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What is a genetic mutation?

A mutation is a random change in the amount of DNA or sequence of DNA nucleotides within a cell. DNA is a double helix with two polynucleotide strands joined by hydrogen bonds between complementary base pairs. This structure is usually very stable, but mutations can randomly occur during DNA replication and also in the presence of mutagens (e.g. ionising radiation). Genetic mutations involve insertions, deletions, substitutions, inversions, changes in the number of repeat units, deamination (e.g. cytosine can be deaminated to form uracil) or depurination (resulting in the conversion of a nucleotide into a sugar-phosphate residue). 

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“About me: I am a friendly and enthusiastic fourth year medical student studying at the University of Bristol. I found myself enjoying Maths and Sciences from an early age and eventually decided that it was my calling to be a doctor. W...”

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Krupa R.

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Degree: Medicine (Bachelors) - Oxford, Lincoln College University

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“Hi, I'm Krupa - a medical student at Lincoln College, Oxford. I want to be a tutor because I really enjoy teaching and I'm passionate about studying Science  and am keen to share this interest with others.  However, I understand that s...”

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