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November 1993

Mendelism in Early 20th-Century American Dermatology

Arch Dermatol. 1993;129(11):1405-1408. doi:10.1001/archderm.1993.01680320039005

Now, to review the appearance of mendelian concepts in American dermatology. In our world of instantaneous and sometimes overwhelming dissemination of new information and the apparent rapid incorporation of new knowledge into our specialty, it is useful to examine how heredity was incorporated in the dermatologic literature in the first 25 years of the 20th century. The dermatologic literature serves as a surrogate for the thought of the era.

(Arch Dermatol. 1993;129:1405-1408)

MENDEL REDISCOVERED  Gregor Mendel's life (1822-1884) and work has been reviewed elsewhere.1 Mendel's laws, segregation, dominance, and independent assortment, were published in 1866 and formed the basis of the interpretation of his studies on peas.2 The law of segregation states that "in the formation of the germ cells, the two factors for any characteristic are always separated from each other and end[ed] up in a different gamete." The law of independent assortment states that maternal and

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