Mutations and SNPs
Last Updated on Saturday, 25 December 2010 09:51
What is a gene mutation and what are SNPs?
This article could help understand a concept of a SNP. This is an excerpt only, a complete article could be found here.
"Although many SNPs do not produce physical changes in people, scientists believe that other SNPs may predispose people to disease and even influence their response to drug regimens.
A Single Nucleotide Polymorphism, or SNP (pronounced "snip"), is a small genetic change, or variation, that can occur within a person's DNA sequence. The genetic code is specified by the four nucleotide "letters" A (adenine), C (cytosine), T (thymine), and G (guanine). SNP variation occurs when a single nucleotide, such as an A, replaces one of the other three nucleotide letters—C, G, or T.
An example of a SNP is the alteration of the DNA segment AAGGTTA to ATGGTTA, where the second "A" in the first snippet is replaced with a "T". On average, SNPs occur in the human population more than 1 percent of the time. Because only about 3 to 5 percent of a person's DNA sequence codes for the production of proteins, most SNPs are found outside of "coding sequences". SNPs found within a coding sequence are of particular interest to researchers because they are more likely to alter the biological function of a protein. Because of the recent advances in technology, coupled with the unique ability of these genetic variations to facilitate gene identification, there has been a recent flurry of SNP discovery and detection."