JIM DOWDALLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JIM DOWDALLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cellular DNA mutation, computer artwork. DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) consists of two strands of sugar phosphates that form the double helix that is seen here. The strands are held together by interactions between nucleotide bases (horizontal bars) on each strand. DNA is found in cell nuclei (one at lower left, purple), from which it emerges during replication for cellular reproduction. It is at this stage that mutations can occur. Each side of the strand is a complementary copy of the other side, but errors (yellow) in the replication process produce a different sequence of nucleotide bases on the DNA strand. This leads to different characteristics in the organism: a mutation.
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