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August Weismann (1834-1914)

A German biologist who postulated that a reduction in chromosome number occurred in the germ cells of plants and animals in such a manner as to separate the diploid chromosomes into two haploid groups without a longitudinal division of each chromosome taking place. His prediction has been verified, and reduction division (meiosis) is found to be consistent with bisexuality. He distinguished between body cells and germ cells and proposed the theory of the continuity of germ plasm from generation to generation (1885). He opposed the idea that acquired traits might be transmitted.