Genetics is a discipline of biology. It studies the hereditary and genetic issues that have deep impact on the appearance, health and behaviour of a person. The study of genetics is not a new phenomenon. It has been here since prehistoric times. Indeed, visit a doctor and chances are that he would ask you about your family history to trace back the root cause of the disease. This family history is nothing but the study of genes or what we can say hereditary, or passing on from one generation to another through genes. It is also important to point out here that some genes can be dominant while the others can remain passive, meaning that the passive ones may not show their presence in each generation but may actually appear after a few. So a hereditary can be traced back not to your parents but to your grand parents and great grand parents also.
In earlier days, genetics, used to be a subject of ‘superficial’ study. People would just look at the face, personality and traits of the individuals and draw conclusions by comparing them with those of their parents and grandparents.
The study of genetics was started formally in the 1800s, when a monk named Gregor Mendel conducted research on peas in the laboratory. He wanted to discover the mysteries of genetic inheritance. Although he could not identify the individual genes, he is still considered the father of modern genetics. He demonstrated that the physical appearance of an organism was determined by a combination of dominant and recessive traits.
With the advancement in the study of genetics, biologists have developed various research tools to go deep into the subject. The study of genetics has been extended to cover the plants as well as animals.
It was in mid nineteen twenties that the research in genetics was able to make a historic break-through. It was finally discovered that the DNA in the chromosomes carries the genetic code of its host organism.
The study of genetics not only explains why a particularindividual has a certain hair colour, it also reveals the causes of certain genetically inherited diseases. It can predict whether or not a person is susceptible to certain diseases on the basis of his genetic inheritance.
Genetic scientists are now in a position to explain why some individuals behave in a certain way or why they are prone to bouts of depression, schizophrenia, addiction and other behavioural problems.
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