GREGOR MENDEL: Father of Genetics by Roger Klare

GREGOR MENDEL: Father of Genetics

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This book in the Great Minds of Science series is a sketchy outline of the life of Gregor Mendel, the 19th-century Austrian monk who is best known for his experiments with pea plants. Klare includes good descriptions of Mendel's experiments, which launched the science of genetics, but doesn't delve very deep, nor does he demonstrate an understanding of Mendel's motivations. Klare clearly explains the seven traits that Mendel studied in his pea plants, beginning in 1856, and how he cross-pollinated the pea plants to discover dominant and recessive traits. The discussion can become diffuse, covering Mendel's interest in weather, his recording of a tornado, his battle with the government about taxing monasteries, and his interest in bees and fruit trees. An afterword of ""simple activities"" that give ""interesting results"" is silly instead of provocative, inviting readers to spin a coin and to record the number of ""heads"" and ""tails,"" then concluding with a lukewarm hypothesis: ""Today there are still plenty of discoveries to be made. Maybe you will make one."" The glossary is the most useful part of the book, clearly explaining terms that are the essence of Mendel's work: gene, genotype, and heredity, as well as the Law of Independent Assortment, Law of Segregation, etc.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1997
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Enslow