Mutations and Antibiotic Resistance

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Mutations – changes to the genetic code. They change the sequence of DNA bases which could stop the production of a protein, or it might mean that a different protein is produced instead. This can lead to new characteristics, increasing variation.

  • They can happen spontaneously – when a chromosome doesn’t copy itself properly
  • But the chance of mutation is increased by exposing yourself to:

1)     Ionising radiation, e.g. X-rays, gamma rays or ultraviolet light

2)     Chemicals called mutagens, e.g. chemicals in tobacco

(If the mutations cause cancer then…

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