Gregor Johann Mendel

The "father of modren genetics"



Time and birthplace:

Gregor Johann Mendel was born on July 22, 1822, in Hynčice, Czech Republic

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Education History:

Gregor Mendel was an Austrian monk who discovered the basic principles of heredity through experiments in his garden. Mendel's observations became the foundation of modern genetics and the study of heredity, and he is widely considered an inventor in the field of genetics.

He spent his early youth in the country side setting, until age 11, when a local schoolmaster who was impressed with his talent for learning recommended that he be sent to secondary school in Troppau to continue his education. The move was a financial stress on his family, and often a difficult experience for Mendel, but he excelled in his studies, and in 1840, he graduated from the school with honors. Then Mendel enrolled in a two-year program at the Philosophical Institute of the University of Olmütz. Finally Mendel graduated from the program in 1843. However, he failed a teaching-certification exam the following year, and in 1851, he was sent to the University of Vienna, at the monastery’s expense, to continue his studies in the sciences. Then finally, he began the experiments for which he is best known at. So the Monk started experimenting more and more, until he reached to the two famous laws.

Major contributions to society or the science community:

Mendel's First Law is the law of "Segregation of Characteristics." This says that of a pair of characteristics (e.g. blue and brown eye colour) only one can be represented in a gamete. What he meant was that for any pair of characteristics there is only one gene in a gamete even though there are two genes in ordinary cells.

Mendel's Second Law is the law of "Independent Assortment". This says that for two characteristics the genes are inherited independently. If you had the genotype AaBb you would make four kinds of gametes: they would contain the combinations of either AB, Ab, aB or ab.

The reason for these laws is found in the nature of the cell nucleus. It is made up of several chromosomes carrying the genetic traits. In a normal cell, each of these chromosomes has two parts, the chromatids. A reproductive cell, which is created in a process called meiosis, usually contains only one of those chromatids of each chromosome. By merging two of these cells, it is usually one male and one female, the full set is restored and the genes are mixed. The resulting cell becomes a new embryo. The fact that this new life has half the genes of each parent, 23 from mother, 23 from father for total of 46, is one reason for the Mendelian laws. The second most important reason is the varying dominance of different genes, causing some traits to appear unevenly instead of averaging out. Including the fact that some alleles are incompletely dominant, that some genes are sex-linked, and that some pairs of genes do not assort independently because they are physically linked on a chromosome.

Hobbies and special Interests:

Mendel was interested in the study of evolution and also in meteorology. He followed the studies of Charles Darwin and Frank Unger. He loved nature and loved to teach.

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