• A very important insight that underlies the science of genetics, namely that traits can be inherited by offspring from the parents, was first experimentally established by Gregor Mendel, a monk in the order of St Augustine

  • Mendel started with 22 pea (Pisum sativum) plants and cross-bred them to get over 10,000 plants. These were classified according to a set of characteristics. I have found that some traits, such as shape and colour, can be passed down from one generation to the next. He was the one who coined the terms dominant and recessive to describe these traits, which are used even today.

  • Mendel’s records were burned down when he died. It was much later that his ideas were re-discovered. Today, we speak of genes as being passed down from parent to child and carrying with them the various traits. Gregor Mendel’s experiments and research lie at the foundation of these findings.