When do mutations occur?

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    • #10378
      o4aclaireism
      Participant

      I teach a higher level biology class and I’m thinking about having them come up with the mutations behind some of the wilder TV/cartoon characters.

      When can mutations happen? I know they happen during Meiosis and mitosis and replication. I’m assuming they can also happen during transcription and translation; is this correct? I also know about environmental causes.

      Can anyone tell me about mutations that occur during transcription and translation? What enzyme is to blame? Perhaps it’s the ribosome.

      Any input would be great!
      Claire H

    • #86933
      mith
      Participant

      what exactly is a higher level bio class, and why are you teaching it? It seems you don’t have the biology background…

    • #86938
      o4aclaireism
      Participant

      I teach a biotechnology class at a high school. My background is more along the lines of PCR and FISH, just not mutations.

      CH

    • #86942
      jonmoulton
      Participant

      A mutation is a change in the DNA. Errors in transcription and translation do occur, but these cause errors in RNA or protein respectively. I would not consider this sort of change a mutation.

      —————————————————
      Mutation 1. the process by which a gene undergoes a structural change. 2. a modified gene resulting from mutation. 3. by extension, the individual manifesting the mutation.

      From: A Dictionary of Genetics 7th Ed. King RC, Stansfield WD, and Mulligan PK. 2006. Oxford University Press, New York NY.
      —————————————————

      I agree that in the absence of external insult, such structural changes in DNA are most likely to occur during meiosis, mitosis, and replication. Exposure to physical or chemical insults from the environment (e.g. short-wave UV irradiation, exposure to intercalating mutagens, etc.) and some biological insults, such as infection by papillomavirus, may either independently cause mutations or increase the probability that mutations will occur during meiosis, mitosis, or replication.

      My favorite mutation is the zebrafish mutant, one-eyed pinhead (oep). See slide 62 in this presentation:
      http://www.gene-tools.com/files/Philomath2008.ppt

      Regards,

      – Jon

    • #86944
      Darwin420
      Participant

      HAHaha, Mith you are an ass!! Hahhaa. Yes mutations can occur during translation. Think about UV radiation which can cause lesions in DNA which block the RNA polymerase thus, no transcription which means absence in protein or complete loss of function in a cell. This is a mutation. So yes it can occur during translation.

    • #86945
      Darwin420
      Participant

      Sorry, I meant transcription

    • #86951
      mith
      Participant

      It seems strange, most instructors don’t come asking for technical information, most look for creative ways to express scientific principles in interesting modes.

    • #86954
      MichaelXY
      Participant

      Sounds like a very creative approach by a student needing an answer. With such creativity, maybe an art class would be more suitable.

    • #86959
      MrMistery
      Participant

      This person is either a lab technician trying to be a biologist(a really bad lab technician), or, as Micheal said, a creative student. No biologist on this planet would learn to do PCR and FISH without first learning the fundamentals of DNA replication and mutation.

    • #86982
      jonmoulton
      Participant

      "Yes mutations can occur during translation. Think about UV radiation which can cause lesions in DNA which block the RNA polymerase thus, no transcription which means absence in protein or complete loss of function in a cell. This is a mutation. So yes it can occur during translation."

      Doesn’t the mutation occur when the UV photon hits the bases and causes a rearrangement of covalent bonds (e.g. thimine dimerization)? The effect on transcription comes later, after the UV interaction, when the polymerase encounters the modified bases; at that point the change in the DNA has already occurred.

    • #86984
      Darwin420
      Participant

      jonmoulton – yea yea you are correct. It is the UV radiation that causes the mutation BUT it is the lesions that disable the polymerase to continue transcription. But yea, I should of been more careful about what I was saying.

    • #86988
      o4aclaireism
      Participant

      I am ACTUALLY a teacher.

      I just wanted to know a little bit of information, that I didn’t know. Amazingly enough teachers do not know everything, we do know when to ask questions to people who are hopefully smarter than ourselves. I am not a biogist and I never said I was one. DId I? I know and understand the basics of mutations (point mutations, insertions, frammeshifts etc); I meant to ask a more specific question. I wanted to know about the problems that can happen during transcription and translation and if they can be called a mutation.

      I have not gone into the details about why I want this information. Frankly, I didn’t think you would be that interested. It will be used in a creative way in my classroom.

      I do think it is interesting that I got different answers from several of you. My question (which you seem to think is stupid) is whether or not a mutation can occur when working with RNA. Does this words just apply to DNA? Apparently you disagree.

      I am sorry that I stepped into the a-holes department.
      I just wanted a little bit of DETAILED information that I lack. I do indeed know all about the central dogma etc. Why do you have to make someone feel stupid when all I asked was a simple question?

      I will never trouble you again with my stupid questions.

      CH

    • #86992
      mith
      Participant

      Apologies if you’re offended. You stepped into the department of very creative students who would pretend to be teachers to avoid doing their homework. Hope you understand.

