Ch 48: Genetic Variability & Mutation for the MCAT: Help and Review

About This Chapter

The genetic variability and mutation chapter of this MCAT Help and Review course is the simplest way to master genetics. This chapter uses simple and fun videos that are about five minutes long, plus lesson quizzes and a chapter exam to ensure students learn the essentials of genetic variability and mutation.

Who's it for?

Anyone who needs help learning or mastering MCAT material will benefit from taking this course. You will be able to grasp the subject matter faster, retain critical knowledge longer and earn higher scores. You're in the right place if you:

  • Have fallen behind in understanding the effects of mutations on DNA and protein function
  • Need an efficient way to learn about genetic variability and mutation
  • Learn best with engaging auditory and visual tools
  • Struggle with learning disabilities or learning differences, including autism and ADHD
  • Experience difficulty understanding your teachers
  • Missed class time and need to catch up
  • Can't access extra MCAT review resources at school

How it works:

  • Start at the beginning, or identify the topics that you need help with.
  • Watch and learn from fun videos, reviewing as needed.
  • Refer to the video transcripts to reinforce your learning.
  • Test your understanding of each lesson with short quizzes.
  • Submit questions to one of our instructors for personalized support if you need extra help.
  • Verify you're ready by completing the genetic variability and mutation chapter exam.

Why it works:

  • Study Efficiently: Skip what you know, review what you don't.
  • Retain What You Learn: Engaging animations and real-life examples make topics easy to grasp.
  • Be Ready on Test Day: Use the genetic variability and mutation chapter exam to be prepared.
  • Get Extra Support: Ask our subject-matter experts any genetic variability and mutation question. They're here to help!
  • Study With Flexibility: Watch videos on any web-ready device.

Students will review:

In this chapter, you'll learn the answer to questions including:

  • What are the differences between mitosis and meiosis?
  • What is the chromosome theory of inheritance?
  • How does the environment affect mutation rates?
  • What are the effects of frameshift mutations?
  • What are missense, nonsense and silent mutations?
  • What are some genetic risk factors for cancer?
  • How can chromosomal rearrangements occur?
  • Can random mutation be beneficial?
  • What are some inborn errors of metabolism?

14 Lessons in Chapter 48: Genetic Variability & Mutation for the MCAT: Help and Review
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Chromosome Theory of Inheritance: Segregation and Independent Assortment

1. The Chromosome Theory of Inheritance: Segregation and Independent Assortment

The chromosome theory of inheritance is an expansion of the laws of segregation and independent assortment by an 18th-century monk named Gregor Mendel. Explore Mendel's laws and learn about Boveri and Sutton who were two scientists who are credited with extending Mendel's chromosome theory of inheritance.

Sex Determination, X-Inactivation, and Barr Bodies

2. Sex Determination, X-Inactivation, and Barr Bodies

The determination of the sex of a human occurs at conception. Explore how sex is determined, X-inactivation, and how Barr bodies play a role in sex determination.

Mutagens: How the Environment Affects Mutation Rates

3. Mutagens: How the Environment Affects Mutation Rates

Mutations are caused by environmental agents called mutagens. Explore how mutations are formed, the role of DNA polymerase in preventing mutations, and how mutations affect the real world.

Effects of Frameshift Mutations: Definitions and Examples

4. Effects of Frameshift Mutations: Definitions and Examples

Frameshift mutations happen when a protein is drastically changed because of an insertion or a deletion. Review the different types of mutations, the codon reading frame, and how damaging frameshift mutations really are.

Effects of Mutations on Protein Function: Missense, Nonsense, and Silent Mutations

5. Effects of Mutations on Protein Function: Missense, Nonsense, and Silent Mutations

Proteins are vital for healthy cells, and protein function can be negatively affected by point mutations. Learn about missense, nonsense, and silent mutations and understand the effects mutations have on the function of proteins.

What is a Point Mutation? - Definition, Causes & Types

6. What is a Point Mutation? - Definition, Causes & Types

Point mutations are changes to the genetic sequence where a single nucleotide base is changed, inserted, or deleted. Explore the definition and causes of point mutations and discover the difference between the two basic types: base substitutions and insertion and deletion.

Cancer Syndromes & Genetic Risk Factors for Cancer

7. Cancer Syndromes & Genetic Risk Factors for Cancer

Cancer syndrome is a condition where genetic mutations that increase the risk of cancer are inherited. Explore what cancer syndrome is and its role in cancer at a young age, discover some clues to help detect if cancer developed due to this condition, and take a look at the genetic risk factors.

Genetic Variability and Random Mutation

8. Genetic Variability and Random Mutation

Genetic variability refers to dissimilarities, such as brown eyes vs. blue eyes, that happen naturally among the members of a population, and random mutation refers to dissimilarities that happen when DNA is altered. Explore genetic variability and random mutation, and understand how they factor into the evolution that occurs within populations. Understand how genetic variation differs from genetic variability.

How Meiosis & Fertilization Promote Genetic Variation

9. How Meiosis & Fertilization Promote Genetic Variation

Meiosis and fertilization work together to create a unique set of genetic information from person to person. Explore how meiosis reduces chromosomes to create genetic variation, aided by unique genetic combinations created through fertilization and crossing over.

Cytoplasmic & Mitochondrial Inheritance: Types & Impacts

10. Cytoplasmic & Mitochondrial Inheritance: Types & Impacts

There are different types of cytoplasmic and mitochondrial inheritance, and they impose various impacts on offspring. Discover what extranuclear inheritance, vegetative segregation, uniparental inheritance, and biparental inheritance are.

Chromosomal Rearrangement

11. Chromosomal Rearrangement

Chromosomal rearrangement is the reorganization of a chromosome's structure and is considered an abnormality. Explore the chromosomal rearrangements of deletions, duplications, inversions, and translocations.

What Are Inborn Errors of Metabolism?

12. What Are Inborn Errors of Metabolism?

Metabolism is the process that converts digested food into energy for the body. Learn about inborn errors of metabolism (IEM) and how these affect this process. Recognize the role of inheritance in IEMs, and explore common disorders caused by IEMs, including phenylketonuria.

Genetic Drift: Definition, Examples & Types

13. Genetic Drift: Definition, Examples & Types

Genetic drift happens when chance events cause changes in the genetic variations of a population. Examine the definition and learn the types of genetic drift. See examples of population bottlenecking and the founder effect.

Synapsis & Crossing Over in Meiosis

14. Synapsis & Crossing Over in Meiosis

The first stage of meiosis includes synapsis, which makes crossing over (or exchange) of genetic material possible. Learn about meiosis, synapsis, crossing over, and genetic diversity.

Chapter Practice Exam
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Practice Final Exam
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