Barbara discovered the colour variation in corn comes from transposons, or so-called "jumping genes". These stretches of DNA jump out of their original spot in the genome and then place themselves in another, random spot. By moving they may disrupt the activities of nearby genes, including pigment genes. The jumping patterns are different in every cell and this explains the colour variability that Barbara saw in the corn.
Barbara studied corn for 26 years. She gathered data on different types of corn in Central and South America.
Hank and his brother John discuss heredity via the gross example of relative ear wax moistness.
Each father and mother pass down traits to their children, who inherit combinations of their dominant or recessive alleles. But how do we know so much about genetics today?
What do Mendel's peas have to do with genetics?
When Barbara went to Cornell University, women weren't allowed to major in genetics. Barbara earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in botany.
What is DNA? Check out this video and find out more.