Major Innovations in the History of Biotechnology

  • Period: to

    Before DNA

  • Cells and Microorgamisms

    Cells and Microorgamisms
    Robert Hooke coined the term "cells" and Anton Van Leewenhoek observed the first microorganisms because of the microscope
  • Law of Inheritance of Traits

    Law of Inheritance of Traits
    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 crosses with certain traits.
  • Germ Theory

    Germ Theory
    Louis Pasteur described the scientific basis for fermentation, wine making, and the brewing of beer, established the science of mircobiology, and proposed the germ theory, claiming that microorganisms were responsible for infectious diseases.
  • DNA Inheritance

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

    DNA Science

  • Genes on Chromosomes

    Genes on Chromosomes
    Studying fruit flies, Thomas Hunt Morgan discovered that genes were on chromosomes.
  • Penicillin

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

    DNA and Hormones
    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.
  • One Gene Produces One Enzyme

    One Gene Produces One Enzyme
    Beadle and Tatum proposed one "One gene produces one enzyme" hypothesis.
  • DNA is hereditary

    DNA is hereditary
    Avery, McCarty, and McLeod established that indeed DNA was the hereditary material that was transfered.
  • Viruses Replicate using DNA

    Viruses Replicate using DNA
    Using thier famous "blender experiment" Hershey and Chase proved viruses replicated using
  • DNA is a double helix

    DNA is a double helix
    Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wikins established through X-ray crystallography that DNA was indeed a double helix.
  • Structure of DNA

    Structure of DNA
    Watson and Crick discovered the structure of DNA
  • Plasmid DNA

    Plasmid DNA
    Hayes discovered plasmid DNA, circular pices of DNA found in bacteria.
  • RNA and gene expression

    RNA and gene expression
    Walter Gilbert discovered the mechanism of gene expression through his study of messenger RNA.
  • Bacterial restriction enzymes and DNA

    Bacterial restriction enzymes and DNA
    Arber, Nathans, and Smith discovered bacterial restriction enzymes that cut DNA.
  • 64 codons

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

    Purified Plasmids
    DNA plasmids were isolated and purified by Vinograd
  • Period: to

    Recombinant DNA Technology and Beyond

  • Transformation of bacteria

    Transformation of bacteria
    Madel and Higa were responsible for the first transformation of the bacterium Escherichia coli
  • Cloning

    Clonung experiments were conducted by Boyer and Cohen
  • Genetic Egineering

    Genetic Egineering
    Genentech, the world's first genetic engineering company, was founded.
  • Recombinant DNA guidelines

    Recombinant DNA guidelines
    140 scientists met to draw up guidelines for work with recombinant DNA in microorganisms. Paul Berg was a key organizer
  • Sequence DNA

    Sequence DNA
    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 adrenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine
  • Synthetic Insulin

    Synthetic Insulin
    Boyer inserted sythetic insulin gene into E. coli
  • RFLP

    Botstein found that one could be identified bt the patturn made of one's DNA through a digest by different enzymes. This DNA fingerprint was called a Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP).
  • In vitro fertilization

    In 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 is later implanted in a womb
  • Patented lifr forms

    Patented lifr forms
    The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that geneticaly altered life forms can be patened. This resulted in a huge startup of biotech companies.
  • Transgenic Animals

    Transgenic Animals
    Ohio university scientists made the first transgenic animals
  • Insulin Gene inside bacteria

    Insulin Gene inside bacteria
    Eli Lilly Company placed a human insulin gene inside bacteria
  • Gene Transfer

    Gene Transfer
    Schell, Chilton, Van Montagu, Fraley, and Horsch transformed plants with Agrobacterium-mediated gene transfer.
  • Polymerase chain reaction

    Polymerase chain reaction
    Kary Mullis invented polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify DNA in the laboratory
  • DNA in criminal cases

    DNA in criminal cases
    Jeffries applied RFLP in DNA profiling to the study of criminal cases
  • florescence sequencer

    florescence sequencer
    An automated florescence sequencer was invented, speeding up the labor intence process
  • gene gun

    gene gun
    Genes were moved into an organism through the use of a gene gun
  • Revised safety guidelines

    Revised safety guidelines
    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 Mellow discovered RNA interference, silencing of genes, in the worm C. elegans
  • Monoclonal antibody technology

    Monoclonal antibody technology
    Kohler, Milstein, and Jerne used monoclonal antibody (MAb) technology
  • yeast artificial chromosomes

    yeast artificial chromosomes
    Maynard Olson and colleagues at Washington University invented "yeast artificial chromosomes" or YAC's, which are expression vectors for large proteins
  • Cloning of a sheep

    Cloning of a sheep
    Ian Wilmut cloned Dolly the sheep from adult cell of an ewe at Roslin Institute in Scotland
  • DNA chip

    DNA chip
    DNA microarray (DNA chip) technology, looking at the expression of all the genes of an organism at one time on a microscope slide or silicon chip, was developed
  • Automated DNA sequencer

    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 the 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 therefor gene expression
  • Human Genome Project

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