The following is an edited excerpt.
As our cells grow, reproduce, and die, DNA is repeatedly replicated and repaired, and bits and pieces of its sequences are perpetually changed, producing mutations. These mutations create genetic variation, which results in different observable traits or phenotypes — providing material for the process of natural selection to act upon and driving the evolution of fitter populations.
Some mutations are harmful, and a growing number of neurodegenerative and neuromuscular inherited diseases are being linked to mutations that arise from instability in one particular group of DNA sequences called microsatellites.
Read the full story here: Genome instability studies could change treatment for cancer and other diseases