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DESIGN CELLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DESIGN CELLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Animation of a strand of ribonucleic acid (RNA) with one of its bases undergoing a point mutation. RNA is the intermediary between DNA and proteins, being produced from the DNA that stores an organism's genome, and being read by ribosomes to produce proteins. Occasionally mutations occur, where one of the coding bases (coloured rods) is replaced by another, shown by the yellow to green change here. This changes the base sequence and can lead to incorrect proteins being produced. This can have a variety of positive or negative effects, from causing genetic disease to confering immunity to pathogens or toxins. Such mutations are an important driver of evolution.
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