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Mutation is the alteration of DNA sequence, whether it be in a small way by the alteration of a single base pair, or whether it be a gross event such as the gain or loss of an entire chromosome. It may be caused through the action of damaging chemicals, or radiation, or through the errors inherent in the DNA replication and repair reactions. One consequence may be genetic disease. However, although in the short term mutation may seem to be a BAD THING, in the long term it is essential to our existence. Without mutation there could be no change and without change life cannot evolve. If it had not been for mutation the world would still be covered in primeval slime!
It can be heritable or inheritable. while heritable mutation are believed to be sex linked and thus passes from one generation to another, inheritable is not and may soon wipe out in the ecosystem
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