An understanding of heredity


Mendel published his work on the statistics of genetic dominance in 1866 to little notice.

Chromosomes come to light


Early geneticist Walter Sutton put two and two together, discovering through his work on grasshopper chromosomes that these mysterious filaments occur in pairs and separate during meiosis, providing a vehicle for mom and dad to pass on their genetic material.

What genes do...


geneticists Edward Tatum and George Beadle published their work revealing that genes code for proteins, explaining for the first time how genes direct metabolism in cells.

DNA structure decoded


Pieces of the puzzle were beginning to come together throughout the 1940s. Biochemist Erwin Chargaff figured out that the nucleotides, or building blocks, of DNA occur in specific patterns.

DNA Microarray

March 1, 1982

Augenlicht and Kobrin develop DNA microarray for differential screening of genes expressed in healthy and cancerous mouse colon cells.

DNA Fingerprinting

March 7, 1985

The University of Leicester lab of Alec Jeffreys publishes “Hypervariable ‘minisatellite’ regions in human DNA,” laying out the theory and practice of DNA fingerprinting.

Nazi Medical Experiments


A leader in these barbaric practices was Dr. Josef Mengele, who experimented on twins at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. Mengele's procedures often involved extensive, invasive examinations, which the twins would be murdered by a lethal injection of phenol. The twins were then dissected and their organs and parts comparatively analyzed.

First Bacterial Genome

July 28, 1995

A team from The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) publishes the 1.8 Mbp genome of the Gram-negative bacillus Haemophilus influenzae, the first cellular organism to be fully decoded.

Animal Cloning

July 5, 1996

Even though, when Dolly the sheep was born and it didn't get announced till the following year. Dolly became cloned no other mammal had been cloned from adult DNA. She was cloned at the Roslin Institute in Midlothian, Scotland, and lived there until her death when she was six years old.

Human-Animal Hybrid Research


Scientists who produced pigs that had human blood at the famed Mayo Clinic. The following year, Chinese scientists put human cells into rabbit eggs.