The New England Journal of Medicine 2002

Humans have known for millennia that heredity affects health.1 However, Mendel’s seminal contribution to the elucidation of the mechanisms by which heredity affects phenotype occurred less than 150 years ago, and Garrod began applying this knowledge to human health only at the start of the past century. For most of the 20th century, many medical practitioners viewed genetics as an esoteric academic specialty; that view is now dangerously outdated.