Lecturer in Biomedicine
School of Health Sciences
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It is an everyday observation that the offspring of mice are mice and the offspring of humans are humans. What is extraordinary about this observation is that every mouse and every human being begins life as a single cell (the fertilized egg), and that these cells look pretty much the same in mice and human. What makes these cells to grow and develop to completely different organisms is the information that they contain. These information are now called *genes*, a term introduced in 1909 by Wilhelm Johanssen. The collection of all the genes in an organism is called *genome*. *Genetics* is the science of studying the genes and concerned with the diversity, replication, mutation, and translation of the information in the genes. The science of *genetics* began with the work of the Austrian monk Gregor Mendel, who published the result of his experiments on the pattern of inheritance of characters in crosses between different garden peas in 1865. Despite of these sophisticated experiments, the chemical structure of the genetic material and the way in which genes specified information, however, remained unknown until mid twentieth century. Genetics has improved substantially since then and has become deeply integrated in a diverse range of medical and biological areas.