The cell
nucleus was discovered by Robert Brown, a botanist in 1828. It was found to be
the control centre for the cell and it organelles. Robert Brown invented his
own microscope with a system of lenses. He used the microscope to observe the
nucleus of a plant cell. It was discovered when he was trying to find out how
plants reproduce. He observed that the spot was not limited to the epidermis as
it could also be observed during the early stage of pollen formation. He noted
that this spot was a key component of cells and called them the nucleus. Although
Robert is universally acknowledged as being the discoverer of the cell nucleus,
he also gave credit to Franz Bauer who was a recent botanist at the time and
had made similar observations in which he made a drawing of where the nucleus
was to be located in the cell.Robert Brown made one other important contribution
to science, the finding of looking at pollen grains suspended in water but he
could not understand why. It was then confirmed by Einstein in 1905. He provided
an explanation that the pollen was moving due to interaction with invisible water
molecules.

Genetics
first began with the research conducted by Gregor Mendel. He performed several experiments
with pea plants to demonstrate that characteristic traits inherited by these
plants followed certain patterns.In 1866, Ernst Haeckel described the nucleus
as the centre for passing on elements that determine hereditary characteristics
in Mendel’s work. Then fellow scientist August Weismann found that gametes were
different from somatic cells. He also suggested that the nucleus is the centre
where the genetic material that is responsible for heredity lies. He stated when
the sperm and the egg join in fertilisation, a new combination of chromosomes
is formed. Eduoard van Beneden described the process of meiosis producing gametes
containing 23 chromosomes.Walther Flemming deduced the sequence of chromosome
movements during mitosis. These were later confirmed by microscopy of live
dividing cells. Walther also made the important observation that chromosomes
split along their length during mitosis and he correctly hypothesised that the
split chromosomes were partitioned into different daughter cells at the end of mitosis.
Therefore Flemming recognised that chromosomal movement during mitosis offered
a mechanism for the distribution of nuclear material during cell division. This
lead to the discovery of hereditary mechanisms.

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