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Portrait of William Bateson (1861-1926), British geneticist. Bateson was not spectacular at school, but graduated with honours from Cambridge in 1883. After a couple of years in America, Bateson returned to Cambridge where he later became director of the John Innes Institute. Bateson was a champion of discontinuity, evolution by a series of 'jumps' rather than the continuous change of natural selection. He began breeding experiments, initially unaware of Mendel's work. When this was rediscovered, Bateson claimed it supported his views. He coined the word 'genetics', and showed that certain genetic traits are inherited by gene interaction - in conflict with Mendelian theory.
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