Genetics is the study of heredity. Heredity is a biological process where a parent passes genes onto their children. Every child inherits genes from both of their biological parents and then the genes express specific traits. Some traits may be physical while other genes can carry risks of certain diseases that may get passed on by one of the parents to their off spring.
Barbara McClintock was born on June 16, 1902 in Hartford Connecticut. She earned her B.S and M.S degrees in botany at Cornell University, and received her Ph.D. in the Botany at Cornell in 1927. Although women were not allowed to major in Genetics at Cornell, she became a highly influential member of a small group who studied Maize cytogenetics, the genetic study of Maize at the cellular level. Each fall, she was often seen on the Cold Spring Harbor grounds collecting black walnuts for use in baked goods that she gave to a favored few of her colleagues. In addition to her brilliance as a geneticist, many people remember her quick with and her sense for fun. She was dedicated to, and passionate about, her work, and was happiest in the cornfield or in her laboratory. It was at Cold Spring Harbor that McClintock figured out the process of transposition in corn chromosomes. For this and her other work, McClintock was awarded an unshared Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1983.
Picture URL- http://maizecoop.cropsci.uiuc.edu/mcclintock.php
Alfred Day Hershey
Alfred Day Hershey was born on December 4th, 1908 in Owosso, Michigan. He studied at Michigan State College,he obtained B.S in 1930, and a Ph.D in 1934. From 1934 through 1950 he was engaged in teaching and research, at the Department of Bacteriology. He became a staff member at the Department of Genetics. At Carnegie Institution of Washington's Department of Genetics at Cold Spring Harbor, he and his wife Martha Chase did the Hershey-Chase blender experiment that proved that Phage DNA, and not protein, was the genetic material. His papers he wrote helped other scientists learn the craft of scientific writing.
Picture URL- http://libfe.cshl.edu/archives/hershey_9.html
Gregor Mendel was born on July 22, 1822, on his parents farm in what is then Heinzendorf Austria.He spent his early years in that rural setting, until age 11, when a local schoolmaster was impressed with his aptitude for learning and recommended him to go to a secondary school to continue his education.He excelled in his studies, and in 1840, he graduated from the school with honors. After graduating he then went on to a 2 year program at the philosophical Institute of the University of Olmutz. He studied in physics and math. Mendel graduated from the program in 1843. Around 1854 Mendel began to research the transmission of hereditary traits in plant hybrids. He used peas for his very famous experiment due to their many distant varieties. And after analyzing his results, he reached two conclusions: Law of segregation and the law of independent assortment.