What is genetics?
Genetics is the study of the genetic composition, heredity, and variation of organisms. Studying genetics enable us to understand many basic aspects of life, especially genetic disease and their possible cure.
Branches of genetics
There are three major branches of genetics: classical genetics, molecular genetics and population/evolutionary genetics. All genetics before 1970s are classical genetics which is mainly based on observing phenotype inheritance; molecular genetics furthered our knowledge on understanding of genes and their behavior. Population genetics tries to answer questions about gene behavior at population and evolutionary level.
Genetic model organisms
One major purpose of genetics is to understand human inheritance and genetic disease. However, humans are not ideal genetic organism because of the un-controlled mating and long life span. A few model organisms are developed to study genetics, such as yeast, Drosophila, Arabidopsis and mouse. These organisms have well established genetic background, relatively short life cycle; relatively large number of offspring from a mating; easy to handle; controlled mating; and they have genetic variations.
Relationship of genetics to society
Prevention of genetic disease is one goal of study genetics, while modifying organisms and making the most of them is another. For disease prevention, genetic counseling before or during pregnancy is an important way, developing molecular medicine (gene therapy) is another. For genetically modified organisms, bt-cotton and bt-corn are successful examples.
How to study genetics
Memorize and understand the concepts and formulas is the key.