Geneticist

Definition

noun

The person specializing on genetic, conducting research on the genes and chromosomes to understand the patterns of inheritance of specific traits from parents to offspring as well as variation (mutations) and associated pathologic conditions


Supplement

Geneticists are people specializing in the field of genetics. Genetics is concerned primarily in the biological studies of heredity, particularly the mechanisms of hereditary transmission and the variation of inherited characteristics among similar or related organisms. There are various branches of genetics. One of them is classical genetics, which is the oldest branch of genetics and is rooted from the works of the father of genetics, Gregor Mendel. Gregor Mendel is an Augustinian friar in 19th century. He was able to decipher the patterns in which the traits were passed down from patents to offspring on pea plants. He tried to explain why some pea plants were short and some were tall, but none were in between. He placed nets over the plants so no bees or flies could pollinate the plants. Pea plants are one of the few plants capable of self pollination, so Mendel tried this with short plants and all were short, so he expected that the same thing would happen with the tall plants. But when he tried it, 75% were tall and 25% were short. This was when he used a Punnett square. A Punnett square is a model used to predict the possible outcomes of offspring.

This eventually gave rise to more modern studies and led to more branches in genetics. One of them is cytogenetics, which is a field in genetics at the cellular level. It employs chromosomal banding and karyotyping to study the structure chromosomes and relate it to chromosomal function and aberrations. The person specializing in this field is called a cytogeneticist. A deeper study, which is at the molecular level, is molecular genetics. In this field, geneticists study the structure and expression of genes in an organism with the intent of gaining insight on heredity, genetic variation and genetic diseases.


Word origin: Ancient Greek génesis (origin) + Old French -iste, Latin –ista, Ancient Greek –istḗs (from)

See also:

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