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Critical Reading The chance that the random change would

improve the functioning of the car is very
small. The change is far more likely to
Name ___________________
result in a car that does not run well or
perhaps does not run at all. By the same
Class ___________________
token, any random change in a gene's
DNA is likely to result in a protein that
Section___________________
does not function normally or may not
function at all. Such mutations are likely to
Roll ___________________ be harmful. Harmful mutations may cause
genetic disorders or cancer.
Date ___________________
 A genetic disorder is a disease
Read these passages from the text and
caused by a mutation in one or a
answer the questions that follow. few genes. A human example is
cystic fibrosis. A mutation in a
Beneficial Mutations single gene causes the body to
produce thick, sticky mucus that
Some mutations have a positive effect on clogs the lungs and blocks ducts in
the organism in which they occur. They digestive organs.
are called beneficial mutations. They lead  Cancer is a disease in which cells
to new versions of proteins that help grow out of control and form
organisms adapt to changes in their abnormal masses of cells. It is
environment. Beneficial mutations are generally caused by mutations in
essential for evolution to occur. They genes that regulate the cell cycle.
increase an organism’s changes of Because of the mutations, cells
surviving or reproducing, so they are likely with damaged DNA are allowed to
to become more common over time. There divide without limits. Cancer genes
are several well-known examples of can be inherited.
beneficial mutations. Here are just two:
Questions
1. Mutations in many bacteria that
allow them to survive in the 1. What is a beneficial mutation?
presence of antibiotic drugs. The
mutations lead to antibiotic- 2. What is a harmful mutation?
resistant strains of bacteria.
2. A unique mutation is found in
3. What type of mutation can cause
people in a small town in Italy. The
cancer?
mutation protects them from
developing atherosclerosis, which
4. How can a mutation result in a genetic
is the dangerous buildup of fatty
disorder? Give an example.
materials in blood vessels. The
individual in which the mutation
5. Why are beneficial mutations essential
first appeared has even been
for evolution to occur?
identified.

Harmful Mutations

Imagine making a random change in a
complicated machine such as a car engine.
Multiple Choice 3. may not have an effect on
how the codons in mRNA
are read.
Circle the letter of the correct choice.
4. all of the above.
1. Which of the following statements
concerning mutations is correct?
1. Mutations can happen
5. Beneficial mutations
spontaneously without any
1. may only cause mild
outside influence.
genetic disorders.
2. Cigarette smoke is a
2. are silent mutations, which
significant cause of
code for the same amino
mutations.
acid.
3. Mutations may occur
3. help organisms adapt to
during DNA replication or
changes in their
transcription.
environment.
4. all of the above
4. are only caused by
beneficial mutagens, like
barbecuing and tanning.
2. Germline mutations are potentially
dangerous, as they
1. are confined to just one cell
6. A missense mutation
and its daughter cells.
1. results in a premature stop
2. can be passed on to
codon.
offspring.
2. codes for a different amino
3. can be silent mutations and
acid.
go undetected.
3. codes for the same amino
4. all of the above
acid.
4. results in a frameshift
mutation.
3. Which of the following types of
mutations can result in a genetic
disorder?
7. Chromosomal alterations include
1. a deletion
deletions and
2. an insertion
1. transfer mutations.
3. a duplication
2. doubling mutations.
4. all of the above
3. inversion mutations.
4. location mutations.

4. A frameshift mutation
1. changes the reading frame
8. Which of the following statements
of the base sequence.
are correct concerning mutations?
2. can be due to a
1. Mutations are essential for
translocation between two
evolution to occur.
chromosomes.
2. A mutation is a change in
the sequence of bases only
in DNA.
3. Most mutations have a big _____ 13. swapping of material between
effect on the organism in two non-homologous chromosomes
which they occur.
4. all of the above _____ 14. occur in gametes

Vocabulary I
Terms
Match the vocabulary word with the
proper definition.
a. cancer
Definitions
b. chromosomal alteration
_____ 1. a deletion or insertion of one or
c. deletion
more nucleotides that changes the reading
frame
d. duplication
_____ 2. removal of nucleotides or
e. frameshift mutation
removal of a segment of a chromosome
f. genetic disorder
_____ 3. doubling of a segment of a
chromosome
g. germline mutations
_____ 4. a change in the sequence of bases
h. insertion
in DNA or RNA
i. inversion
_____ 5. occur in cells other than gametes
j. mutagen
_____ 6. mutations that change
chromosome structure
k. mutation
_____ 7. adding additional nucleotides
into a chromosome l. point mutation

_____ 8. a change in a single nucleotide in m. somatic mutations
DNA
n. translocation
_____ 9. reversal of a segment of a
chromosome

_____ 10. anything in the environment that
can cause a mutation

_____ 11. caused by a mutation in one or a
few genes

_____ 12. generally caused by mutations
in genes that regulate the cell cycle
Fill in the blank with the appropriate term.

1. A change in the sequence of bases in
____________ is called a mutation.

2. A change in a single nucleotide in DNA
is a ____________.

3. Chromosomal alterations are mutations
that change ____________ structure.

4. A silent point mutation codes for the
same ____________.

5. Mutations are essential for
____________ to occur because they
increase genetic variation.

6. Neutral mutations have ____________
effect on the organism.

7. A ____________ mutation is a deletion
or insertion of one or more nucleotides that
changes the reading frame of the base
sequence.

8. ____________ mutations can be
transmitted to offspring.

9. A ____________ disorder is a disease
caused by a mutation in one or a few
genes.

10. ____________ is a disease in which
cells grow out of control.

11. ____________ mutations have a
positive effect on the organism in which
they occur.

12. ____________ smoke contains dozens
of mutagenic chemicals.