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Lessons from Gregor Mendel

  • Category
    Science & Technology
  • Published
    29th Jul, 2022

Context

July 20, 2022, marks the 200th birthday of Gregor Johann Mendel, a revolutionary scientist. 

About

About Gregor Johann Mendel:

  • Gregor Johann Mendel was a scientist who is recognized as the Father and Founder of genetics.
  • Mendel conducted many experiments on the pea plant (Pisum sativum) between 1856 and 1863.
  • He studied the results of the experiments and deducted many observations. Thus, laws of inheritance or Mendel’s laws of inheritance came into existence. 
  • Laws of Inheritance: Mendel’s Laws of inheritance can be described as:
    • The Law of Dominance: The offspring always exhibits a dominant trait. From the two alleles received from parents, the only dominant allele is expressed.
    • The Law of Segregation: The two copies of each chromosome will be separated from each other, causing the two distinct alleles located on those chromosomes to segregate from one another.
    • The Law of Independent Assortment: The traits inherited through one gene will be inherited independently of the traits inherited through another gene because the genes reside on different chromosomes that are independently assorted into daughter cells during meiosis.

Lessons from Gregor Mendel:

  • Dedication: He was an extremely keen student, interested in science and pursued his studies despite the fact that his family was impoverished. In order to fund his studies, Mendel became a monk.
  • Defeating failures: Even though he failed to pass the exam of ‘natural history’ during his college years, later his contribution revolutionized the field.
  • Courage and Persistence: He worked with ‘Pea’ for eight years and by his own admission— he needed “some courage” to persist with them. Ultimately, it led to three foundational principles of inheritance.
  • Struggle: Mendel’s findings were not accepted and his records were burnt down when he died. It was only after 35 years of his death that his ideas were rediscovered.
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