mutation

Definition / meaning of mutation

Any change in the DNA of a cell. Mutations may be caused by mistakes during cell division, or they may be caused by exposure to DNA-damaging agents in the environment. 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. Certain mutations may lead to cancer or other diseases.

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Find More About 'mutation'

Source(s):

The Web site of the National Cancer Institute (http://www.cancer.gov/)

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