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Who are some famous biologists, and what were their contributions to science?

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Quick Answer

Some of the most famous biologists and their contributions to science are Charles Darwin for the theory of evolution by natural selection, Gregor Mendel for discovering the foundation of modern genetics, and James Watson and Francis Crick for the determining the structure of DNA.

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In "On the Origin of Species," Charles Darwin introduced the concept that populations of organisms evolve through the process of natural selection. Darwin posited that nature may select certain traits in the same way that humans breed plants and animals for particular qualities. Over time, populations evolve as nature selects for traits that promote increased survival and reproduction. Today, scientists consider this theory a cornerstone of modern biology.

Gregor Mendel bred pea plants to investigate how parents transmitted traits to offspring. Through these experiments, he formulated the Law of Segregation, which states that dominant and recessive traits are passed on to offspring randomly. Mendel also developed the Law of Independent Assortment, establishing that traits are passed from parent to offspring independently of one another. His findings formed the foundation of the modern understanding of genetics.

James Watson and Francis Crick worked together to determine that DNA has a structure made of a double helix. Many scientists regard this finding one of the most important of the 20th century, as it led to the ability to sequence genes, which is vital to biotechnology and modern medicine.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What was Charles Darwin's greatest achievement?

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    The achievement that Charles Darwin is most known for is his development of the theory of evolution, particularly in his book "On the Origin of Species." In the book, Darwin collects evidence and crafts arguments showing that living things change over time and have genetic relation to one another.

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  • Q:

    What was Georges Cuvier's contribution to evolutionary theory?

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    Despite the fact that he refused to believe in evolution, naturalist and palaeontologist Georges Cuvier (1769-1832) contributed to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, particularly in terms of natural selection, by establishing that certain species had gone extinct over time. However, Cuvier did not believe extinction confirmed evolution. He contended that all species were created at once and that some had died off during natural catastrophes.

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  • Q:

    Where did Charles Darwin work?

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    Charles Darwin completed his research supporting the theory of evolution while travelling on HMS Beagle between 1831 and 1836, sailing with it to places important to his studies, including the Cape Verde Islands, Quail Island, the Falkland Islands, the Gal√°pagos Islands and Tahiti. Darwin published his most notable work, "On the Origin of Species," while living in London. He was a member of the Council of the Geological Society.

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  • Q:

    What is "life science"?

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    Life science is a term chiefly used by educators to refer to biomedical topics such as evolution, genetics, anatomy and physiology, or topics that have to do with human society and functioning, such as psychology or anthropology. Life sciences are all scientific fields that deal with the study of life.

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