By Peter S. Harper
An eminent geneticist, veteran writer, OMMG sequence Editor, and famous archivist, Peter Harper provides a full of life account of the way our principles and information approximately human genetics have built over the last century from the point of view of somebody contained in the box with a deep curiosity in its old facets. Dr. Harper has researched the historical past of genetics and has had own touch with a bunch of key figures whose stories and reports expand again 50 years, and he has interviewed and recorded conversations with a lot of those very important geneticists. hence, instead of being a traditional background, this publication transmits the essence of the tips and the folks concerned and the way they interacted in advancing- and infrequently retarding- the sphere. From the origins of human genetics; in the course of the contributions of Darwin, Mendel, and different giants; the identity of the 1st human chromosome abnormalities; and up during the crowning glory of the Human Genome venture, this Short History is written within the author's attribute transparent and private type, which appeals to geneticists and to all these attracted to the tale of human genetics.
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Extra info for A Short History of Medical Genetics
Notwithstanding this, I was never convinced of a peculiarity in my vision, till I accidentally observed the colour of the ﬂower of the Geranium zonale by candle-light, in the Autumn of 1792. The ﬂower was pink, but appeared F I G U R E 1–4 John Dalton (1766–1844), English scientist and describer of red-green color blindness in himself and his family. ) Before Mendel to me almost an exact sky-blue by day; in candle-light, however, it was astonishingly changed, not having then any blue in it, but being what I called red, a colour which forms a striking contrast to blue.
Thus Lamarck’s ideas have considerable importance in the history of human genetics, regardless of whether or not they were “wrong,” and later developments in “Mendelian” genetics need to be seen against a persistent background of sympathy and support for the general principle that environmentally produced characters are capable of being transmitted to future generations, despite all the evidence against it. 37 38 THE FOUNDATIONS OF HUMAN AND MEDICAL GENETICS Genetics and the Origin of Species The ﬁrst half of the 19th century was a barren time for scientiﬁc philosophy in relation to the mechanisms underlying heredity.
This concept is highly relevant to medical genetics today, and indeed it is almost taken for granted. It underlies our understanding of cancer, notably the “two-hit hypothesis” of familial tumors, and of many developmental and chromosomal disorders. Weismann set out his views clearly and concisely in two essays: the ﬁrst, “On Heredity,” formed an inaugural lecture at the University of Freiburg in 1883; the second, “The Continuity of the Germ-plasm as the Foundation of a Theory of Heredity,” gave more detail and was based on an 1885 lecture.