A silent mutation occurs when a DNA message changes but the message still codes for the same amino acid and produces the correct protein. This is different from a regular DNA mutation, in which the amino acid is either changed or deleted, explains the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.Continue Reading
Silent mutations, also called synonymous mutations, have long been thought to be a benign process because no changes occur in the amino acid sequence, resulting in the production of the normal protein. Recent studies, however, show that even though the protein remains the same, silent mutations can cause changes in the shape of mRNA, resulting in the interruption of its interaction with ribosomes. This interruption can cause a decrease in the production of the protein as well as a change in its shape, causing it to work improperly, states the FDA.
Scientists are now able to use the presence of certain silent mutations to predict the susceptibility of some patients to particular diseases and treatment outcomes. For example, one type of silent mutation places people at a higher risk for the development of cardiomyopathy, which is a condition in which the heart does not contract normally, while another silent mutation has a correlation with the survivability of children with acute myeloid leukemia.Learn more about Molecular Biology & DNA
DNA supports evolution because all life on Earth carries DNA, and evolution happens only after DNA changes. These changes are called mutations and happen spontaneously from flawed DNA copying or from mutagens, such as X-rays or chemicals.Full Answer >
Genetic drift is more likely to occur in small populations because when a mutation arises in a member of such a population, they, and potentially their offspring, constitute a much larger proportion of the population than a mutated individual would be in a larger population. As their offspring interbreed with others, the new trait is much more likely to become widespread. A larger population would tend to drown out mutations.Full Answer >
A missense mutation occurs when a gene is altered in a way that results in a different amino acid being substituted for the one originally coded. The change of a single nucleotide base can change the type of amino acid inserted into a protein.Full Answer >
Genetic variation is the result of mutation, gene flow between populations and sexual reproduction. In asexually reproducing organisms, some genetic variation may still result from random mutation.Full Answer >