A discipline of biology, is the science of heredity and variation in living organisms. The fact that living things inherit traits
from their parents has been used since prehistoric times to improve crop plants and animals through selective breeding.
However, the modern science of genetics, which seeks to understand the process of inheritance, only began with the work of Gregor Mendel in the mid-nineteenth century.
Although he did not know the physical basis for heredity, Mendel observed that organisms inherit traits via discrete units of inheritance, which are now called genes.