Genetics: Past, Present and Future Essay example

2599 Words 11 Pages
Throughout the ages, patterns of inheritance have always been studied. People have always been curious about what causes the appearance of certain traits in individuals. However, by the time the 21st century commenced, science found that the answers to these questions can be found in each cell of the body. Genes. But what are genes truly? Who were the scientists who contributed towards their discovery? What are the recent advancements in the field of genetics, and what does the future hold for this field?
1. The Past
To understand the functioning of genes and even the structure of genes, it is essential to know the history of genes, and past assumptions of hereditary.
Greek theories. Like in any other field of knowledge, the
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In addition to the advancements that led to the discovery of genes, the research conducted during the renaissance also yielded information on the evolution of genetic traits. Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, a French naturalist, became the first man to suggest that the features of animals developed as a result of subtle changes in the gene pool that occurred gradually. As a result of Lamarck's findings and the influence of a book titled Principles of Geology, Charles Darwin proposed his theory of natural selection. Darwin’s inability to explain how traits evolved sparked further interest and investigation into the mystery (Freedman 17-30).
The 1800s. With the arrival of the 1800s came the most important contributor to the discovery of genes: Gregor Mendel, the father of genetics. Mendel is renowned for discovering that the pea plants he bred yielded results that always followed the same pattern. For example, cross-breeding one tall plant and one short plant gave rise to plants that were all tall. Interbreeding these plants produced tall plants and short plants in a 3:1 ratio. The same held true for all other traits tested. His most important contribution, however, remains to be his distinction between phenotype and genotype--the physical features exhibited by an organism and the internal…