Biotechnology the Origins of Biotechnology for Centuries, Essay

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The Origins of Biotechnology

For centuries, humans have been selectively breeding different plants and animals in an attempt to create a species more useful to human endeavors. This alteration of the fundamental basis of a species, although performed for most of human history, has only recently been understood in a more comprehensive manner. The origin of modern genetics can be traced to a little known European monk named Gregor Mendel, who, in the 1860's, performed the first modern scientific experiments aimed at understanding the true nature of heredity. Although news of his work was not generally widespread during his lifetime, by the 1890's, science technology had evolved enough to begin a comprehensive look at heredity; and Mendel's work became the basis of this exploration. From this beginning, the science of biotechnology has currently evolved into, not only a major source of knowledge, but an ever evolving source of a technology as well.

In the 1860's a European monk named Gregor Mendel first began experimenting with pea plants in an attempt to better understand the nature of heredity.
By cross-breeding two different plants that always displayed a specific trait, called true breeding plants, Mendel discovered what is referred to as "Mendel's principles of segregation," sometimes called the "law of segregation." This principle is based on the idea that for each trait an individual displays, they must possess two alleles, or parts of a gene, that originate from each parent. (Pierce, 2012, p.49) The principle of segregation is based on the "concept of dominance," or the idea that one of the two alleles a person possesses for a particular trait will be observed, and that this allele is dominant over the other. The allele that is carried but not displayed was termed by Mendel as "recessive." (Bateson, 1913, p.8) The experiments described so far incorporated only a single trait with a single set of alleles, called a monohybrid, however Mendel also took the principle of segregation a step further by combining two sets of traits, called a "dihybrid….....

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