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The origin of mutants

Nature volume 335, pages 142145 (08 September 1988) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Nucleic acids are replicated with conspicuous fidelity. Infrequently, however, they undergo changes in sequence, and this process of change (mutation) generates the variability that allows evolution. As the result of studies of bacterial variation, it is now widely believed that mutations arise continuously and without any consideration for their utility. In this paper, we briefly review the source of this idea and then describe some experiments suggesting that cells may have mechanisms for choosing which mutations will occur.

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Affiliations

  1. Department of Cancer Biology, Harvard School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA

    • John Cairns
    • , Julie Overbaugh
    •  & Stephan Miller

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/335142a0

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