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Genetic Variation


Retinoblastoma Gene Variation

The genes for retinoblastoma can be acquired by genetic variation through a spontaneous gene mutation (yellow) in a child as a newborn to 18 months of age.

National Cancer Institute
Definition: In genetic variation, the genes of organisms within a population change. Gene alleles determine distinct traits that can be passed on from parents to offspring. Gene variation is important to the process of natural selection. The genetic variations that arise in a population happen by chance, but the process of natural selection does not.

Natural selection is the result of the interactions between genetic variations in a population and the environment. The environment determines which variations are more favorable. More favorable traits are thereby passed on to the population as a whole.

Genetic variation occurs mainly through DNA mutation , gene flow (movement of genes from one population to another) and sexual reproduction. Due to the fact that environments are unstable, populations that are genetically variable will be able to adapt to changing situations better than those that do not contain genetic variation.
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