> When Mendel was laying out the foundations of modern genetics, he needed an organism with a visually detectable heritable trait that could easily be grown and crossbred. For this, he chose peas... By making an excellent organism selection, he was able to independently launch the field of genetics.

One interesting part of Mendel's story, which furthers your point: his results didn't replicate in other organisms! He wrote to other botanists, who said he needed to replicate his results in other plants. When he tried to replicate the results in hawkweed, testing in excess of 5000 florets, he got completely contradictory evidence... because it turns out that most hawkweed seeds are produced asexually.

I think I first read about this in Mukherjee's _The Gene_, but refreshed my memory with [Seeds of doubt: Mendel’s choice of _Hieracium_ to study inheritance, a case of right plant, wrong trait](https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00122-016-2788-x) while writing this comment.

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Dec 19, 2022Liked by Elliot Hershberg

Thanks, this was a really interesting and informative piece. Looking forward to more articles on this topic.

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Extreme biology sounds like what I'm looking for. I'm curious how realistic the following scenario is, either now, or in some conceivable future.

The creation of a hyper transmissible virus, which does no harm to humans, except to prevent the infected from creating male children.

Thanks for any input.

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Extremely well written article, thoroughly enjoyed reading it and jumping off into the hyperlinks.

If you can, do share other companies you're aware of in the Extreme Biology space, but did not manage to cover in the article. Thanks Elliot!

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