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English Dictionary      examples: 'day', 'get rid of', 'New York Bay'

Mutation   Listen
mutation  n.  
Change; alteration, either in form or qualities. "The vicissitude or mutations in the superior globe are no fit matter for this present argument."
(Biol.) Gradual definitely tending variation, such as may be observed in a group of organisms in the fossils of successive geological levels.
As now employed (first by de Vries), a cellular process resulting in a sudden inheritable variation (the offspring differing from its parents in some well-marked character or characters) as distinguished from a gradual variation in which the new characters become fully developed only in the course of many generations. The occurrence of mutations, the selection of strains carrying mutations permitting enhanced survival under prevailing conditions, and the mechanism of hereditary of the characters so appearing, are well-established facts; whether and to what extent the mutation process has played the most important part in the evolution of the existing species and other groups of organisms is an unresolved question.
The result of the above process; a suddenly produced variation. Note: Mutations can occur by a change in the fundamental coding sequence of the hereditary material, which in most organisms is DNA, but in some viruses is RNA. It can also occur by rearrangement of an organism's chromosomes. Specific mutations due to a change in DNA sequence have been recognized as causing certain specific hereditary diseases. Certain processes which produce variation in the genotype of an organism, such as sexual mixing of chromosomes in offspring, or artificially induced recombination or introduction of novel genetic material into an organism, are not referred to as mutation.
(Biol.) A variant strain of an organism in which the hereditary variant property is caused by a mutation (3).

Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48

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"Mutation" Quotes from Famous Books

... rising people, whom they too often shock by their vices and oppress by their crimes. We submit, sir, to your humanity as a British fellow subject, and to your discretion as a christian magistrate, the case of this country. In the mutation of human affairs, the arm of oppression, which has smitten us with desolation, may strike at your social well-being. Communities allied by blood, language, and commerce, cannot long suffer alone. We conjure you, therefore, by the unity of colonial interests—as well as by the obligations which ...
— The History of Tasmania, Volume I (of 2) • John West

... good grace set vpon wordes, speaches and sentences to some purpose and not in vaine, giuing them ornament or efficacie by many maner of alterations in shape, in sounde, and also in sence, sometime by way of surplusage, sometime by defect, sometime by disorder, or mutation, & also by putting into our speaches more pithe and substance, subtilitie, quicknesse, efficacie or moderation, in this or that sort tuning and tempring them, by amplification, abridgement, opening, closing, enforcing, meekening, or ...
— The Arte of English Poesie • George Puttenham

... inhabit this planet. This vegetal growth is a flora that knows not bloom or seed, but is propagated by root and spores, a flora most primitive in type, but which will in time evolve through the law of mutation and adaptation into a diversified and useful vegetal kingdom for the races yet to ...
— The Planet Mars and its Inhabitants - A Psychic Revelation • Eros Urides and J. L. Kennon

... a trait which both parents possess, than with one that only one parent possesses. "Among the traits which have been said to occur in some such direct hereditary way," H. L. Hollingworth[164] observes, "or as the result of unexplained mutation or deviation from type, are: mathematical aptitude, ability in drawing,[165] musical composition,[166] singing, poetic reaction, military strategy, chess playing. Pitch discrimination seems to depend on structural factors which are not susceptible of ...
— Applied Eugenics • Paul Popenoe and Roswell Hill Johnson

... to the clouds.' Strange that God's fixed faithfulness should be compared to the very emblems of mutation. The clouds are unstable, they whirl and melt and change. Strange to think of the unalterable faithfulness as reaching to them! May it not be that the very mutability of the mutable may be the means of manifesting the unalterable ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... to Nobility, adding that word "descent." For it is impossible by process of Time to come to the generation of Nobility in this way of theirs, which declares it to be impossible for the humble peasant to become Noble by any work that he may do, or through any accident; and declares the mutation of a peasant father into a Noble son to be impossible. For if the son of the peasant is also a peasant, and his son again is also a peasant, and so always, it will never be possible to discover the place where Nobility can begin to be established by ...
— The Banquet (Il Convito) • Dante Alighieri

... between the living and extinct inhabitants of the world, and at each successive period between the extinct and still older species, why is not every geological formation charged with such links? Why does not every collection of fossil remains afford plain evidence of the gradation and mutation of the forms of life? Although geological research has undoubtedly revealed the former existence of many links, bringing numerous forms of life much closer together, it does not yield the infinitely ...
— On the Origin of Species - 6th Edition • Charles Darwin

