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Natural Health Glossary
Medical Terms, Therapies, Accreditation

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mutagen (antimutagenic)
Mutagens are agents (physical or environmental) that can induce a genetic mutation (a permanent genetic change in a cell) or can increase the rate of mutation. Common mutagens include UV radiation, ethyl bromide and 5-Bromouracil. Compare with teratogen.

Antimutagenic agents inhibit mutations.

Mutations may be caused by mistakes during cell division, or by exposure to DNA-damaging agents in the environment. Mutations can be harmful, beneficial, or have no effect.

When they occur in cells that make eggs or sperm, they can be inherited; if mutations occur in other types of cells, they are not inherited. Certain mutations may lead to cancer or other diseases.

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