    • #86996
      MrMistery
      Participant

      ok then.
      Mutation is a term refered to specifically as a change in the sequence of a DNA molecule. Of course RNA polymerase and the ribosome can make mistakes, but they are not called mutations. That’s in cells at least. In riboviruses, for example, that have an RNA genome, a change in the sequence of that RNA is considered a mutation. Nothing about proteins can ever be a mutation.

      I still don’t understand something: if you’re not a biologist, why are you teaching a biology course?

    • #87005
      Darwin420
      Participant

      HAhaa, SHIT JUST HIT THE FAN.

    • #87179
      egocentrism
      Participant

      hi ,, I know it’s an old topic an all , but I’m just amazed of the answers really !!
      and I wanna leave something to Myth – dear I think you just missed the first principle in Science , which is Ego and science can’t never be on the same line !! –
      and when we lose the ability to ask why, we lose the ability to reach the ultimate secret of life which is our first goal as a biologist- bio teachers – professors- biofans ..
      so good luck !!
      God help me when I ask my questions to you people !
      bye

    • #87184
      mith
      Participant

      However, ego is not the issue here. Note that we’ve replied to countless people who’ve shown that they have tried to answer their own homework problems and yet we also have countless lazy students who want answers and would stoop to very low levels to get them. Perhaps in this case we’ve erred on the side of caution.

      And the first principle of science is not about ego. Being humble can but doesn’t make you a better or worse scientist.

    • #87228
      egocentrism
      Participant

      um I think that you’re right about that .
      The first principle in science could be an issue , according to my genetic professor in my first year in college he said to us in our first class – you are studying biology you are the master of life-
      I believe that He made that statement from something , me I got my first principle from a paper I once did about hydrogen bomb and its ecological effects , when I realized the ego of some scientist driving them behind a fade glory !! .. that killed life in many shapes !
      and for me that’s what separate between good and bad scientists ,I’d love to know your first principle ???
      😉

    • #98878
      ClaireyBelle
      Participant

      Poor CH. Some of you guys sound like a bunch of first graders trying to make others feel bad for wanting to LEARN something instead of already knowing it.

      Isn’t that what this forum is for? Learning and sharing knowledge? Not for showing off and teaching?
      I’m sorry that I don’t know the answer, CH, I was hoping to learn more by your question, as I am a student.

      Who might just be ridiculed for not knowing the answer to something…?

    • #98897
      JackBean
      Participant

      You can definitely learn here, but do not expect, that someone will do your homework.

    • #115938
      britainthemoped
      Participant
      quote mith:

      Apologies if you’re offended. You stepped into the department of very creative students who would pretend to be teachers to avoid doing their homework. Hope you understand.

      Mith why do you have to be so rude. I agree, mutation occurs during transcription and translation. And Mith, this quote is the best: If you have nothing good to say, ***** ****. 😆

    • #115939
      britainthemoped
      Participant

      Although I might go a little deeper into this. When physically does mutation occur, starting at birth, or as soon as a baby starts developing.

    • #115951
      claudepa
      Participant

      I am a cell biologist, however not a specialist of mutations. Nevertheless my feeling is the following: There are 2 types of mutations. Mutations of germ cells (spermatozoïds and ovules) and mutations of somatic cells (the other ones). Mutations of germ cells are in the genetic program because they are here to create genetic diversity of the first cell, the zygote (for instance what is called the crossing over between sister chromatids). Mutations of somatic cells are related to the fact that systems replicating and repairing DNA are absolutely extraordinary but not 100 % perfect (A DNA polymerase can make an error every 100 millions bases replicated but there are 3 billions bases to replicate in a cell). The first cell of the embryo will divide in life around 45 times to create the 30 000 billions cells of a human body (1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, …,30 000 billions cells). Each division means that DNA was replicated and repaired before the cell division. This "imperfect" mechanism implies the possibilities of somatic mutations.

    • #115965
      britainthemoped
      Participant
      quote mith:

      It seems strange, most instructors don’t come asking for technical information, most look for creative ways to express scientific principles in interesting modes.

      Just because someone is a teacher doesn’t mean they know everything. By the way Mith, I tried to add you to my foes. For some reason I couldn’t. It said I can’t add moderators or administrators to my foes. What exactly is a moderator or administrator, and why are you one? It doesn’t seem like you have the right background… 8)

    • #116120
      leesajohnson
      Participant

      Mutations occur, quite simply, because it’s impossible to achieve 100% accuracy during DNA replication and then not all of the mistakes are detected and then not all of those are correctly repaired. Other than that, physical damage as a result of oxidative damage and radiation is purely random.
      That’s the "why", I’d say: There isn’t a larger philosophical reason why mutations should occur since we cannot determine that the universe has an objective to allow life to develop and vary. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potassium-40

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