What are mutations and how do they differ

All people in varying degrees can be called mutants. But not like in “X-Men” or in the Marvel universe — even the hair color change, growth or face structure can be attributed to the mutations. The slightest changes in our genes or the environment can lead to the development of traits that make us unique. And some people have genetics to track specific mutations that are responsible for truly incredible abilities. For example, someone has an increased immunity to electricity, while others can act as a magnet for objects. All this became possible due to mutations that with the development of technology are increasingly common.

What is a mutation

Mutation is change of an organism’s genome (one gene or several). More often, mutations are understood the change of the structure of DNA, which occurs because of violations of sequence of genes or new.

The types of mutations

Mutations occur not for any one reason. It is a process that becomes possible at the cellular level of the body. To date, scientists distinguish 4 main types of mutations:

  • Gene;
  • Chromosome;
  • Genome;
  • Cytoplasmic.

Scientists came to the conclusion that the majority of mutations are harmful, and the nature is arranged so that due to natural selection, they disappear from the people themselves. However isolated and these mutations, which increase the viability of the organism. Moreover, some changes of the genes can be harmful in one environment, but beneficial in others.

There are two subspecies mutations:

  • Spontaneous
  • Induced

Spontaneous mutations arise by accident — for example, if a flock of sheep suddenly was a sheep born with shorter legs. Or appearance black Zebra among the ordinary, cat with white paws and so on. Spontaneous mutations happen in person, and you may not even know that your body occur some changes. They often have a “cosmetic” nature and represent a change in gene combinations.

Induced mutations are “artificial” and arise under the influence of chemicals, and various radiation, biological objects such as viruses. Yes, these mutations have most of the superheroes of comics — from “spider-Man” to “Wolverine” (or “Deadpool”, for that matter).

Gene mutations

In this type of mutation usually affects only one specific gene. Gene mutations occur as the substitution of one gene to others, and the loss of a certain gene from a common chain or in the coup plot of the DNA molecule that affects one gene.

Such mutations can be both spontaneous and induced: for example, the black Zebra has become so because the gene responsible for the change in its colour was replaced by others of natural causes. Genetic mutations occur during irradiation, contact with chemicals or viruses.

Chromosomal mutations

In the chromosomal mutations affected not one gene, but several. These mutations are much more dangerous than just a gene: if the change is subject to too many genes, the cell can no longer divide and begins to self-destruct. Known cases when some people and animals died due to such mutations because chromosomes in their cells is lost or doubled, leading to disruption of metabolic processes in the body.

When chromosomal mutations possibly as a loss of part of the chromosomes and chromosome doubling, a turn segment of a chromosome 180 degrees or even move it to another location. This leads to diseases Prader-Willi (obesity, low growth, and intelligence at the same time) and wolf-Hirschhorn (mental retardation).

Deletion – loss of part of the chromosomes

Duplication – doubling of a portion of chromosome

Inversion – turn segment of a chromosome 180 degrees

Translocation – the movement of any segment of a chromosome

Genomic mutations

This kind of mutations is even worse, as it affects not one or a few genes, but a genome. Genomic view of mutations occurs because of errors in the chromosomes. And it is quite interesting: if the change of multiple chromosomes, the body cells are increased and internal organs are mutations, scientists had previously observed in some plants and animals.

One of the clearest examples of genomic mutations among the plants are wheat and corn.

However, if the number of chromosomes is not a multiple of changes in the body there are negative processes. For example, for a human characteristic mutation trisomy 21: in this case, is not at odds twenty-first pair of chromosomes, as a result, the child gets not two of the twenty-first chromosome, but three. It leads to development of down syndrome, with the result that the child is mentally or physically handicapped.

Cytoplasmic mutations

They arise due to violation of the mitochondrial DNA that make up cells. This is one of the rare mutations, which are still poorly understood. However, scientists have come to the conclusion that cytoplasmic mutations lead to impaired vision and problems with the Central nervous system. There is a theory that this type of mutation is also responsible for the appearance of diabetes.

Examples of mutations

The strongest bones in the world

For example, the LRP5 gene is responsible for bone density. Its mutation can lead to reduced bone density or, conversely, to present you with indestructible bones. One family in Connecticut (USA), has been shown to be mutations of LRP5 that give them the bones of such density that those virtually indestructible. None of them ever broke a bone. Increased strength of bones, especially spine, skull and pelvis, gives the members of this family the oldest skeletons on Earth.

How to sleep for 4 hours a day

Another gene, DEC2, is responsible for regulating the amount of sleep we need each night to function properly. Most of us need eight hours of sleep or more, but about 5% of the population enjoy a slightly different “mutant” version. Tests conducted on the mother with the daughter who had the mutation, revealed the ability of sleeping only 4-6 hours each night. Mere mortals began to feel the negative effects after a couple of days of this dream, but the mutants carry, it is quite normal. Now scientists want to copy this mutation to other people, but while they have is not much work.

Immunity to electricity

And some people because of genetic mutations in General are immune to electricity. An ordinary man covered in millions of sweat glands which usually lay for shock comfortable the wet way directly in our skin. However, one resident of Serbia does not have sweat or salivary glands due to a rare genetic disease. This means that electricity cannot penetrate into his body. It can recharge the phone to read our Telegram chat, to cook, boil water and even fire anything, passing electricity through his body, which set several records and appeared on several television shows.

Immunity to poisons

For hundreds of years, residents of San Antonio de Los Cobres in Argentina drank mountain water, arsenic levels which exceed safe 80 time. Despite the extraordinary daily exposure to the deadly metal, the people remain completely healthy. All thanks to mutant AS3MT gene, which has passed through thousands of years of natural selection. It allows the body to process arsenic, not allowing it to accumulate in dangerous concentrations, so the owners of these microscopic mutants can eat as much arsenic as long as they like.

Immunity to arsenic there are only 6 000 people in the world.