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44 votes
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How many times has SARS-CoV-2 mutated?

This question makes a number of incorrect assumptions and I don't have time to correct them. The short answer is that the virus has mutated probably hundreds of times since it entered humans in late ...
iayork's user avatar
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37 votes
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Are mutations a source of genetic variation?

Going through the possible answers (A) Rates tend to be very high in most populations. This is a very unclear statement. What does "high" mean? In humans, the average mutation rate per ...
Remi.b's user avatar
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22 votes
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Can the SARS‑CoV‑2 virus mutate in people who have been fully vaccinated?

Since vaccination is not 100% protective against infection (i.e. the virus can sometimes succeed in establishing and replicating in a vaccinated host's body), the answer is yes. Furthermore, since ...
Ben Bolker's user avatar
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18 votes
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How do we explain the white feathers of an albino peacock?

The surface structuresa that are responsible for the structural coloration of peacock feathers are actually barbules and rods made of the very same biopolymer that is responsible for pigmentation in ...
adjan's user avatar
  • 2,106
13 votes

Are all carcinogens mutagens?

How can a non-mutagenic agent be carcinogenic? An agent that causes overexpression of oncogenes or inhibition of tumor suppressors, would be carcinogenic but not mutagenic. HPV, for instance, produces ...
WYSIWYG's user avatar
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13 votes
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Do mutations occur while growing virus for preparing inactivated viral vaccine?

Very simply, mutations do occur, as they do for any cultured organism. This is a well recognized problem in many fields of biology where organisms are cultured and remains in particular a problem for ...
bob1's user avatar
  • 12.5k
12 votes

Are all carcinogens mutagens?

Alcohol itself is non-mutagenic because it does not directly alter DNA. (Additionally ethanol enhances carcinogenesis and is itself not a carcinogen - updated) There are similar non-mutagenic ...
Asad Yamin's user avatar
11 votes

Has a beneficial mutation ever been documented?

The answer depends on what you mean by "observed". Bacteria acquire antibiotic resistance genes all the time, for example. This happens 'in the wild', but you can see in the lab that bacteria can ...
Joe Healey's user avatar
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11 votes
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Are mutations random?

Short answer The claim is unclear but is essentially misleading and wrong. However, IMO, for lay people, it is a good approximation to just think that mutations are random! Here, on Understanding ...
Remi.b's user avatar
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10 votes
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Saturated Mutagenesis Screening

This sort of method is indeed quite useful and frequently used in synthetic biology: I've used a similar approach before to generate 5' insulators for promoters. Calculating the exact theoretical ...
jakebeal's user avatar
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9 votes
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How close genetically is the most human-like chimpanzee to the most chimp-like human?

You may be interested in this 2005 Nature paper from the Chimpanzee Sequencing and Analysis Consortium: Initial sequence of the chimpanzee genome and comparison with the human genome. It breaks down ...
leekaiinthesky's user avatar
8 votes
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Isn't biological immortality strictly speaking impossible?

Good question. There are many organisms that are technically biologically immortal. However, I would like to point out that the definition of biological immortality is this: ...cells that are not ...
CDB's user avatar
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8 votes
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Are four-leaf clovers mutations, developmental errors, or something more complicated?

A recessive gene for four leaves has been identified (Tashiro et al., 2010). The clover is a tetraploid species and together with the fact that environmental conditions may also suppress the ...
AliceD's user avatar
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8 votes

Is it plausible that strict lockdowns made it more likely for the new variant of COVID to have emerged?

While I get your intuition, the hypothesis seems implausible Emerge of new CoV variants should be considered proportional to the current spread of the virus. Each virus has a certain mutation rate ...
KaPy3141's user avatar
  • 1,597
8 votes

Amino Acid mutation profile for human coronavirus: Why is the mutation from T to I so frequent?

The change from C to T (or U in the case of RNA) can happen via the oxidation and deamination of the Cytosine (see reference 1 for the explanation of the mechanism). The mechanisms looks like the ...
Chris's user avatar
  • 51.7k
7 votes

Why is mutation rate high in introns?

Not less efficient, but introns are under less selective pressure than exons. Exons actually encode the protein. A single bp insertion will ruin a mRNA encoding a protein by causing a frame shift in ...
JayCkat's user avatar
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7 votes
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Has a beneficial mutation ever been documented?

Lactase persistence This is a somewhat unusual example but has been well studied, and would seem to satisfy the criteria of the question. Let me start by quoting the Wikipedia entry for those ...
David's user avatar
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7 votes
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Do organisms have a mechanism to control how fast mutations occur?

The ability of a population to respond to environmental change through evolution occurs over generations, and so the generation time of an organism has to be less than the time scale of the ...
canadianer's user avatar
  • 17.8k
7 votes

Are STOP codons impacted by base insertion or deletion mutation?

Yes. Mutations can affect STOP codons and they do relatively commonly. These are important because they can lead to significant changes in the resulting peptide and are likely to affect protein ...
Tom Kelly's user avatar
  • 420
7 votes

Is it plausible that strict lockdowns made it more likely for the new variant of COVID to have emerged?

This is more plausible (second point below) and less plausible (third point below). Selective advantage The emergence of a new strain of a virus relates to the selective advantage (Gordo 2009). This ...
Sextus Empiricus's user avatar
7 votes

How exactly do mutations cause genetic variation in bilaterians?

For example, does the mutation need to occur in the DNA of either the specific sperm or the specific egg that gave rise to you? To give rise to heritable genetic variation in the sense that it's a ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
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6 votes

How close genetically is the most human-like chimpanzee to the most chimp-like human?

The answer given by leekaiinthesky and partially in the comments on the question give a good general picture. I also think that the variation within the respective species is way less than between the ...
AlexDeLarge's user avatar
  • 2,868
6 votes

How to find mutations related to disease for a protein?

I think I understand what you are asking so I will make a little guide to find what you need: NOTE the mutations you are searching for are probably on gene level so you can search your protein on ...
KingBoomie's user avatar
  • 2,390
6 votes
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Why do mutations not take place in mRNA of higher eukaryotes?

The premise of the questions suggests that mutations cannot take place in the mRNAs of higher eukaryotes. To answer your question I think it is important to consider two viewpoints: First, from a ...
Dr. H. Lecter's user avatar
6 votes

Whether de novo mutation can be inherited or not?

De novo mutations can be inherited if they occur in the germline cells, those responsible for making the sperm or the egg. If you have a de novo mutation in a blood cell or a skin cell, this doesn't ...
S Pr's user avatar
  • 6,272
6 votes
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What is the probablity that SARS-CoV-2 will mutate?

I don't see how you want to prevent mutations - and these don't have to be a bad thing as the mutation of SARS (the original one from 2003) shows, here the mutation (or better the deletion of a part ...
Chris's user avatar
  • 51.7k
5 votes

Genetic mutations and new alleles

So the term allele is a broad one, and simply refers to the different versions of any piece of DNA in circulation in the gene pool - it doesn't need to refer to a gene. I can talk about the alleles at ...
Dermot Harnett's user avatar
5 votes

Cancer biology: Can tumors form from cells that are genetically identical to non-cancerous cells?

This is a very interesting question, and one that has been at the heart of cancer research for a long time. I think it separates into three issues. Are there non-genetic mechanisms that can induce ...
Roland's user avatar
  • 5,725
5 votes

Mutations, Death and the theory of Evolution

Introduction Welcome to Biology.SE. Please see my comment for issues relating the form of your question. Below my answers are very short as it would take too long to give complete answer. I just ...
Remi.b's user avatar
  • 68.2k

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