Mutation was a process by which the genes of a lifeform were changed in some way, either by internal or external stimuli. Lifeforms affected by this process were known as mutants. Mutation was a primary factor in evolution, as those mutations that increased an organism's overall likelihood of survival were usually incorporated into the genome of the lifeform's offspring. Other mutations were trivial, or detracted from an organism's viability for reproduction or continued existence.
After Phlox explained to Jonathan Archer that a dead Suliban which he had autopsied was atypical of his species, Archer asked if he was a mutant. Phlox concurred, but clarified that his modifications were not the result of accident but of genetic engineering. (ENT: "Broken Bow")
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