In my practice, the majority of mutation carriers choose mastectomy; however, for those without cancer, they have much more control over the timing. For younger women, we might wait until they have found a life partner, or until after childbearing. Older women who find out they carry a mutation have unwittingly escaped a large percentage of their risk, and therefore, the calculated future risk is not necessarily a daunting number.
Although random mutations influenced the course of evolution, their influence was mainly by loss, alteration, and refinement... Never, however, did that one mutation make a wing, a fruit, a woody stem, or a claw appear. Mutations, in summary, tend to induce sickness, death, or deficiencies. No evidence in the vast literature of heredity changes shows unambiguous evidence that random mutation itself, even with geographical isolation of populations, leads to speciation.
Anything that has to travel all the way down from your cerebellum to your fingertips, there's a lot of things that can happen on the journey. Sometimes I'll listen to records, my own stuff, and I think god, the original idea for this was so much better than the mutation that we arrived at.
If we are artists- hell, whether or not we're artists- it is our job, our responsibility, perhaps even our sacred calling, to take whatever life has handed us and make something new, something that wouldn't have existed if not for the fire, the genetic mutation, the sick baby, the accident.
Bacteria evolve, and so they become resistant to existing drugs. Sometimes they revert, depending on how damaging the mutation is to the life cycle of the bacteria. Mutations that give rise to resistance against particular compounds do increase, and that is why you constantly have to have new ones.
Thomas A. Steitz
Every mutation through a new combination of genetic factors that provides the organism with a new opportunity for coming to terms with the conditions of its environment signifies no more and no less than that new information about this environment has got into that organic system. Adaptation is essentially a cognitive process.
The Epicureans, according to whom animals had no creation, doe suppose that by mutation of one into another, they were first made; for they are the substantial part of the world; like as Anaxagoras and Euripides affirme in these tearmes: nothing dieth, but in changing as they doe one for another they show sundry formes.
A mutation can create an alternative form of a phenomenon - a phenotype or trait - and we can learn a lot by seeing this alternative state. Once I saw a mouse with no eyelids. It simply had a membrane over the eyes. I found it fascinating that there is a single gene required for eyelids to develop.
I have that gene mutation too and it's not something I would believe in for myself. I wouldn't call it the brave choice. I actually think it's the most fearful choice you can make when confronting anything with cancer. My belief is that cancer comes from inside you and so much of it has to do with the environment of your body. It's the stress that will turn that gene on or not.
Mankind will someday realize that we are actually in contact with the dead and with the other world, whatever it is; right now we could predict, if we only exerted enough mental will, what is going to happen within the next hundred years and be able to take steps to avoid all kinds of catastrophes. When a man dies he undergoes a mutation in his brain that we know nothing about now but which will be very clear someday if scientists get on the ball. The bastards right now are only interested in seeing if they can blow up the world.
The Angelina Effect refers to the fact that a powerful, beautiful, well-respected and world-renowned woman unabashedly revealed private medical details about a gene mutation which affects 1 in 500 people. In so doing, she raised awareness and sparked conversations around the world amongst known BRCA carriers, possible carriers, and the circle of family and friends who care about them.
Faced with a new mutation in an organism, or a fundamental change in its living conditions, the biologist is frequently in no position whatever to predict its future prospects. He has to wait and see. For instance, the hairy mammoth seems to have been an admirable animal, intelligent and well-accoutered. Now that it is extinct, we try to understand why it failed. I doubt that any biologist thinks he could have predicted that failure. Fitness and survival are by nature estimates of past performance.
Our lives are about development, mutation and the possibility of change; that is almost a definition of what life is: change... If you disable change, if you effectively stop time, if you prevent the possibility of the alteration of an individual's circumstances "" and that must include at least the possibility that they alter for the worse "" then you don't have life after death; you just have death.
