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An Investigation into an Aspect of Human Variation
Mutation - The organism is dependent on the environment for the raw materials for growth, but growth is also regulated internally. Because the size and form of an individual is under genetic control, events such as the rate and site of cell division and the extent of cell enlargement can be affected by mutations. A mutation caused by a random change in the DNA base sequence and therefore an alteration in a polypeptide coded for may result in unusually large or small hands or feet. This random occurrence may have caused anomalous results in the investigation.
Experimental error - Inaccuracies in measuring the hand spans and foot lengths of individuals may have caused anomalous results. For example the majority of people sampled wore socks that may have differed in thickness, causing the foot length measurement to be inconsistent. In a future experiment this flaw could be corrected by ensuring that all individuals were sampled bare foot.
In this investigation, measurements were recorded to the nearest millimetre. The mean value for hand span was 20.3cm and the mean value for foot length was 25.9cm. Each of these values were measured to the nearest millimetre creating a probable error of 20.3cm ± 0.5mm and 25.9cm ± 0.5mm.…
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