Are mutations good or bad? Explain.

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May 28, 2017

A mutation is a random modification of the information held by the genome that leads to an alteration of the amino-acid sequence in translated proteins.

Mutations naturally occur in every organism, but some environmental and biological factors are known to increase the mutation rate. Those factors are called mutagens (age, radioactivity, toxins, sun rays....).

Then, a mutation may have an effect (good or bad) on phenotype, but it is also possible that the mutation may not show any positive or negative effect.

When it has an effect (enzyme lack, nonfunctional cells, change in amount of hormone or metabolite secretion, sensitivity to some factors, etc...), this effect can be positive or negative.

If it's a positive one, the mutation holding organism have better chance to survive, so to breed and so give this mutation to progeny: only if this mutation appears in all the body cells (means that occurs during gametogenesis of parents). And those mutation bearing children will be better, and will breed more, etc.. and along with passage of time, this mutation will spread all over the population.

If it's a negative one, the mutation holding organism have less chance to survive, so to breed and so give this mutation to less number of children. And those children will be deficient, as the parent, and will breed less, etc.. and with passage of time, this mutation will almost disappear from the population gene pool.

If this mutation has no effect, even then, it will randomly spread all over the population. Such mutations have the potential to become favourable in future with change in environmental conditions.

Then there are mutations which are bad as well as good : e.g. mutation that causes sickle cell anaemia in homozygous recessive condition, helps in providing immunity against malaria in heterozygous condition. Hence the genetic load of the mutation in gene pool is not low!!

So a mutation can be good or/and bad or simply none of those adjectives :)
Hope it helps you

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Charl Share
May 20, 2017

Answer:

Mutations can be good or bad, depending on whether they are beneficial to survival or not.

Explanation:

For example, a mutation resulting in antibacterial resistance is very beneficial to the bacteria, and so it is "good" in the sense that it allows the species to survive when exposed to anti-bacterial substances.

However, some mutation decrease the chance of an organism being able to survive in its environment. For example, a mutation resulting in a butterfly changing colour may make it more visible to predators, and so the organism is less likely to survive and the mutation is "bad".

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Jan 28, 2017

Answer:

Mutations are always a loss of information and damage to the genome. This loss can be a good thing but usually a bad thing.

Explanation:

All known mutations result in a loss of information. There is no empirical observations that show a mutation that results in an increase of information.

A classic example is the sickle anemia. This is a point mutation where a T and A on the DNA switch places. This results in a damaged red blood cell. In malarial zones this is a good thing. The damaged red blood cell opens up allow the immune system to combat the malaria protozoa. However in non malarial zones this is a bad thing as the sickle cell episodes can be life threatening.

The blind fish of death valley are another example. In the total darkness of the underground rivers and lakes, the mutation(s) that resulted in the loss of eye tissues is a good thing. The loss of the eye protects the fish from serious injuries and the loss of sight is no loss in the total darkness. This loss of information helps the blind fish.

Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is also due to a loss of information. "#bacteria# made an evolutionary trade off, giving up part their own adaptive equipment for the sake of survival ( page 260 The Beak of the Finch Jonathan Weiner. By losing genetic information the Bacteria are not affected by the antibiotics. In an environment without the presence of these chemical the loss would be a bad thing. In the presence of antibiotics the mutation is a good thing for the bacteria. ( Not so much for the infected person)

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May 13, 2015

This solely depends on the kind of mutation. Some mutations such as the mutations that caused life to be formed is good. Some mutations such as the ones that create tumors are bad.

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