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Cracking the Code of Life
Understanding heredity
Intro
Pythagoras
Empedocles
Aristotle
Harvey
Leeuwenhoek
de Maupertuis
Darwin
Mendel
Morgan
Crick & Watson
McClintock
Genome Project
Image
Pierre-Louis de Maupertuis studied the polydactylic hands of a single German family in which the trait had been passed for generations.



1698-1759 Pierre-Louis Moreau de Maupertuis
In his 1751 book, Système de la nature (System of Nature), French mathematician, biologist, and astronomer Pierre-Louis Moreau de Maupertuis initiated the first speculations into the modern idea of dominant and recessive genes. De Maupertuis studied the occurrences of polydactyly (extra fingers) among several generations of one family and showed how this trait could be passed through both its male and female members. He even surmised that polydactyly was the result of a mutation in the "hereditary particles" of an individual and devised a mathematical means of predicting the occurrence of the trait in the family's future offspring.


Watch the Program Here | Our Genetic Future (A Survey)
Manipulating Genes: How Much is Too Much? | Understanding Heredity
Explore a Stretch of Code | Nature vs Nurture Revisited
Sequence for Yourself | Journey into DNA | Meet the Decoders
Resources | Update to Program | Teacher's Guide | Transcript
Site Map | Cracking the Code of Life Home

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