It is certain that such a revolution in thought - that is, such an expansion of consciousness, such an evolution of intelligence - is not the result of a whim. It is in fact a question of a cosmic influence to which the earth, along with everything in it, is subjected. A phase in the gestation of the planetary particle of our solar system is completed. Gaston Bachelard observes, in this connection, what he calls 'a mutation of Spirit.' A new period must begin, and this is heralded by seismic movement, climate changes, and finally, above all, by the spirit that animates man.
Schwaller de Lubicz
It is a rule in paleontology that ornamentation and complication precede extinction. And our mutation, of which the assembly line, the collective farm, the mechanized army, and the mass production of food are evidences or even symptoms, might well correspond to the thickening armor of the great reptiles-a tendency that can end only in extinction. If this should happen to be true, nothing stemming from thought can interfere with it or bend it. Conscious thought seems to have little effect on the action or direction of our species.
Our lack of community is intensely painful. A TV talk show is not community. A couple of hours in a church pew each Sabbath is not community. A multinational corporation is neither a human nor a community, and in the sweatshops, defiled agribusiness fields, genetic mutation labs, ecological dead zones, the inhumanity is showing. Without genuine spiritual community, life becomes a struggle so lonely and grim that even Hillary Clinton has admitted "it takes a village".
David James Duncan
Society never progresses because the majority one day wakes up and says, "Let's do things differently." The majority didn't wake up and say, "Oh, let's just free the slaves." Society always progressed because a relatively small group of people usually considered outrageous radicals by the status quo of their time had a better idea and articulated another way. That's simply how evolution works; it's the mutation. The member of the species who does things differently - that points the way to the future because they're better adapted for survival.
The text moves like a small crustacean with compound eye and complex nervous system; throbbing, involuted, it becomes a parasite on a different body, animal, using 'filiform protrusions through which it sucks the vital juices of its host.' Parasite or creature in mutation on the shore, torrid / delirium: mordant mortality, systematic competition the narrator against the I, leaking gas, a lapse of memory against a promise, an inset in a book. A muscular, involuntary bulging in the breast, circling all its inner surface: mesoblast: visceral.
The proof given by Wright, that non-adaptive differentiation will occur in small populations owing to "drift," or the chance fixation of some new mutation or recombination, is one of the most important results of mathematical analysis applied to the facts of neo-mendelism. It gives accident as well as adaptation a place in evolution, and at one stroke explains many facts which puzzled earlier selectionists, notably the much greater degree of divergence shown by island than mainland forms, by forms in isolated lakes than in continuous river-systems.
The point is: what happens in heaven?' 'Unknowable wonderfulness?' 'Nonsense. The answer is nothing. Nothing can happen because if something happens, in fact if something can happen, then it doesn't represent eternity. Our lives are about development, mutation and the possibility of change; that is almost a definition of what life is: change.' 'If you disable change, if you effectively stop time, if you prevent the possibility of the alteration of an individual's circumstances - and that must include at least the possibility that they alter for the worse - then you don't have life after death; you just have death.
Iain M. Banks
We are inescapably the result of a long heritage of learning, adaptation, mutation and evolution, the product of a history which predates our birth as a biological species and stretches back over many thousand millennia... Going further back, we share a common ancestry with our fellow primates; and going still further back, we share a common ancestry with all other living creatures and plants down to the simplest microbe. The further back we go, the greater the difference from external appearances and behavior patterns which we observe today.
Religion, a mediaeval form of unreason, when combined with modern weaponry becomes a real threat to our freedoms. This religious totalitarianism has caused a deadly mutation in the heart of Islam and we see the tragic consequences in Paris today. I stand with Charlie Hebdo, as we all must, to defend the art of satire, which has always been a force for liberty and against tyranny, dishonesty and stupidity. 'Respect for religion' has become a code phrase meaning 'fear of religion.' Religions, like all other ideas, deserve criticism, satire, and, yes, our fearless disrespect.
