. Some naturally occurring viruses are considered mutagenic since they can insert themselves into host DNA. Hydrogen and atomic bombs are manmade, and they emit harmful radiation. Radiation from nuclear bombs and gaseous particles from nitrogen mustard and acridine orange have been used destructively in war. On

the other hand, some mutagens are used constructively to kill bacteria that could grow in human foods, such as the small doses of nitrites used to preserve some meat. Even though nitrites can be mutagenic, without the nitrites these meats could cause botulism; hence, the benefit outweighs the risk involved.

Tawur & Perspektif Mutagen

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How widespread are mutagens?...

Number And bitten with a spider will not do it possibly, not really the radioactive a single.; -) Odours won’t hurt an individual on their own, even though if something happens to be caustic

What is the process of altering an organism’s genetic code called?...

ulempe mutationmutation

What type of mutations are there? How can you write a make believe story on getting a human mutation?...

the obsolete

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What is the term for an external agent that causes mutagenesis?...

The: the mutagen

Why are high levels of radiation fatal to humans?...

advantages level the radiation leads to the particular transcription errors throughout DNA duplication. Needs to be w

Which of the following is NOT likely to occur as a result of such a mutation?...

M. is extremely unlikely to happen.

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