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Www.helpBIOTECH.blogspot.com | Your Gate Way to Life Science Career

Www.helpBIOTECH.blogspot.com | Your Gate Way to Life Science Career

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Gregor Johann Mendel was born the son of a peasant farmer in 1822
in Heizendorf, Austria, which is now in the Czech Republic. Mendel

www.helpBIOTECH.blogspot.com | Your Gate Way to Life Science Career

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Principal People of Biotechnology 181

began his studies at the St. Thomas Monastery of the Augustinian Order
in Br¨unn in 1843. He was ordained into the priesthood in August of
1847 and immediately went to work as a pastor. From 1851 to 1853,
Mendel studied botany, chemistry, physics, and zoology at the University
of Vienna. He did this with the intent of teaching biology and mathe-
matics. Mendel felt he would be better at research and teaching than at
being a pastor. Unfortunately, he failed the teaching certification exam-
ination several times. Mendel returned to the monastery and was able
to teach part-time aside from his other duties. It was at the monastery
that Mendel did his pioneering work on the patterns of inheritance.
Much of the early works on inheritance developed in the Middle East
were destroyed. Mendel rediscovered the rules of heredity by observing
the passage of traits in plants grown at the monastery. He conducted
meticulous studies on pea plants observing how various characteristics
of their flowers and seeds were passed on from one generation to the
next. Mendel carried out his experimental work in the monastery gar-
den for 8 years. His work culminated in a book titled Treatises on Plant
Hybrids (Versuche ¨uber Pflanzen-Hybride). Unfortunately, the book was
notnoticedbycontemporaryscientists.Mendelgaveavarietyoflectures
abouthisresearchfindings.However,theaudiencedidnotcomprehend
the importance or significance of the work. Mendel’s findings remained
obscure until 1900 when the science was in place to better understand
themechanismsofinheritance.Nowhisworkservesasthefoundationof
biotechnology. His intellectual achievement as a scientist was due to his
ability at making knowledgeable hypotheses and accurate experiments
from his observations. Mendel died in 1884 in Brno, Czech Republic,
from kidney failure.

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