Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Happy birthday, Gregor

As anyone who visits Google knows, today is the 189th anniversary of the birth of Gregor Mendel (here in LEGO form by Kaptain Kobold). Mendel discovered the basic laws of genetics while observing the growth of pea plants. He noted that if two plants with purple flowers are crossed, the offspring has purple flowers. If two with white flowers are crossed, the offspring has white flowers. However, if a purple flowered plant is crossed with a white flowered plant, the offspring has purple flowers. While the molecular basis for this would not be discovered for fifty years, he correctly surmised that flower color is driven by a pair of factors, and there are dominant and recessive genes. He worked out the implications of how genes are mixed and matched in sexual reproduction, and is considered the father of genetics.

Just a quick apology for the month long hiatus in this blog. Life has been hectic lately.

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