Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Died This Day: The Father of Fruit Fly Research

Sept. 25, 1866 – Dec. 4, 1945

From Today In Science History:

Thomas Hunt Morgan was an American zoologist and geneticist, famous for his experimental research with the fruit fly by which he established the chromosome theory of heredity. He discovered that a number of genetic variations were inherited together and that this was because their controlling genes occurred on the same chromosome. In 1908, Morgan began breeding experiments with the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster.

His study of the characteristics inherited by mutants ultimately enabled him to determine the precise behaviour and exact localization of genes.
Morgan and his colleagues produced the first chromosome maps in 1911. Though this work was not widely accepted initially, Morgan was awarded a Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine in 1933.