Genetics seeks to discover the molecular basis of heritable traits. Originally, the principles of genetics were established using only a few model organisms but the development of DNA cloning, rapid and inexpensive DNA sequencing, and efficient gene editing techniques allows the study of all living organisms while blurring the lines between genetics, biochemistry, evolutionary biology, and bioinformatics.
At Iowa State University faculty in 3 different departments, (Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology - BBMB; Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology - EEOB; and Genetics, Development and Cell Biology - GDCB), administer the undergraduate Genetics major. Faculty in these and many other departments conduct basic or applied genetics research and mentor students in the Interdepartmental Genetics and Genomics Graduate Program (IG). This provide undergraduates as well with a multidisciplinary perspective on genetics and a broad range of possibilities to become involved in genetics research.