genotoxicity The condition resulting from the interaction of toxic agents (genotoxins) with DNA molecules in genes. Since the genes are passed down to the next generation, the toxicity induced by genotoxins is heritable. Genotoxins can induce mutations in chromosomes (clastogenesis) or in a small number of base pairs (mutagenesis). Genotoxic agents include X-rays, natural carcinogens, some man-made products (e.g. acridine and vinyl chloride), and viruses.
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