Biotechnology Timeline

  • Period: to

    Before DNA

  • Invention of the Microscope

    Invention of the Microscope
    Robert Hooke coined the term "cells" and Anton Van Leeuwenhoek observed the first microorganisms because of the invention of the microscope.
  • Mendels Laws of Inheritance

    Mendels Laws of Inheritance
    Gregor Mendel, an Austrian monk working with pea plants, discovered the simple laws of inheritance of traits that allowed one to predict the outcom of crosses with certain traits.
  • Pasteurization

    Louis Pasteur described the scientific basis for fermentation, wine making, and the brewing of beer, established the science of microbiology, and proposed the Germ Theory, claiming that microorgansims were responsible for infectious diseases.
  • Discovery of DNA

    Discovery of DNA
    Johann Miescher found nucleic acid in white blood cells from pus in bandages. This later led scientists to believe that DNA might be the inheritable material of an organism.
  • Period: to

    DNA Science

  • Discovery of Genes

    Discovery of Genes
    Sudying frit flies, Thomas Hunt Morgan discovered that genes were on chromosomes.
  • Moving Genetic Material

    Moving Genetic Material
    Fred Griffith, using mice, proved that genetic material could be moved from one strain of bacteria to another.
  • Isolation of Penicillin

    Isolation of Penicillin
    Sir Alexander Fleming isolated penicillin from a fungus. Many of his ideas are used to develop biotechnology drugs today.
  • Chargaff and DNA

    Chargaff and DNA
    Chargaff showed that in DNA the number of units of adenine equaled those of thymine and the number of units of cytosine equaled those of guanine.
  • Beadle and Tatum

    Beadle and Tatum
    Beadle and Tatum proposed the "One gene produces one enzyme" hypothesis.
  • DNA Hereditary

    DNA Hereditary
    Avery, McCarty, and McLeod established that indeed DNA was the hereditary material that was transferred.
  • Hershey and Chase

    Hershey and Chase
    Using their famous "blender experiment," Hershey and Chase proved viruses replicated using DNA and confirmed the role of DNA as the hereditary material
  • X-ray Crystallography

    X-ray Crystallography
    Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins established through X-ray Crystallography that DNA was indeed a double helix.
  • Watson and Crick

    Watson and Crick
    Watson and Crick discovered the structure of DNA.
  • Hayes' Discovery of Plasmids

    Hayes' Discovery of Plasmids
    Hayes discovered plasmid DNA, circular pieces of DNA found in bacteria.
  • Walter Gilbert

    Walter Gilbert
    Walter Gilbert discovered the mechanism of gene expression through his study of messenger RNA.
  • Restriction Enzymes

    Restriction Enzymes
    Arber, Nathans, and Smith discovered bacterial restriction enzymes that cut DNA.
  • Khorana and Nirenberg

    Khorana and Nirenberg
    Khorana and Nirenberg discovered the 64 codons (the triplet code of 3 bases in DNA) that code for the 20 amino acids making up proteins.
  • DNA Plasmid Purification

    DNA Plasmid Purification
    DNA plasmid were isolated and purified by vinograd.
  • Transformation of Bacteria

    Transformation of Bacteria
    Madel and Higa wre responsible for the first transformation of the bacterium Escherichia coli.
  • Period: to

    Recombinant DNA Technology and Beyond

  • Cloning

    Cloning experiments wre conducted by Boyer and Cohen.
  • Genetech Foundation

    Genetech Foundation
    Genetech, the world's first genetic engineering company, was founded.
  • Recombinant DNA Guidelines

    Recombinant DNA Guidelines
    140 scientists met to draw up guidelines fro work with recombinant DNA in microorganisms. Paul Berg was a key organizer.
  • New DNA Sequencing

    New DNA Sequencing
    Sanger and Gilbert found a way to sequence DNA. Given an unknown piece of DNA, they were able to read the correct order of bases of adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine.
  • Insulin in E. Coli

    Insulin in E. Coli
    Boyer inserted a synthetic insulin gene into E. coli.
  • DNA Fingerprint RFLP

    DNA Fingerprint RFLP
    Boystein found that one could be identified by the pattern made of one's DNA through a digest by different enzymes. This DNA fingerprint was called a Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP).
  • Vitro Fertilization

    Vitro Fertilization
    Louise Joy Brown was born, the first human baby resulting from in vitro fertilization, in which sperm and egg are joined in a petri dish. The fertilized egg is later implanted into a womb.
  • Biotech Companies

    Biotech Companies
    The U. S. Supreme Court ruled that genetically altered life forms can be patented. This resulted in hug startup o f biotech companies.
  • Transgenic Animals

    Transgenic Animals
    Ohio University scientists made the first transgenic animals.
  • Eli Lilly Company

    Eli Lilly Company
    Eli Lilly Company placed a human insulin gene inside bacteria.
  • Invention of PCR

    Invention of PCR
    Kary Mullis invented polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify DNA in the laboratory.
  • Mediated Gene Transfer

    Mediated Gene Transfer
    Schell, Chilton, Van Montagu, Fraley, and Horsch transformed plants with Agrobacterium -Mediated gene transfer.
  • Application of RFLP

    Application of RFLP
    Jeffries applied RfFLP in DNA profiling to the study of criminal cases.
  • Automated Fluorecence Sequencer

    Automated Fluorecence Sequencer
    An automated fluorescence sequencer was invented, speeding up the labor intense process.
  • Gene Gun

    Gene Gun
    Genes were move into an organism throught the use of a gene gun.
  • Recombinant DNA Revisions

    Recombinant DNA Revisions
    NIH revised safety guidelines for recombinant DNA to include plants grown in greenhouses and animals raised in barns.
  • RNA Interference

    RNA Interference
    Andrew Fire and Craig Mello discovered RNA interference, silencing of genes, in he worm C. elegans
  • MAb Technology

    MAb Technology
    Kohler, Milstein, and Jerne used monolonal antibody (MAb) technology
  • Cloned Dolly

    Cloned Dolly
    Ian Wilmut cloned Dolly the sheep from an adult cell of a ewe at the Roslin insitute in scotland.
  • YACs

    Mynard Olsen and colleagues at Washington University invented "yeast artificial chromosomes," or YACs, which are expression vectors for large proteins.
  • DNA Microarray Technology

    DNA Microarray Technology
    DNA microarray (DNA chip) technology, looking at the expression of all the genes of anorganism at one time on a microscope slide or silicon chip, was developed.
  • Dabiri and Garner

    Dabiri and Garner
    Dabiri and Garner invented an automted DNA sequence that had a capabilty of sequencing 76,800 base pairs per hour, 5 to 30 times faster than existing sequencers. Technology like this greatly sped up the Human Genome Project
  • Riboswitch

    Ron Breaker coined the term riboswitch for part of an mRNA molecule that can regulate its own activity and therefore gene expression.
  • Completion of the Human Genome Project

    Completion of the Human Genome Project
    Announceent was made of the completion of the Human Genome Project (initiated in 1990) by Francis Collins and Graig Venter. The project provided the ability to find genes and gave rise to the sequencing of other genomes.