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The History of Genetics - Early Beliefs About Heredity, Cell Theory, A Farmer's Son Becomes The Father Ofgenetics Study

genes geneticists inheritance diseases

Science seldom proceeds in the straightforward logical manner imagined by outsiders.

—James D. Watson, The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA, Weidenfield & Nicolson, London, 1968

Genetics is the biology of heredity, and geneticists are the scientists and researchers who study hereditary processes such as the inheritance of traits, distinctive characteristics, and diseases. Genetics considers the biochemical instructions that convey information from generation to generation.

Tremendous strides in science and technology have enabled geneticists to demonstrate that some genetic variation is related to disease and that the ability to vary genes improves the capacity of a species to survive changes in the environment. Although some of the most important advances in genetics research—such as deciphering the genetic code, isolating the genes that cause or predict susceptibility to certain diseases, and successfully cloning plants and animals—have occurred since the mid-twentieth century, the history of genetic study spans a period of about 150 years. As understanding of genetics progressed, scientific research became increasingly more specific. Genetics first considered populations, then individuals, then advanced to explore the nature of inheritance at the molecular level.

The History of Human-Animal Interaction - Prehistoric Times, Humans Domesticate Animals, Ancient Cultures And Religions, The Medieval Period, The Age Of Enlightenment And The Useof Vivisection [next] [back] Habitat and Ecosystem Conservation - The Ecosystem Approach, Forests, Wetlands, U.s. Land Conservation Efforts, The Convention On International Trade In Endangered Species (cites) - INTERNATIONAL EFFORTS AT CONSERVATION

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