Major Innovations in the History of Biotechnology

By bawirtz
  • "Cells" and microorganisms

    "Cells" and microorganisms
    Robert Hooke coined the term "Cells" and Anton Van Leeuwenhoek observed the first microorganisms because of the invention of the microscope
  • Simple laws of Inheritance of traits

    Simple laws of Inheritance of traits
    Austrian monk Gregor Mendel, worked with pea plants to discover the simple laws of inheritance of traits that allowed one to predict the outcome of crosses with certain traits.
  • Fermentation, Science of Microbiology, and the Germ Theory

    Fermentation, Science of Microbiology, and the Germ Theory
    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 that claimed that microorganisms were responsible for infectious diseases.
  • Nucleic acid

    Nucleic acid
    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.
  • Fruit Flies

    Fruit Flies
    Thomas Hunt Morgan discovered that genes were on chromosomes by studying fruit flies.
  • Mice

    Fred Griffith proved that genetic material could be moved from one strain of bacteria to another by using mice.
  • Penicillin

    Sir Alexander Fleming isolated penicillin from a fungus, many of his ideas being used to develope biotechnology drugs today.
  • 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.
  • One gene produces one enzyme

    One gene produces one enzyme
    Beadle and Tatum proposed the "One gene produces one enzyme" hypothesis
  • DNA is transferred

    DNA is transferred
    Averym McCarty, and McLeod established that DNA was the hereditary material that was transferred.
  • The Blender Experiment

    The Blender Experiment
    Hershey and Chase used their "Blender experiment" to prove viruses replicated using DNA and confirmed the role of DNA as the hereditary material
  • double helix

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

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

    Plasmid DNA
    Hayes discovered circular pieces of DNA found in bacteria called plasmid DNA.
  • Mechanism of gene expression

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

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

    64 Codons
    Khorana and Nirenberg discovered the 64 condons, or the triplet code of 3 bases in DNA, that code for the 20 amino acids making up proteins.
  • isolated and purified

    isolated and purified
    DNA plasmids were isolated and purified by Vinograd.
  • Escherichia Coli

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

    Cloning experiments were conducted by Boyer and Cohen.
  • Genentech

    The world's first genetic engineering company, Genentech, was founded
  • Recombinant DNA

    Recombinant DNA
    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, gthey were able to read the correct order of bases of adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine.
  • E. coli

    E. coli
    Boyer inserted a synthetic insulin gene into E. coli.
  • Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism(RFLP)

    Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism(RFLP)
    Botstein 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.
  • Genetically altered life forms

    Genetically altered life forms
    The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that genetically altered life forms can be patented, this resuted in a huge startup of biotech companies.
  • first transgenic animals

    first transgenic animals
    Ohio University scientist made the first transgenic animals.
  • human insulin gene

    human insulin gene
    Eli Lilly Company placed a human insulin gene inside bacteria.
  • Agrobacterium-mediated gene transfer

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

    Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
    Kary Mullis invented polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify DNA in the laboratory.
  • RFLP applied in DNA

    RFLP applied in DNA
    Jeffries applied RFLP in DNA profiling to the study of criminal cases.
  • Gene Gun

    Gene Gun
    Genes were moved into an organism through the use of a gene gun.
  • Automated fluorescence

    Automated fluorescence
    An automated fluorescence sequencer was invented, speeding up the labor-intense process.
  • NIH

    NIH revised safety guidelines for recombinant DNA to include plants grown in greenhouses and animals raised in barns.
  • C. Elegans

    C. Elegans
    Andrew Fire and Craig Mello discovered RNA interference, silencing of genes, in the worm C. elegans.
  • Louise Joy Brown

    Louise Joy Brown
    Louise Joy Brown, the first human baby resulting from in vitro fertilization where sperm and egg are joined in a petri dish and when the egg is fertilized, implanted in a womb, was born.
  • Monoclonal antibody (MAb) technology

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

    "Yeast artificial chromosomes"
    Maunard Olson and colleagues at Washington University invented "yeast artificial chromosomes," or YACs, which are expression vectors for large proteins.
  • Dolly the sheep

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

    DNA chip
    DNA microarray(DNA chip) techmology, looking at the expression of all the genes of an organism at one time on a microscope slide or silicon chip, was developed.
  • Human Genome Project speed up

    Human Genome Project speed up
    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.
  • 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 sequencin gof other genomes.