Recent development of large databases, especially those in genetics and proteomics, is pushing the development of novel computational algorithms that implement rapid and accurate search strategies. One successful approach has been to use artificial intelligence and methods, including pattern recognition (e.g. neural networks) and optimization techniques (e.g. genetic algorithms). The focus of this paper is on optimizing the design of genetic algorithms by using an adaptive mutation rate that is derived from comparing the fitness values of successive generations. We propose a novel pseudoderivative-based mutation rate operator designed to allow a genetic algorithm to escape local optima and successfully continue to the global optimum. Once proven successful, this algorithm can be implemented to solve real problems in neurology and bioinformatics. As a first step towards this goal, we tested our algorithm on two 3-dimensional surfaces with multiple local optima, but only one global optimum, as well as on the N-queens problem, an applied problem in which the function that maps the curve is implicit. For all tests, the adaptive mutation rate allowed the genetic algorithm to find the global optimal solution, performing significantly better than other search methods, including genetic algorithms that implement fixed mutation rates.