Friday, August 17, 2007

Gregor Mendel

Gregor Johann MendelGregor Johann Mendel (July 20, 1822 – January 6, 1884) was a German-Czech Augustinian priest and scientist often called the "father of modern genetics" for his study of the inheritance of traits in pea plants. Mendel showed that the inheritance of traits follows particular laws, which were later named after him. The significance of Mendel's work was not recognized until the turn of the 20th century. Its rediscovery prompted the foundation of genetics.

As an Augustinian monk, Gregor Mendel was a Christian who belived in creationism.

Mendel was born into a German-speaking family in Heinzendorf, Silesia, then part of the Austrian Empire (now Hynčice in the Czech Republic), and was baptized two days later. During his childhood Mendel worked as a gardener, and as a young man attended the Philosophical Institute in Olomouc (Olmütz). In 1843 he entered the Augustinian Abbey of St. Thomas in Brno, (Brünn). Born Johann Mendel, he took the name Gregor upon entering monastic life. In 1851 he was sent to the University of Vienna to study, returning to his abbey in 1853 as a teacher, principally of physics.

Gregor Mendel, who is known as the "father of modern genetics", was inspired by both his professors at university and his colleagues at the monastery to study variation in plants. He commenced his study his monastery's experimental garden. Between 1856 and 1863 Mendel cultivated and tested some 29,000 pea plants. His experiments brought forth two generalizations which later became known as Mendel's Laws of Inheritance.


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