The discovery of genes

January 2004
History of Science & Technology;2004, p459
Reference Entry
The article recounts the discovery of genes. The monk Gregor Mendel is now famous for explaining the laws of heredity, including the roles of dominant and recessive genes and the different mathematical consequences arising from the two types of genes when sexual organisms reproduce. Mendel performed his famous experiments at about the same time that Charles Darwin was explaining evolution. In 1865 and 1869 Mendel's work was published--by the local natural history society. Darwin never got the chance to learn of Mendel's work, which is unfortunate, since Mendel's laws neatly fill a major gap in Darwin's theory. Three different biologists working in three different countries--Hugo de Vries in the Netherlands, Karl Correns in Germany, and Erich Tschermak von Seysenegg in Austria--worked out Mendel's laws for themselves.


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