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This film is the first of a two part series on the evolution of new genetic information. Here we focus on Point Mutations - the simplest natural mechanisms known to increase the genetic information of a population.
Our second film of the series will focus on duplication events - natural mutations that increase the total amount of genetic information of an individual.
This film was produced under the guidance of molecular biologist Dr. Nicholas Casewell. http://www.lstmed.ac.uk/about/people/dr-nicholas-casewell
Point mutations are small, natural edits in the DNA code of an individual. These edits can be passed from parent to child. Because they are mere edits, point mutations usually do not increase the total amount of information in an individual. As new information is gained, old information is lost. Point mutations do, however, increase the total amount of information within a population.
In this film you will see several examples of beneficial point mutations which have enhanced a creatures abilities or even given rise to entirely new abilities. The first two examples were directly observed in bacteria by scientists in the lab. The third is a case found in domestic dogs, the last example was discovered in several species of wild animal.
Details about mutation examples in this film, along with links to the journals cited can be found at