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X-RAY

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MUTATION (GENETIC)

Definition

An alteration of the base sequence of a DNA or RNA molecule. Mutations usually involve the changing of one base for another (point mutation) or to the addition or deletion of one or more nucleotides. This will often lead to the mis-reading of codon sequences by the ribosome during protein synthesis (leading to a defective or absent protein). Such mutations are then termed frameshift mutations. Point mutations may be silent (as each amino acid may be coded by several codons) or lead to the substitution of one amino acid for another during protein synthesis.

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