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Science!!!! Essay

409 words - 2 pages

One of the most important activities of a cell is the production of proteins that fulfill major roles in the cell--structural, enzymatic, hormonal, and more. The instructions for building all the proteins an organism needs to make are located in the DNA molecules of the chromosomes which never leave the nucleus of the cell. However, the actual synthesis is carried out by the ribosome’s, small structures which either float freely in the cytoplasm or are attached to membrane networks that snake their way through the cell--in either case, outside the nucleus. Gene mutations occur in two ways: they ...view middle of the document...

De novo mutations may explain genetic disorders in which an affected child has a mutation in every cell, but has no family history of the disorder. Acquired (or somatic) mutations occur in the DNA of individual cells at some time during a person’s life. These changes can be caused by environmental factors such as ultraviolet radiation from the sun, or can occur if a mistake is made as DNA copies itself during cell division. Acquired mutations in somatic cells (cells other than sperm and egg cells) cannot be passed on to the next generation. Mutations may also occur in a single cell within an early embryo. As all the cells divide during growth and development, the individual will have some cells with the mutation and some cells without the genetic change. This situation is called mosaicism. Some genetic changes are very rare; others are common in the population. Genetic changes that occur in more than 1 percent of the population are called polymorphisms. They are common enough to be considered a normal variation in the DNA. Polymorphisms are responsible for many of the normal differences between people such as eye color, hair color, and blood type. Although many polymorphisms have no negative effects on a person’s health, some of these variations may influence the risk of developing certain disorders.

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