Wednesday, May 07, 2008

On Genetics

Genetics is a fascinating subject. I have taken several courses in the discipline. The following are some key milestones I have identified in the field (not in chronological order).

1. Gregor Mendel’s Experiments with peas show the passing on specific characteristics in defined ratios. Birth of the Science of Genetics.
2. Hugo De Vries re-discovers Gregor Mendel’s work
3. Charles Darwin describes Natural Selection of trait factors in his book the Origin of the Species

4. Ancient man diversifies dog species through selective breeding.
5. Identification of DNA as the unit of inheritance.
6. Watson and Crick reveal the double Helix structure of DNA.
7. Identification of the Chromosome unit within the cell nucleus
8. Deciphering by scientists of Cell Division processes as Mitosis and Meiosis
9. Discovery of RNA and the deciphering of the DNA-RNA transcription process.
10. RNA-protein translation process is unveiled.
11. Recombinant DNA Therapy is developed.
12. Discovery of the process of Crossing Over in Meiosis – Allows for Variation enhancement
13. Cary Mullis develops the Polymerase Chain Reactor
14. Work with fruit flies and radiation sheds light on the driving force of mutation and its effect on inheritance
15. First official clone revealed. That being the sheep Dolly
16. Human Genome Project is completed.
17. Discovery of the Retrovirus and the birth of Gene therapy.
18. Discovery of the Enzyme DNA Polymerase.
19. Discovery of Stop/Start genes in the Human Genome
20. Birth of the Science of Population Genetics – Leading figures: Sewell Wright, Hardy and Weinberg
21. Discovery of Mitochondrial DNA.
22. Dynamics of x-chromosome inheritance are revealed,
23. Discovery of the process of Epistasis whereby one gene set suppresses another.
24. Identification of the genes for specific diseases such as cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anaemia and Tay Sachs etc.
25. Invention of Modern DNA Fingerprinting techniques
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