☀️ Mutagens, carcinogens and oncogenes

Mutagens and carcinogens


Mutagens are things that can cause mutations in DNA, whether at the base level or chromosome level. Many DNA mutations are the cause of cancer, therefore mutagens can be expected to also be carcinogens (things that can cause cancer).


These factors can be physical, such as UV radiation from the Sun or the radioactivity of certain chemicals such as carbon 14 (14C). They can also be chemical such as chelating agents (which bind to DNA between bases and can cause frameshifts) like ethidium bromide (mutagen), or indeed asbestos (carcinogen).



Some biological carcinogens include chemicals from the fungus Aspergillus and some bacteria.




The Cause of Mutations

Mutations are a random occurrence during DNA replication and the rate of mutation is influenced by external factors such as UV radiation. There are…