GS Paper 3
Syllabus: science and technology
Source: The Hindu
Context: 200 years of the father of genetics, Gregor Mendel.
genetics: Genetics is the study of genes, genetic variation, and heredity in organisms.
It was first experimentally established by Gregor Mendel (to monk) (1822 to 1884)
His contributions to Science:
- Principles of Inheritance: By experimenting with pea plant breeding, Mendel developed three principles of inheritance that described the transmission of genetic traits, before anyone knew genes existed.
- To this day, scientists use Mendel’s principles to explain the most basic phenomena of inheritance.
- Foundation of biology: Mendel’s theory, together with the evolutionary theory proposed by Charles Darwinlaid the foundations of biology.
- Cure for many human diseases: Assisted clinicians in human disease research
- For example, within just a couple of years of the rediscovery of Mendel’s work, Archibald Garrod applied Mendel’s principles to his study of alkaptonuria (discolouration of the skin)
- Science of genomics and gene editing has its root in the work of Mendel.
- First to apply maths to biology: He may have been the first botanist who seriously applied mathematics to biology, unlike Charles Darwinwho was judged by observation rather than by calculation.
- He was the one who coined the terms dominant and recessive to describe these traits, which are used even today.
Towards Genomics Revolution