mutation

noun
mu·ta·tion | \ myü-ˈtā-shən \

Definition of mutation 

1 : a significant and basic alteration : change

2 : umlaut

3a : a relatively permanent change in hereditary material that involves either a change in chromosome structure or number (as in translocation, deletion, duplication, or polyploidy) or a change in the nucleotide sequence of a gene's codons (as in frameshift or missense errors) and that occurs either in germ cells or in somatic cells but with only those in germ cells being capable of perpetuation by sexual reproduction Mutations known to cause disease have been identified in approximately 1000 genes. —Alan E. Guttmacher and Francis S. Collins also : the process of producing a mutation Microorganisms have been used extensively to study mutation —George A. Wistreich et al.

b : an individual, strain, or trait resulting from mutation The worst E. coli bacterium, E. coli 0157:H, a mutation discovered in 1982 that has at least sixty-two subtypes, causes hemorrhagic colitis … —Wayne Biddle

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Other words from mutation

mutational \-shnəl, -shə-nᵊl \ adjective
mutationally adverb

Examples of mutation in a Sentence

The cat's short tail is the result of mutation. The condition is caused by a genetic mutation. The cat's short tail is the result of a mutation. The building is a mutation of the original design.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Spinal Muscular Atrophy occurs because of mutations in a gene that produces muscle-building proteins. Naseem S. Miller, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Spinal Muscular Atrophy added to national newborn screening panel," 10 July 2018 One aims to identify 25 hereditary cancers by looking for mutations in 98 genes. Claire Altschuler, chicagotribune.com, "Ditching the doctor? What to know about home health tests before trying them," 27 June 2018 Immunotherapy harnesses patients’ own immune systems to attack mutations in cancer. Thomas M. Burton, WSJ, "Novel Immunotherapy Method Led to Complete Regression of Breast Cancer in Patient," 4 June 2018 Genetic mutations in cells are cancer's trigger, causing those cells to grow out of control. Jonathan Lapook, CBS News, "Groundbreaking treatment saves life of woman with late-stage breast cancer," 4 June 2018 Instead of another surgery, among the medical option was a tablet containing an inhibitor based on a specific mutation in her tumor. Nancy Dahlberg, miamiherald, "Brain cancer treatments showing promise with targeted therapies. 'Very exciting stuff.' | Miami Herald," 25 May 2018 Studies on twins showed that, where both suffered from ALL, the cause could often be traced back to a mutation in just one. The Economist, "Germ-free children may be more prone to leukaemia," 24 May 2018 Moreover, infants at high risk of allergy, due to a mutation in a gene for their skin barrier, are more likely to become allergic if their homes contain high levels of peanut dust. Amber Dance, Washington Post, "Peanut allergy is one of the most severe food allergies. New therapies might help.," 12 May 2018 The best hope for that, at the moment, rests on a combination of vaccines to protect the uninfected and antiviral drugs to treat the infected, but the wrong mutation in the virus’ genome could render those weapons useless. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Genghis Khan’s Mongol horde probably had rampant Hepatitis B," 11 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mutation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of mutation

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for mutation

Last Updated

8 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for mutation

The first known use of mutation was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for mutation

mutation

noun
mu·ta·tion | \ myü-ˈtā-shən \

Kids Definition of mutation

: a change in a gene or the resulting new trait it produces in an individual

mutation

noun
mu·ta·tion | \ myü-ˈtā-shən \

Medical Definition of mutation 

1 : a relatively permanent change in hereditary material that involves either a change in chromosome structure or number (as in translocation, deletion, duplication, or polyploidy) or a change in the nucleotide sequence of a gene's codons (as in frameshift or missense errors) and occurs either in germ cells or in somatic cells but with only those in germ cells being capable of perpetuation by sexual reproduction also : the process of producing a mutation

2 : an individual, strain, or trait resulting from mutation

Other words from mutation

mutational \-shnəl, -shən-ᵊl \ adjective
mutationally \ \ adverb

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