How often do mutations occur?

1 Answer
Dec 18, 2015

The average human zygote contains 128 mutations.

Luckily, most of these mutations are benign and do not adversely affect individuals.

Mutations do occur at a frequent rate, but the majority are corrected by the body's repair systems, and of the very small percent that are not corrected an even smaller percentage are manifested physically.

Mutations can be caused by copying errors in the genetic material during cell division, by exposure to ultraviolet or ionizing radiation, chemical mutagens, or viruses, or can occur deliberately under cellular control during processes such as hypermutation.

Their effect on health varies with their location in the body and how they affect vital proteins.