In biology, a mutation is a sudden, random change in hereditary material, such as a gene, that can alter an inheritable characteristic. Most mutations are not beneficial, since any change in the delicate balance of an organism that is highly adapted to its environment tends to be disruptive. As the environment changes, however, mutations can prove advantageous and thus contribute to evolutionary change in a species. Mutations may be spontaneous or induced by outside factors, such as what?
Back in the day
Herod the Great was the Roman-appointed king of Judaea in the first century BCE. Infamous today for his role in the Biblical account of the slaying of the infants of Bethlehem, Herod was known during his lifetime for his ambitious building projects, including fortresses, aqueducts, and theaters. The location of his tomb, described by the first-century CE Roman-Jewish historian Josephus Flavius, remained a mystery until 2007, when an Israeli archeologist found it where?
Born on a day like today
A towering figure in Russian music and one of the most popular composers in history, Tchaikovsky became interested in music as a child and turned to serious composition at 14. His works are noted for their expressive melodies, and he is said to have revolutionized ballet by transforming it from a grand decorative gesture into a staged musical drama. His ballets include Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. What Russian businesswoman supported him for 13 years but—as a rule—never met him?