Gene mutations happen:
a) Twice as often in egg cells than sperm cells b) Twice as often in sperm cells than egg cells c) At the same rate in both types of cells d) The sex germ cells are not related to mutation
Gene mutations are mistakes in the DNA structure. Mutations can affect entire chromosomes, genes, or just single nucleotides. They can be inherited or acquired throughout a person's lifetime through things such as exposure to environmental factors such as radiation. Inherited mutations are twice as likely to happen in sperm cells than in egg cells. Researchers are not sure why but one theory is that more cell division is required to create sperm cells than egg cells, which increases the chance of mutation. Mutations can cause anything from rare diseases to variations in eye colour or resistance and susceptibility to disease. If these variations are passed down through subsequent generations and become common in a population, they are called polymorphisms. For example, 45 per cent of variations in height are thought to be caused by single-nucleotide polymorphisms - SNPs or snips in genetics lingo.