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Biology: Genetic Mutation: Insertion and Deletion


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About this Lesson

  • Type: Video Tutorial
  • Length: 4:38
  • Media: Video/mp4
  • Use: Watch Online & Download
  • Access Period: Unrestricted
  • Download: MP4 (iPod compatible)
  • Size: 49 MB
  • Posted: 07/01/2009

This lesson is part of the following series:

Biology Course (390 lessons, $198.00)
Biology: Mendelian Genetics and Mutation (36 lessons, $54.45)
Biology: Genetic Mutation (4 lessons, $6.93)

Taught by Professor George Wolfe, this lesson was selected from a broader, comprehensive course, Biology. This course and others are available from Thinkwell, Inc. The full course can be found at The full course covers evolution, ecology, inorganic and organic chemistry, cell biology, respiration, molecular genetics, photosynthesis, biotechnology, cell reproduction, Mendelian genetics and mutation, population genetics and mutation, animal systems and homeostasis, evolution of life on earth, and plant systems and homeostasis.

George Wolfe brings 30+ years of teaching and curriculum writing experience to Thinkwell Biology. His teaching career started in Zaire, Africa where he taught Biology, Chemistry, Political Economics, and Physical Education in the Peace Corps. Since then, he's taught in the Western NY region, spending the last 20 years in the Rochester City School District where he is the Director of the Loudoun Academy of Science. Besides his teaching career, Mr. Wolfe has also been an Emmy-winning television host, fielding live questions for the PBS/WXXI production of Homework Hotline as well as writing and performing in "Football Physics" segments for the Buffalo Bills and the Discover Channel. His contributions to education have been extensive, serving on multiple advisory boards including the Cornell Institute of Physics Teachers, the Cornell Institute of Biology Teachers and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics SportSmarts curriculum project. He has authored several publications including "The Nasonia Project", a lab series built around the genetics and behaviors of a parasitic wasp. He has received numerous awards throughout his teaching career including the NSTA Presidential Excellence Award, The National Association of Biology Teachers Outstanding Biology Teacher Award for New York State, The Shell Award for Outstanding Science Educator, and was recently inducted in the National Teaching Hall of Fame.

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Here's an example of a genetic mutation that can cause unbelievable destruction to a protein. And it's called an insertion or a deletion. I just want to spend a few moments talking about these because this is not going to take a long time. This is going to be so obvious to you what this does.
What it does, in essence, is caused something called a frame shift. The best way I can show you this - let's forget about DNA for a minute and let's make up a three-letter sentence with words with three letters in it. Why am I saying that? Well DNA makes RNA and RNA is red in the ribosomes in three letter codings. So let's take a look at what a disaster something like a three - when you insert something into a three-letter sequence what can happen. Let's make up a sentence here. I'm going to try to keep it in three letters - The dog ate the boy. Well, maybe in this case the frame shift mutation won't be so bad. Let's see what happens here with the dog ate the boy.
What we are going to do is we're going to add a letter. We're going to insert a letter. Here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to insert a letter here. Now let's see what that does to my - I'll make it even more severe - let's insert it right here so it messes it up from the beginning, the very first eventual read. Well, let's look at that. We have a new sentence here. "Though edo gat feboy" why? So, look what we've done. We've shifted our frame over so now we're talking nonsense - though edo gat feboy - that's just not going to work. And if I say that to you there is no communication. So, if all of sudden, this particular DNA sequence gets a nucleotide in there we're dead.
Let's do the same thing and delete this time. So let's delete D. So, it starts out okay we get our first amino acid "the," but the what? The OGA TET HEB OY so the OGA TET HEB OY is nothing like the boy ate the dog or the dog ate the boy in this case. So the point here is this, that what we have is this whole idea of shifting the frame over, and on a serious note, remember that this in DNA. So, once again, if we look at this in DNA and we look at a group of what are going to be sometimes eventually transcribe into codons, and this is going to become an MRNA UUUCGCAAU and, all of sudden we went and put in a new nucleotides say right here and put a T in there, and therefore, added another A, all of a sudden we have a complete frame shift. And so now, we're no longer going to read this as UUUCGC we are now going to read it as UUUACG, and what's that going to do. Back to my genetic code. Well, let's look. UUU is fine, but let's look at CGC - remember this is MRNA. CGC is going to give me arginine, right? But, look what I did I made it ACG - ACG is going to give me threonine. And from hereon every amino acid is going to off. This protein has no chance of survival.
Mendelian Genetics and Mutation
Genetic Mutation
Genetic Mutation: Insertion and Deletion Page [1 of 1]

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