New Delhi: An assortment of peas welcomed users to the Google home page on July 20, 2011. The peas arranged in the shape of the Google logo is Google's tribute to Austrian botanist and monk George Mendel on his 189th birth anniversary.
Born on July 20, 1822 in Heinzendorf, Austria (now in the Czech Pepublic) as Johann Mendel he was given the name Gregor when he joined a monastery as a novitiate of the Augustinian order.
He studied physics and mathematics at Vienna and more importantly studied the anatomy and physiology of plants under botanist Franz Unger.
Mendel began his experiments with plant hybridization at a monastery in Brunn. His choice for his experiments was the pea plant (the reason behind the peas in the Google doodle). His experiments led him to formulate the Law of Segregation and the Law of Independent Assortment, which later became known as Mendel's Laws of Inheritance.
After his experiment with peas, he turned to honeybees. Mendel did not make much efforts to publicise his works and his contemporaries remained sceptical about his research. He was also consumed with administrative responsibilities of his monastic order to be able to devote much time to his scientific pursuits.
Mendel died at the age of 61 on January 6, 1884. It was only after his death, in the early 20th century, that the importance of his works was realised.
For being the architect of genetic experimental and statistical analysis, Mendel is acknowledged as the father of genetics.
Google occasionally swaps its logo for an artistic doodle These Google doodles have gained immense popularity over the past few years and the Google doodle team has put out commemorative doodles on numerous events of international or national importance, ranging from news events, civic milestones, birthdays, death anniversaries and important dates in history.
Apart from the static image doodles Google also puts up animated and interactive doodles. The last interactive doodle was to celebrate the 96th birthday of the country and jazz guitarist, songwriter and inventor, Les Paul.