History of genetics
Probably one of the most advancing science field in the XXI century.
The term itself was introduced by William Bateson in 1906 at the III. Plant Hybridization Conference which was held in London.
The history of genetics started in 186, when Gregor Mendel published the results of his investigations and formulated 3 main principles: -the law of Uniformity, -the law of Segregation, -the law of Independent Assortment, which were rediscovered later in 1900.
During the XX century the massive evolution of informatics and technology made possible the big progressions in genetics:
- In 1902 Walter Sutton pointed out the interrelationships between cytology and Mendelism, closing the gap between cell morphology and heredity.
- In 1944 Avery, MacLeod and McCarty proves on bacteria, that the DNA it’s the genetic material.
- In 1953 Watson and Crick discovered the molecular structure of DNA.
- In 1956 the correct number of 46 chromosomes present in somatic cells was established.
- In 1957 Crick and Gamow formulated the central dogma of genetics.
- In 1960 the mRNA is described.
- In 1968 Holley received Nobel Prize for deciphering the genetic code.
- In 1983 Barbara McClintock discovery led to the award of the Nobel Prize for discovering the transposons.
- In 1970 the reverse transcriptase is discovered.
- In 1977 Sanger: new DNA sequencing method. This year, recombinant DNA analysis: the introns and exons are also discovered.
- In 1988 the Human Genome Project began.
- In 1990 the first gene replacement therapy-T cells of a four-year old girl were exposed outside of her body to retroviruses containing an RNA copy of a normal ADA gene. This allowed her immune system to begin functioning.
- In 1997 Prusiner received the Nobel Prize for discovering the prions.
- In 1997 Wilmut-the first successful cloning of a mammal.
-In 2009 Blackburn and Greider receives award of Nobel Medicine Prize for discovering the role of telomerase in protecting chromosome telomeres.
Medical genetics father, Victor McKusick, catalogued all known single gene conditions. The first edition appeared in 1966 containing more than 1,000 single gene disorder description, and in 2003 contained a number of 11,000 entries. By 2010 OMIM (the electronically available single gene disorder database) contains almost 20,000 records
Genetic disorders are present in at least 2% of all neonates, and affects
5% of the population by the age of 25 years.
The impact of genetic disease is becoming more relevant nowadays. The overall contribution of genetic factors in many chronic diseases has been shown. We just started understanding the interactions between genetic, environmental, lifestyle, nutrition and other factors.
Molecular genetics and bioinformatics represent one of the biggest hopes in medical research treating genetic disorders. New visions in treating genetic diseases rely on Gene therapy, RNA modification, targeted gene correction and stem cell therapy. Pharmacogenomics promise new frontiers in treating patients with drug therapy tailored to personal genetic makeup. Nowadays genetics play an important role in prenatal diagnosis, understanding uncommon reactions to specific drugs, identifying risk factors in common diseases, and perhaps someday it will give a helping hand, by treating diseases that lack cure.