Mutations Are Sexy

Don’t mind me, I’m just going to ramble on about science for a couple of hundred words, if it serves no purpose other than to refresh my memory of topics I’m likely to be tested on later on in my course then that’s at least something I’ve gained by shoving a combination of facts and musings in your collective faces.

So let’s carry on from where I was last time… the X-men thing…

On the subject once again of mutations, it’s relevant to note that the time scale for these things is pretty extraordinary.

In fact there are measures our body takes to minimise the mutations we undergo, and within asexual processes this is pretty much the golden standard. Whereas in organisms undergoing sexual reproduction the desired goal is increased variation within a species, mashing together (for lack of a better term) a combination of genes with independent mutations and characteristics.

If an organism needs to adapt quickly, say, in a hostile environment, this is a far better process to use to increase the chances that advantageous mutations will arise and therefore the populations will survive the hostile environment and pass their genes onto the next generation.

In vertebrates however, it would seem that sexual reproduction is more favourable due to longer generation times.

Say there’s about 20 years between each new generation.

Within each twenty year cycle mutations will arise that may be transferred onto the next generation.

However, generation times for say, bacteria are very short, hence why you can look at your week old chocolate mousse and see that from an invisible few microorganisms a population has grown to the point where you can actually see the colony as a visible feature.

Now I’m sure that example may not have served those of you who are eating very well, but I don’t cater to the needs of everyone.


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