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mutagen definitions

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

n
1: any agent (physical or environmental) that can induce a genetic mutation or can increase the rate of mutation

Merriam Webster's

noun Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary mutation + -gen Date: 1933 an agent (as a chemical or various radiations) that tends to increase the frequency or extent of mutation mutagenic adjective mutagenically adverb

Britannica Concise

Any agent capable of altering a cell's genetic makeup by changing the structure of the hereditary material, DNA. Many forms of electromagnetic radiation (e.g., cosmic rays, X rays, ultraviolet light) are mutagenic, as are various chemical compounds. The effects of some mutagens are increased or suppressed in some organisms by the presence of certain other, nonmutagenic substances; oxygen, for example, makes cells more sensitive to the mutagenic effects of X rays.

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. an agent promoting mutation, e.g. radiation. Derivatives: mutagenic adj. mutagenesis n. Etymology: MUTATION + -GEN



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