As a gender variant visual artist I access 'technologies of gender' in order to amplify rather than erase the hermaphroditic traces of my body. I name myself. A gender abolitionist. A part time gender terrorist. An intentional mutation and intersex by design, (as opposed to diagnosis), in order to distinguish my journey from the thousands of intersex individuals who have had their 'ambiguous' bodies mutilated and disfigured in a misguided attempt at 'normalization'. I believe in crossing the line as many times as it takes to build a bridge we can all walk across.
Del LaGrace Volcano
Random mutations much more easily debilitate genes than improve them, and that this is true even of the helpful mutations. Let me emphasize, our experience with malaria's effects on humans (arguably our most highly studied genetic system) shows that most helpful mutations degrade genes. What's more, as a group the mutations are incoherent, meaning that they are not adding up to some new system. They are just small changes - mostly degradative - in pre-existing, unrelated genes. The take-home lesson is that this is certainly not the kind of process we would expect to build the astonishingly elegant machinery of the cell. If random mutation plus selective pressure substantially trashes the human genome, why should we think that it would be a constructive force in the long term? There is no reason to think so.
Michael J. Behe
Let us accept the possibility that there is, at death, not an abrupt cessation of energy, rather a dispersal. This seems more than reasonable to me. Mind you, I've owned a series of old cars, and I"m used to turning off the motor only to experience a series of rumblings and explosions that would shame many a volcano. This is the sort of thing I'm conceptualizing, a kind of clunky running-on. And just as some cars are more susceptible to this behavior, so people vary in the length of time, and the force with which, their energy sputters and gasps... My example is overly dramatic, but it is not wholly unreasonable, and it serves to make this genetic mutation a player at the evolutionary table. You see what I'm getting at: a biologically and evolutionally sound model for the soul. (I didn't say I'd achieved it.) Let's conceive of the soul as an aura that human beings wear on their backs, cumberson as a tortoise's carapace. Some are larger than others.
In just a few weeks, Soldier 13 became aware of a mutation in the colors of his consciousness. As the theoretical classes were filling his brain with philosophical, historical, and political arguments to make his faith unbreakable, the sessions with the psychologists were draining his mind of the deadweight of experiences, memories, fears, and illusions forged of the course of a life of a past that he detached himself from as if they were skinning him. He was overwhelmed to see how his personal history was becoming a foggy haze and how even recent events, like Kotov's last recommendations before he returned to Spain, seemed to diffuse that he sometimes asked himself if he hadn't lived them in another remote and murky existence. During those months was when Ramon really began to stop being Ramon and only became him against when the man they were turning him into was suffocating and, to save him, the former Ramon Mercader had to come to the surface. Or whenever they ordered him to go out and get some sun. But he was never again the same Ramon Mercader del Rio. p. 208
It became clear that Keisha Blake could not start something without finishing it. If she climbed onto the boundary wall of Caldwell, she was compelled to walk the entire wall, no matter the obstructions in her path (beer cans, branches). This compulsion, applied to other fields, manifested itself as "intelligence." Every unknown word sent her to a dictionary-in search of something like "completion"-and every book led to another book, a process that, of course, could never be completed. This route through early life gave her no small portion of joy, and, indeed, it seemed at first that her desires and her capacities were basically aligned. She wanted to read things-could not resist wanting to read things-and reading was easily done, and relatively inexpensive. On the other hand, that she should receive any praise for such reflexive habits baffled the girl, for she knew herself to be fantastically stupid about many things. Wasn't it possible that what others mistook for intelligence was in fact only a sort of mutation of the will?
