Genetic Analysis in Mammals: Past, Present, and Future

  • Stephen J. O’Brien
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series


In the mid-1960s, when I first became interested in animal genetics as an undergraduate student, the revolution in biological and genetic technology which is realized today was a mere twinkle in the eye of practicing geneticists. The human gene map contained only a few loci, mostly on the X-chromosome, and Drosophila was the undisputed leader in genetic analysis of metazoans. The mouse genome was the prototype of mammalian gene studies because of the terrific advantages offered by the development of inbred mice. Mendel’s laws were (and still are) the cornerstone of eukaryote genetics and intuitive genetic analysis was a talent practiced by such pioneers as Bridges, Morgan, McClintock, Dobzhansky, and Green. Since that period, the field of animal genetics has grown appreciably due in no small way to the terrific explosion of molecular biology, parasexual genetic analysis, and DNA methodology. Today, we have in our scientific repertoire the ability to examine gene action virtually by direct observation and to put to the test the scores of intriguing hypotheses that have emerged during the deductive period of genetics.


Giant Panda Acrocentric Chromosome Mouse Lemur Indian Muntjac Comparative Gene Mapping 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen J. O’Brien
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Viral CarcinogenesisNational Cancer InstituteFrederickUSA

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