Russian-US geneticist Dobzhansky with fly jars, 1959

Russian-US geneticist Dobzhansky with fly jars, 1959

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Caption: Russian-US geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky (1900-1975) with fly jars and an assistant in his laboratory. Dobzhansky linked Darwin's evolution theory with Mendel's laws of hereditary. He studied the genes of the fruit fly, Drosophila sp, and found a greater variability than expected. He found a high proportion of flies had debilitating genes which were masked by the presence of a dominant 'normal' gene. He showed that the presence of a masked debilitating gene was advantageous as it allowed a population to be more versatile in adapting to a changing environment. Dobzhansky wrote many influential books, including 'Genetics and the Origin of Species' (1937). Photographed in 1959.

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