What, more realistically, is this 'mutation, ' the 'new man'? He is the rootless man, discontinuous with a past that Nihilism has destroyed, the raw material of every demagogue's dream; the 'free-thinker' and skeptic, closed only to the truth but 'open' to each new intellectual fashion because he himself has no intellectual foundation; the 'seeker' after some 'new revelation, ' ready to believe anything new because true faith has been annihilated in him; the planner and experimenter, worshipping 'fact' because he has abandoned truth, seeing the world as a vast laboratory in which he is free to determine what is 'possible'; the autonomous man, pretending to the humility of only asking his 'rights, ' yet full of the pride that expects everything to be given him in a world where nothing is authoritatively forbidden; the man of the moment, without conscience or values and thus at the mercy of the strongest 'stimulus'; the 'rebel, ' hating all restraint and authority because he himself is his own and only god; the 'mass man, ' this new barbarian, thoroughly 'reduced' and 'simplified' and capable of only the most elementary ideas, yet scornful of anyone who presumes to point out the higher things or the real complexity of life.
As a convinced atheist, I ought to agree with Voltaire that Judaism is not just one more religion, but in its way the root of religious evil. Without the stern, joyless rabbis and their 613 dour prohibitions, we might have avoided the whole nightmare of the Old Testament, and the brutal, crude wrenching of that into prophecy-derived Christianity, and the later plagiarism and mutation of Judaism and Christianity into the various rival forms of Islam. Much of the time, I do concur with Voltaire, but not without acknowledging that Judaism is dialectical. There is, after all, a specifically Jewish version of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, with a specifically Jewish name-the Haskalah-for itself. The term derives from the word for 'mind' or 'intellect,' and it is naturally associated with ethics rather than rituals, life rather than prohibitions, and assimilation over 'exile' or 'return.' It's everlastingly linked to the name of the great German teacher Moses Mendelssohn, one of those conspicuous Jewish hunchbacks who so upset and embarrassed Isaiah Berlin. (The other way to upset or embarrass Berlin, I found, was to mention that he himself was a cousin of Menachem Schneerson, the 'messianic' Lubavitcher rebbe.) However, even pre-enlightenment Judaism forces its adherents to study and think, it reluctantly teaches them what others think, and it may even teach them how to think also.
Let's look at one more quick example of modern evolution at work. In the early 1800s, light-colored lichens covered many of the trees in the English countryside. The peppered moth was a light-colored insect that blended in unnoticeably with the lichens. Predators had great difficulty distinguishing the peppered moth from its background environment, so the moths easily survived and reproduced. Then the Industrial Revolution came to the English country- side. Coal-burning factories turned the lichens a sooty black. The light-colored peppered moth became clearly visible. Most of them were eaten. But because of genetic variation and mutation, a few peppered moths displayed a slightly darker color. These darker moths were better able to blend in with the sooty lichens, and so lived to produce other darker-colored moths. In little over a hun- dred years, successive generations of peppered moths evolved from almost completely white to completely black. Natural selec- tion, rather than "random accident, " guided the moth's evolution- ary progress.
I had a bizarre rapport with this mirror and spent a lot of time gazing into the glass to see who was there. Sometimes it looked like me. At other times, I could see someone similar but different in the reflection. A few times, I caught the switch in mid-stare, my expression re-forming like melting rubber, the creases and features of my face softening or hardening until the mutation was complete. Jekyll to Hyde, or Hyde to Jekyll. I felt my inner core change at the same time. I would feel more confident or less confident; mature or childlike; freezing cold or sticky hot, a state that would drive Mum mad as I escaped to the bathroom where I would remain for two hours scrubbing my skin until it was raw. The change was triggered by different emotions: on hearing a particular piece of music; the sight of my father, the smell of his brand of aftershave. I would pick up a book with the certainty that I had not read it before and hear the words as I read them like an echo inside my head. Like Alice in the Lewis Carroll story, I slipped into the depths of the looking glass and couldn't be sure if it was me standing there or an impostor, a lookalike. I felt fully awake most of the time, but sometimes while I was awake it felt as if I were dreaming. In this dream state I didn't feel like me, the real me. I felt numb. My fingers prickled. My eyes in the mirror's reflection were glazed like the eyes of a mannequin in a shop window, my colour, my shape, but without light or focus. These changes were described by Dr Purvis as mood swings and by Mother as floods, but I knew better. All teenagers are moody when it suits them. My Switches could take place when I was alone, transforming me from a bright sixteen-year-old doing her homework into a sobbing child curled on the bed staring at the wall. The weeping fit would pass and I would drag myself back to the mirror expecting to see a child version of myself. 'Who are you?' I'd ask. I could hear the words; it sounded like me but it wasn't me. I'd watch my lips moving and say it again, 'Who are you?
