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    Genetic variability and mutation

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    Eukaryotic cells can divide by mitosis or meiosis. In humans, mitosis produces new cells for growth and repair. And, meiosis produces sex cells (gametes), called sperm and eggs. Changes or mutations in genes in sex cells can be inherited by human offspring. Genetic variation in a population of organisms is good; however, sometimes mutations can be harmful or cause genetic disorders.
    Briefly, answer the following questions:
    1. How do meiosis and sexual reproduction (fertilization) produce offspring that differ genetically from the parents?
    2. Describe one example of a human disorder that is inherited and also describe the specific inheritance pattern. For this example, pick disorders that result from mutations in DNA or chromosome number rather than examples such as a genetic tendency for a disorder such as cancer.

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    Solution Preview

    1. During the process of meiosis homologous chromosomes replicate, pair then seggregate into 4 germ cells (in the case of human females one cell will go onto become the oocyte while all four cells in human males become sperm). An egg and a sperm then meet during the process of reproduction. Random chance governs the seggregation of chromosomes meaning that even without considering crossing over between paired chromosomes there are many different chromosomes combinations that arise in each of the daughter cells. The genetic variation is further increased when sperm and egg from different individuals meet. Contrary to mitosis in which ...

    Solution Summary

    Paragraph answers with web references to two questions about genetic variability and mutations.