Gene line: Biology’s map unfolds

1859 – Charles Darwin outlines evolution by natural selection of inherited changes

1865 – Gregor Mendel experiments with pea plants, finds genes, and develops theories of heredity

1943 – Erwin Schr?dinger proposes the gene as the information carrier

1944 – A United States team decides that DNA must be acting as the unit of heredity

1953 – Francis Crick and James Watson decipher DNA structure

1977 – Fred Sanger, in Cambridge, develops a way of sequencing DNA

1987 – The US energy department proposes the human genome project

1989 – Cystic fibrosis gene indentified

1995 – Haemophilus influenzae becomes the first free-living organism to have its entire genome sequenced

1999 – At Cambridge, the first map of an entire human chromosome (22)

2000 – First draft of human genome announced June 26. Leprosy, meningitis and fruit fly genomes completed

2003 – Entire human genome is sequenced