We're so self-important. Everybody's going to save something now. 'Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails.' And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. Save the planet, we don't even know how to take care of ourselves yet. I'm tired of this shit. I'm tired of f-ing Earth Day. I'm tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is that there aren't enough bicycle paths. People trying to make the world safe for Volvos. Besides, environmentalists don't give a shit about the planet. Not in the abstract they don't. You know what they're interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They're worried that some day in the future they might be personally inconvenienced. Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn't impress me. The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles ... hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages ... And we think some plastic bags and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet isn't going anywhere. WE are! We're going away. Pack your shit, folks. We're going away. And we won't leave much of a trace, either. Maybe a little Styrofoam ... The planet'll be here and we'll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet'll shake us off like a bad case of fleas. The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we're gone, and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself, 'cause that's what it does. It's a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover, the earth will be renewed. And if it's true that plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new paradigm: the earth plus plastic. The earth doesn't share our prejudice toward plastic. Plastic came out of the earth. The earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children. Could be the only reason the earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place. It wanted plastic for itself. Didn't know how to make it. Needed us. Could be the answer to our age-old egocentric philosophical question, 'Why are we here?' Plastic... asshole.
You think man can destroy the planet? What intoxicating vanity. Let me tell you about our planet. Earth is four-and-a-half-billion-years-old. There's been life on it for nearly that long, 3.8 billion years. Bacteria first; later the first multicellular life, then the first complex creatures in the sea, on the land. Then finally the great sweeping ages of animals, the amphibians, the dinosaurs, at last the mammals, each one enduring millions on millions of years, great dynasties of creatures rising, flourishing, dying away - all this against a background of continuous and violent upheaval. Mountain ranges thrust up, eroded away, cometary impacts, volcano eruptions, oceans rising and falling, whole continents moving, an endless, constant, violent change, colliding, buckling to make mountains over millions of years. Earth has survived everything in its time. It will certainly survive us. If all the nuclear weapons in the world went off at once and all the plants, all the animals died and the earth was sizzling hot for a hundred thousand years, life would survive, somewhere: under the soil, frozen in Arctic ice. Sooner or later, when the planet was no longer inhospitable, life would spread again. The evolutionary process would begin again. It might take a few billion years for life to regain its present variety. Of course, it would be very different from what it is now, but the earth would survive our folly, only we would not. If the ozone layer gets thinner, ultraviolet radiation sears the earth, so what? Ultraviolet radiation is good for life. It's powerful energy. It promotes mutation, change. Many forms of life will thrive with more UV radiation. Many others will die out. Do you think this is the first time that's happened? Think about oxygen. Necessary for life now, but oxygen is actually a metabolic poison, a corrosive glass, like fluorine. When oxygen was first produced as a waste product by certain plant cells some three billion years ago, it created a crisis for all other life on earth. Those plants were polluting the environment, exhaling a lethal gas. Earth eventually had an atmosphere incompatible with life. Nevertheless, life on earth took care of itself. In the thinking of the human being a hundred years is a long time. A hundred years ago we didn't have cars, airplanes, computers or vaccines. It was a whole different world, but to the earth, a hundred years is nothing. A million years is nothing. This planet lives and breathes on a much vaster scale. We can't imagine its slow and powerful rhythms, and we haven't got the humility to try. We've been residents here for the blink of an eye. If we're gone tomorrow, the earth will not miss us.