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G E N E T I C S-1

BIOL 1364

Introductory Genetics

Lecturer: Dr. Winston Elibox

Teaching Assistants:
Ms. Aarti Pustam- All course matters
Mrs. Akili Joseph- Your tutorials
INTRODUCTION
TO
GENETICS
Genetics is a branch of Biology
concerned with the study of variation and
how it is inherited. Heredity is the passing of
characteristics from one generation to the
next. The basis for heredity is DNA. Genetics
directly involves an understanding of gene
structure, function and regulation towards
the expression of traits.
Genetic
Information:
1. Directs cellular function

2. Determines an organism’s external


appearance

3. Serves as intergenerational link in


every species
When did it start?
ANCIENT – PREHISTORIC
People were practising genetic techniques thousands of years B.C. although
unaware of all that is known today.

 Domestication of Animals (8000-10000 yrs. B.C.)

 Cultivation of wheat, rice & date palm (5000 yrs. B.C.)

ARTIFICIAL SELECTION &


SELECTIVE BREEDING
SOME NOTABLE MOMENTS
IN THE FIELD
 Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882): Natural Selection & Theory of Evolution

 Theodore Schwann (1810 – 1882): Cell Theory

 Gregor Mendel (1822 – 1884): Principles of Heredity

 Walter Sutton (1877 – 1916): Chromosomal Theory of Inheritance

 Watson & Crick: Structure of DNA

 Frederick Sanger: Sequencing of DNA


Deoxyribonucleic Acid

Nucleic acids form the basis of genetic material in all living


cells (either in the form of DNA or RNA)

DNA is organised into genes (functional genetic


information)

CENTRAL DOGMA:

DNA makes RNA makes PROTEIN


BRANCHES OF GENETICS
• Transmission Genetics

• Cytogenetics

• Molecular Genetics

• Population Genetics

• Biotechnology

• Genomics & Bioinformatics


SOME ADVANCES IN GENETICS
Pharmacogenetics- study of inherited genetic differences in drug
metabolic pathways which can affect individual responses to drugs,
both in terms of therapeutic effect as well as adverse effects.

Gene Therapy- e.g. cancer- transplantation of normal genes into cells


in place of missing or defective ones in order to correct genetic
disorders

Cloning

GMO’s- genetically modified organisms

CRISPR- clustered regulatory interspaced short palindromic repeats-


edit parts of the genome by removing, adding or altering sections of
the DNA sequence (targeted mutagenesis)
Some careers in GENETICS
• Clinical research associate- runs clinical trials to test drugs for their
effectiveness, risks and benefits to ensure that they are safe

• Healthcare scientist, genetics- examines samples of patients' DNA to


identify genetic abnormalities

• Pharmacologist- understands how drugs work so they can be used


effectively and safely, drug discovery and development

• Plant breeder/geneticist- improves the quality and performance of


existing agricultural and horticultural crops as well as create new varieties

• Research scientist (life sciences or medical)- plans and conducts


experiments and analyzes for definite end use: develop new products,
processes or commercial applications, or simply to broaden scientific
understanding
Some careers in GENETICS
• Genetic counselor- provides patients with data about the risks of
genetically inherited conditions

• Cytotechnologist- analyzes fluid and tissue specimens for microscopic


cellular abnormalities, such as bacterial and viral infections, cancer,
meningitis, and other diseases

• University lecturer

• Conservationist

• Palaeontologist

• Marine Biologist

• Evolutionary Biologist
Some careers in GENETICS
• Molecular Biologist

• Pathologist- plants, animals, human

• Virologist

• Microbiologist

• Forensic Scientist- crime fighting/ solving

And many, many more!!!!