Our cells are constantly going through mutations, yet very little of these have any negative effects on our health. Compared to what we typically see in science fiction movies, this is completely different. A mutation is never so advantageous in real life that it makes someone a superhero or does anything strange, like give them wings.
There are numerous explanations for why mutations typically don’t have significant effects. One explanation is that our cells have highly advanced machinery for quickly correcting mutations. Therefore, they won’t have enough time to cause issues. Another is that the majority of mutations occur in somatic cells, such as muscle or skin cells, and only have an impact on the cell in which they originate and the cells that develop from that cell.
On the other hand, mutations in germline cells—eggs and sperm—can have more significant impacts because they will be present in every cell that develops from that egg or sperm or an entire person.
So are we really that far off from creating genetic mutations that could make you a man of steel or maybe even Hawkgirl? Cure diseases in the womb or make super babies? While this does sound like something straight out of DC, analysts suggest artificial genetic mutation (while not the most ethical) is being studied as we speak to make super people.
Read on for a brief account of everything there is to know about genetic mutation in the modern world.
Causes of Genetic Mutation
A mutation is a change to an organism’s DNA sequence. Errors in DNA duplication during cell division, viral infection, or exposure to mutagens can all cause mutations. Somatic mutations (which happen in body cells) cannot be passed on to offspring, whereas germline mutations (which happen in eggs and sperm) can.
A gene can mutate because of the following:
- changes in one or more nucleotides of DNA
- changes in many genes
- loss of one or more genes
- rearrangement of genes or whole chromosomes
Cell division results in genetic alterations. Your cells hand-write your body’s instruction manual when they divide, word for word replicating the original text. Because your cells may substitute, remove, or insert, letters as they are copying, there is a lot of possibility for error during cell division. Your genetic instruction handbook for your cells may not be legible by the cells if you have an error (genetic mutation), or it may have missing or extraneous information added. All of this may prevent your cells from operating as they should.
-Artificial (Gene Editing)
Just as a writer fixes typos, gene editing rewrites DNA, the biological code that makes up the instruction manuals of living creatures. Researchers can alter the activity of particular genes in plants, and animals, including humans, and cure dangerous mutations via gene editing.
Biomek liquid handlers are vital when researching genetics, so are pipette tips for biomek along with cell culture items.
The questions facing the scientific community have gotten more complicated since HeJiankui (Chinese genetic engineer) announced the birth of twin girls with altered genomes.
He jumped capriciously into an age where science could rewrite the gene pool of future generations by modifying the human species by engineering mutations into human embryos, which can then be utilized to generate infants.
There is still no concrete proof that the biophysicist was genuinely successful in altering the DNA of the daughters or those of a third child due later this year. However, the tests have garnered so much interest that the incident might change scientific inquiry for years to come.
Can Parents Pass On Genetic Mutations?
A parent’s gene mutation may be passed on to their offspring through their egg or sperm. Throughout a person’s life, these inherited mutations are present in practically every cell of their body. Cystic fibrosis, hemophilia, and sickle cell disease are examples of hereditary mutations.
Throughout a person’s life, further mutations may occur on their own. Spontaneous, sporadic, or novel mutations are the terms used to describe them. Only a few cells are affected. New mutations may arise as a result of ultraviolet radiation damage from the sun or exposure to specific substances. Parents do not pass on these mutations to their offspring.
Do All Genetic Mutations Cause Adverse Effects on Public Health?
Impacts (whether adverse or favorable) depend on the gene mutation one has. Mutations can result in a wide range of illnesses and ailments. The warning signs and symptoms you have could be:
- Problems with cognitive (brain) function and developmental deferrals.
- Vision and/or hearing loss.
- Breathing issues.
Equipment Need To Study Gene Mutation
- Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
- DNA Ligase
As an end note, it is important to understand that while it is not exactly ethical to create an army of super babies in hopes of making their war machines, having the ability to cure diseases in the womb is the kind of groundbreaking tech that this world needs for a better tomorrow.
Apart from molecular and genetic mutations, molecular biologists have a vast knowledge of many fields and require multiple lab equipment like aluminum sealing films or glass wear, so head over to our website to see for yourself.