Gregor Johann Mendel

Gregor Mendel was born in Heinzendorff in 1822 and died in 1884.
Ever since Mendel was a boy he was very interested in science.
Whenever his friends would come back from school they would tell Mendel
what they studied and he would be so excited. Mendel was so interested
about what his friends told him that he begged his father to let him
study. This meant a great sacrifice to his father he because owned a
small farm.
Needless to say, he sent his young son Gregor, who was only eleven
to school. At school Mendel showed great intelligence so much that his
parents decided to deny themselves the pleasures of life to keep their
son in school. When Mendel was a young man, he became a science
teacher, and a monk. He had a pea garden, there he conducted his
experiments that are renowned by science teachers today.
People told Mendel that he looked like his father. He would think
to himself, why do some people resemble their father and some people
their mother? Many men before Mendel thought that very same question,
yet with all their efforts to figure out this mystery only made things
more complex. How does heredity work? Mendel chose to answer this
question with peas. Because peas are easily bred, and grow quickly
made them a perfect candidate for hereditary experiments.
Mendel tried experiments with crossing tall pea plants with short
pea plants, the results were tall ones. Mendel thought that this
tallness trait must have been the dominant trait. Of course he did not
let this matter rest here, He left the tall children alone until they
formed ripe seeds. Then he took the seeds and planted them. Then the
"grandchildren" plants grew. What happened surprised Mendel not all of
the plants were tall, 1 out of every four plants grown were short.
Mendel thought that shortness must be a recessive trait.
Mendel tilled and grew more pea plants in groups of four. Yet
something even more surprising came to be - the short plant of the four
offspring had nothing but short offspring, and one tall plant had
nothing but tall offspring, but the other two plants gave a mixture,
one short offspring for every three tall ones.
Mendel thought to himself how about the shape of the seeds?
because some peas were rounded and some were wrinkled. He wondered if
these followed the same pattern as did the height.
It was an amazing discovery, and people began by shrugging and
saying "so what, what does it amount to," "Does it concern raising
peas, or even all plants. But there is also the world of animals and
there appearance is probably still a mystery."
These doubters were wrong. Cattle herders often say Mendel has
helped us for instance when we mate cattle we mate a hornless with a
horn one and three out of every four are horn. All over the world
biologists began to test Mendel's theory. All sorts of animals as well
as plants were raised. Many people began to wonder who Mendel was and
what his laws were all about. But Mendel was dead, and the fame that
had passed him by when he was a monk could now only honor his memory
Mendel's experiments were so careful. He grew more than ten
thousand pea plants before he felt he was right. We owe a new science
to Mendel; it is the science of breeding and growing, genetics, and its
laws are the ones Gregor Johann Mendel discovered as he raked, hoed and
tended his little garden.


Funk and Wagnalls New Encyclopedia : Volume 16

Heros Of Civilization : Joseph Cottler & Haym Jaffe, Copyright
1931 : Little, Brown and Company ; Boston

Gregor Mendel : Father Of The Science Of Genetics : H. Sootin,
Copyright 1959 : The Copp Clark Publishing Co., Toronto