DNA is any change in the DNA

DNA is key to life, it’s what makes an individual special. DNA is what gives the necessary traits that makes us who we are and connects us to family by biological similarities because we receive half of our genes from both mother and father. However, over the years we come to understand that DNA is both a blessing and a curse, we use genes in order to create vaccines that can prolong our life by eliminating viruses. However, there have been accounts of sudden abnormalities in our genes that result in life changing and/or life-threatening diseases which is caused by DNA mutation.A mutation is any change in the DNA sequence of a cell, mutations may be caused by mistakes during cell division, or caused by exposure to DNA-damaging agents in the environment (NIH). Mutations can be harmful, beneficial, or have no effect. If they occur in cells that make eggs or sperm, they can be inherited; if mutations occur in other types of cells, they are not inherited. There are two classes of mutation which are point and frameshift mutation. When referring to the class of point mutation, there are three types: Silent, Missense and Nonsense. Silent Mutation are mutations that result in a codon that codes for a specific amino acid, but there is no significant to the protein production. Missense mutation results in a codon that codes for a different amino acid which causes the change of a protein with an altered amino acid sequence during translation. Nonsense mutation results in a codon that does not code for an amino acid and leads to an unfinished protein product. The second class of mutation, Frameshift mutation, leads to changes the reading frame of the codons in the mRNA caused by the insertion or deletion of base pairs. Having to deal with mutation, you have to start from the source, meaning having to find what cause the change in the first place and gives scientists the upper hand in treating and preventing diseases.Stated in the research article Assessing Health Risks from Multiple Environmental Stressors: Moving from G x E to I x E, McHale and fellow authors came to the conclusion that researching the causes of disease isolates the effects of individual genes and environmental factors. “A disease rarely results from a single factor, and instead results from a broader combination of factors, characterized as intrinsic and extrinsic factors (McHale et al 2017).” Severity of an individual’s disease depends to some extent the factors that contributed to the change in the DNA, some intrinsic factors that play a role in DNA mutation includes, initial genome sex, nutritional status, mental health, immune status and hormone levels. Extrinsic factors that we know well enough are consumer products, smoking, radiation, infections and medications. One of the most difficult and highly researched diseases that is caused by a mutation is the Sickle Cell disease. Sickle Cell Disease is a genetic disease, common among people of African descent. A person with sickle cell has blood cells that are moon crescent shaped and lack the ability to carry oxygen in the blood like normal blood cells. Sickle Cell disease is a good example of point mutation, resulting from a change in one of the nucleotide in the gene for hemoglobin, the mutation causes the hemoglobin in red blood cells to distort a sickle shape when deoxygenated. In order to have sickle cell, there must be more than one copy of the mutated gene, however, one copy does not but it does protect against, proving that mutations can also, be beneficial. Other mutations like sickle cell anemia include, cystic fibrosis, Tay-Sachs, phenylketonuria and color-blindness that resulted from point mutation. Works CitedMcHale Cliona, Osborne Gwendolyn, Morello-Frosch Rachel, Salmon Andrew, Sandy Martha, Solomon Gina, Zhang Louping, Smith Martyn, and Zeise Lauren. “Assessing Health Risks from Multiple Environmental Stressors: Moving from G x E to I x E.” Mutation Research/Reviews in Mutation Research 775 (November 24, 2017): 11–20. https://ac.els-cdn.com/S1383574217300698/1-s2.0-S1383574217300698-main.pdf?_tid=674ae9a6-e12a-11e7-a303-00000aacb35d&acdnat=1513295969_771431fecf1bc5b3928a5c0d94c8e69a”NIH.” National Cancer Institute, https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms?cdrid=46063.


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