Timeline of Significant Advancements in Genetics

  • Discovery of "Cells"

    Discovery of "Cells"
    Robert Hooke (1635-1703) of Britain designed his own microscope and discovered matter made up of what he called cells.
  • Cell Theory Created

    Cell Theory Created
    C.F. Wolff (1733-1794) of Germany proposed a general cell theory.
  • Mendel Starts Experiments

    Mendel Starts Experiments
    Gregor Johann Mendel (1822-1884), an Austrian monk, began experiments with pea plants. He later became known as the "father of genetics."
  • Mendel's Laws

    Mendel's Laws
    Mendel announced his theories of heredity, known as Mendel’s Laws.
  • Chromosomes Discovered

    Chromosomes Discovered
    German biologist Walther Fleming (1843-1905) used dyes to stain cells; he discovered rods he called “chromosomes.”
  • Chromosomal Pairs Discovered

    Chromosomal Pairs Discovered
    American biologist Walter Stanborough Sutton (1877-1916) demonstrated that chromosomes exist in pairs that are structurally similar.
  • Specific Chromosomes Investigated

    Specific Chromosomes Investigated
    American biologist Thomas Hunt Morgan (1866-1945) with Alfred H. Sturtevant of the U.S. showed that genes were located on chromosomes; he experimented with Drosophelia (fruit flies) to investigate sex chromosomes, and discovered X and Y chromosomes, sex-linked traits, and crossing-over.
  • DNA Announced as Genetic Material

    DNA Announced as Genetic Material
    Oswald T. Avery (1877-1955) of the U.S. announced that DNA alone is the substance responsible for heredity.
  • DNA Structure Discovered

    DNA Structure Discovered
    Francis H. C. Crick (1916- ) of Britain and James D. Watson (1928- ) of the U.S. made a model of the DNA molecule and proved that genes determine heredity.
  • Genetic Code Discovered

    Genetic Code Discovered
    Scientists are now able to predict characteristics by studying DNA. This leads to genetic engineering, genetic counseling.