History of Genetics

Have people ever said to you that you have your father’s nose or your mother’s eyes. This is cause by the genetics that were passed down to you from your parents. Now you will read about the history of genetics.

Genetics is the study of heredity and the variation of inherited characteristics. Genetics all started with Gregor Mendel’s theoretical work in the mid-19th century. His experiment on pea plants that was published in the year 1866, that became known as the description of Mendelian Inheritance, but wasn’t understood at the time. Hugo de Vries, Carl Correns and Erich von Tschermak later understood this discovery in the early twentieth century. Then by 1915 the basic principles of Mendelian genetics were applied to a wide variety of organisms. Later on in 1925, geneticists developed the Mendelian model, which was widely accepted at the time. 4 years after Mendel’s theoretical work about plant hybridization, DNA was discovered. DNA stands for Deoxyribonucleic Acid, it’s a self-replicating material present in nearly all-living organisms as the main constituent of chromosomes, it is the carrier of genetic material. It was discovered in 1869 by, he found a weak acid in the nuclei of white bloods cells that today we call DNA. Before Friedrich Miescher found DNA, he found RNA in the year 1868, but it wasn’t called RNA, it was called nuclein when it was first discovered. As the years went by scientists were able to explain and understand DNA and RNA better. Like in 1933, Jean Brachet was able to show that DNA is found in chromosomes and RNA is present in the cytoplasm of all cells. Then as more and more scientists learned about genetics, DNA and more they started investigating the physical natures of genes, which started the DNA era. Then at the start of the DNA era in 1944, Avery-Macleod-McCarty experiment proved that DNA was genetic material. Then in 1948, Barbara McClintock discovers a transposon (a chromosomal segment that can undergo transposition, esp. a segment of bacterial DNA that can be translocate as a whole between chromosomal, phage, and plasmid DNA in the absence of a complementary sequence in the host DNA) in corn. In later years, more and more discoveries about DNA, chromosome, and more were revealed. From 1970s to 2000s were called the genomics era, which scientist discovered even more things about genetics. For example, in 1995, the genome of bacterium Haemophilus influenza is the first genome of a free-living organism to be released. Another example would be, in 1996, saccharomyces cerevisiae, a yeast species, is the first eukaryote genome sequence to be released. There were many people who helped DNA that can be translocate as a whole between chromosomal, phage, and plasmid DNA in the absence of a complementary sequence in the host DNAny other topics scientists are studying. Even today more discoveries were made, even at this very second scientist are probably studying genetics and trying to find out more about it. So we couldn’t have known this much if it weren’t because of the scientist today and the past.


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