History of Genes


Charles Darwin


Announced the theory of natural selection - that only those of a population who are better adapted to the environment are able to survive and pass on their traits.

Gregor Mendel


Published "Experiments on Plant Hybridization" which discusses Law of Segregation and the Law of Independent Assortment.

Friedrich Miescher


Identified an acidic substance found in cell nuclei which is called "nuclein" and later became known as DNA.

Nettie Stevens and Edmund Wilson


Described that the behavior of sex chromosomes - XX determines female and XY determines male.

William Bateson


Discovered that genes are linked and do not show independent assortment. Coins the word "genetics".

Hermann Muller

1925 - 1927

Showed that X-rays prompt mutations depending on the number of doses.

Joshua Lederberg and Edward Tatum


Discovered that genetic material can be transferred side-by-side between bacterial cells.

Francis Crick and James Watson


Solved the three-dimensional structure of the DNA molecule.

Nirenberg, Matthaei, Leder, and Khorana


These researchers cracked the genetic code using RNA homopolymer and heteropolymer experiments.

Ian Wilmut

1996 - 1997

Researchers from Roslin institute in Scotland perform the first cloning of a mammal, Dolly the sheep.