What are the steps for DNA analysis

The history of genetics

How it all began - DNA testing from the start

Genetics, the study of heredity, is a relatively young science and deals with the development of hereditary traits and the transmission of genes to the next generation.

The foundation stone for modern genetics was laid in 1865 by the Augustinian monk Gregor Johann Mendel, with the postulation of the so-called Mendelian rules. He summarized the crossbreeding experiments that he carried out with peas in the monastery garden to form the three basic rules of Mendelian inheritance. These are still valid today, even if they were initially forgotten.

Three more years later (1869), the building blocks of DNA, the nucleic acids, were discovered for the first time in fish sperm. At the time, nobody knew that these were related to DNA. In 1888, the chromosomes were found in human cells and Mendel's laws were re-excavated and recognized as an important part of heredity.

As early as 1909, the doctor Achibald Garrod discovered that there are diseases that have a family history, such as color blindness. This could be determined in both father and son at the same time. Metabolic diseases of the grandparents also reappeared in the generation of the grandchildren. Ultimately, he was able to find a connection between the diseases and Mendel's laws of inheritance.

In 1903 the American biologist Walter S. Sutton put forward the theory that chromosome pairs represent the carriers of the genetic material. Thomas Morgan took this approach through research on fruit flies, and it was he who found that genes were responsible. In 1933 he received the Nobel Prize for it.

From that point on, genetics advanced rapidly. In 1953 James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the so-called double helix structure of DNA, which resembles a spiral staircase. They also received a Nobel Prize for this.

Another American biochemist succeeded in isolating a single gene from bacteria for the first time in 1969. In 1982 the first genetically engineered drug, human insulin, which is produced by bacteria, was brought onto the US market.

In 1984 the genetic fingerprint (DNA profile) was developed and 3 years later followed with the “Havard cancer mouse”, the first genetically modified and patented animal.

In 1990 the “Human Genome Project” (HUGO) was launched and implemented together with research teams all over the world. The aim of the project was to decipher the entire human genome. In the meantime (1995) the genome of the bacterium Haemophilus influenza and that of the nematode (1998) have been deciphered. Other animals such as the fruit fly and the mouse followed. In 2003 the time had come when the entire human genome was accessible. The information in the dog genome has been available since 2005.