Robert Hooke coined the term "cells" and Anton Van Leeeuwenhoek observed the first microorganisms because of the invention of the microscope.
Gregor Mendel, an Austrian monk working with pea plants, discovered the simple laws of inheritance of traits that allowed one to predict the outcome of with certain traits.
Science of Microbiology
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 microorganisms were responsible for infectious diseases.
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.
Studying fruit flies, THomas Hunt Morgan discovered that genes were on chromosomes.
Sir Alexander Pleming isolated penicillin from a fungus. Many of his ideas are used to develop biotechnology drugs today.
Fred Griffith, using mice, proved that genetic material could be moved from one strain of bacteria to another.
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 proposed the "One gene produces one enzyme" hypothesis. 1944 Avery, McCarty, and McLeod established the indeed DNA was the hereditary material.
Using their famous "blender experiment," Hershey and Chase proved viruses replicated using DNA and confirmed the role of DNA as the hereditary material
Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins established through X-ray crystallography that DNA was indeed a double helix.
Watson and Crick discovered the structure of DNA
Hayes discovered plasmid DNA, circular pieces of DNA found in bactria.
Walter Gilbert discovered the mechanism of gene expression through his study of messenger RNA.
Arber, Nathans, and Smith discovered bacterial restriction enzymes that cut DNA.
Khorana and Nirenberg discovered 64 Codons (the triplet code of 3 bases in DNA) that code for the 20 amino acids making up proteins.
DNA plasmids were isolated and purified by Vinograd.
Madel and Higa were responsible for the first transformation of the bacterium Escherichia coli.
Cloning experiments were conducted by Boyer and Cohen
Genentech, the worlds first genetic engineering company, was founded
140 scientists met to draw up guidelines for work with recombinant DNA in microorganisms. Paul Berg was a key organizer.
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.
Boyer inserted a synthetic insulin gene into E. coli.
Bostein found that one could be identified by the pattern made of ones DNA through a digest by different enzymes. This DNa fingerprint was called a Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism.
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 in a womb.
Genetically Altered Life Forms
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled the genetically altered life forms can be patented. This resulted in a huge startup of biotech companies.
Ohio University scientists made the first transgenic animals
Eli Lilly Company placed a human insulin gene inside bacteria
Schell, Chilton, Van Montagu, Fraley, and Horsch transformed plants with gene transfer
Polymerase Chain Reaction
Kary Mullis invented polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify DNA in the labratory.
Jeffries applied RFLP in DNA profiling to the study of criminal cases
An automated fluorescence sequencer was invented, speeding up the labor-intense process.
Genes were moved into an organism through the use of a gene gun.
NIH revised safety guidelines for recombinant DNA to include plants grown in greenhouses and animals raised in barns.
Andrew Fire and Craig Mello discovered RNA interference, silencing of genes, in the worm
Monoclonal Antibody Technology
Kohler, Milstein, and Jerne used monoclonal antibody (MAb) technology
Yeast Artificial Chromosomes
Maynard Olson and colleagues at Washington University invented "yeast artificial chromosomes," or YACs, which are expression vectors for large proteins.
Cloning of Dolly the Sheep
ian Wilmut cloned Dolly the sheep from an adult cell of a ewe at the Roslin Institute in Scotland.
DNA microarray (DNA chip) technology, looking at the expression af all the genes of an organism at one time on a microscope slide or silcon chip, was developed.
Automated DNA Sequencer
Dabiri and Garner invented an automated DNA sequencer that had a capability 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.
Ron Breaker coined the term riboswitch for part of an mRNA molecule that can regulate its own activity and therefore gene expression.
Human Genome Project
Announcement was made of the completion of the Human Genome Project by Francis Collins and Craig Venter. The project provided the ability to find genes and gave rise to the sequencing of other genomes.