... way in which one species originates from another has not been adequately explained. The current belief assumes that species are slowly changed into new types. In contradiction to this conception the theory of mutation assumes that new species and varieties are produced from existing forms by sudden leaps. The parent-type itself remains unchanged throughout this process, and may repeatedly give birth to new forms. These may arise simultaneously and in groups or separately ...
— Species and Varieties, Their Origin by Mutation • Hugo DeVries

... His phansie of ecliptica media or his via regia of the sun, vnto wch the walke of al the other planets is obliqj more or lesse; even the ecliptica uera under wch the earth walkes his yeares journie; by wch he solues handsomelie the mutation of the starres latitudes. Indeed I am much delighted with his booke, but he is so tough in rnanie places as I cannot bite him. I pray write me some instructions in your next, how I may deale with him to ouermaster him for I am readie to take paines, te ...
— Thomas Hariot • Henry Stevens

... that a Liberal candidate had scored an unprecedented proportion of votes. Welwyn-Baker sat on, stolidly oblivious of the change that was affecting his constituency, denying indeed the possibility of mutation in human things. Yet even now the Literary Institute was passing into the hands of people who aimed at making it something more than a place where retired tradesmen could play draughts and doze over Good Words; already had offensive ...
— Denzil Quarrier • George Gissing

... character either of a steady Royalist or of a steady Republican. One who, in such an age, is determined to attain civil greatness must renounce all thoughts of consistency. Instead of affecting immutability in the midst of endless mutation, he must be always on the watch for the indications of a coming reaction. He must seize the exact moment for deserting a falling cause. Having gone all lengths with a faction while it was uppermost, he must suddenly extricate himself from it ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 1 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... and this, because it is dictated by the present frame of my spirit, and is therefore that in which the powers my nature has entailed upon me may be most fully manifested. In addition to which we are to consider, that a certain variety and mutation of employments is best adapted to humanity. When my mind or my body seems to be overwrought by one species of occupation, the substitution of another will often impart to me new life, and make me feel as fresh as if no labour had before engaged me. For all these reasons it is to be desired, ...
— Thoughts on Man - His Nature, Productions and Discoveries, Interspersed with - Some Particulars Respecting the Author • William Godwin

... the world arises from the instability and mutation of human affairs, as well as from the comparative insignificance of all its best enjoyments. We say, "What a large estate does that distinguished personage possess!"—vain word and false—he is only a tenant for a day—to-morrow ...
— Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. I • Francis Augustus Cox

... straggling street, but those who wore them generally lacked the grim virtue of the old pioneers, and the fairer faces that were to be seen were generally rouged. There was a year or two of this kind of mutation, in which the youthful barbarism of Rough and Ready might have been said to struggle with adult civilized wickedness, and then the name itself disappeared. By an Act of the Legislature the growing town was called "Atherly," after the owner of the ...
— Tales of Trail and Town • Bret Harte

... ascend to that sphere which influences and governs everything below, or that the proper abode of beings at once so illustrious and permanent should be in that part of Nature in which they had always observed the greatest splendor and the least mutation. But on ordinary occasions it was natural some should imagine that the dead retired into a remote country, separated from the living by seas or mountains. It was natural that some should follow their imagination with a ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. VII. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... and a branch of the Pazzi that of Accorri. Sometimes they took their new name from a place or circumstance calculated to preserve the memory of their origin; thus the Agolanti designated themselves Fiesolani, the Bostichi from the antiquity of their stock, Buonantichi. In mutation of arms a similar object was borne in mind. Thus the Buondelmonti simply added to their ancient bearings a mountain az. and a cross gu. The Baccelli, who were a branch of the Mazzinghi, replaced the three perpendicular clubs, the ancient ensigns of the family, ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 74, March 29, 1851 • Various

... I have described be the most desirable state of society or no, it is certain that it can not continue. Mutation and progress is the condition of human affairs. Though retarded for a time by extraneous or accidental circumstances, the wheel must roll on. The tendency of population is to become crowded, increasing the difficulty of obtaining subsistence. There will be some without any property except the ...
— Cotton is King and The Pro-Slavery Arguments • Various

... the prince, allow two hours to your dinner, and two hours in the projecting where to get one, you have still a fair time to yourself, and one half hour in a week, without question, to tell me that you are alive, and that in this dismal time of mutation, you are so far from change, that you continue even the ...
— Microcosmography - or, a Piece of the World Discovered; in Essays and Characters • John Earle

Words linked to "Mutation" :   gene mutation, being, deletion, genetics, modification, genetic science, monster, point mutation, biology, freak, mutate, biological science, mutagenesis, sport, mutant, mutational, lusus naturae, genetic mutation, saltation, variation, inversion, reversion

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