The History of Biotechnology (post-1900)

  • Cancer-causing virus discovered

    Cancer-causing virus discovered
    American pathologist Peyton Rous discovers the first cancer-causing virus. As a pathologist he made his seminal observation, that a malignant tumor (specifically, a sarcoma) growing on a domestic chicken could be transferred to another fowl simply by exposing the healthy bird to a cell-free filtrate, in 1911.In 1966 he was awarded a a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work.
  • Period: to

    Experimental Period

    People were beginning to see what could be done with bio tech
  • Penicillin discovered

    Penicillin discovered
    Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin.
  • Hybrid corn commercialized

  • Penicillin mass-produced

    Penicillin mass-produced
    Penicillin is mass-produced in microbes for the first time.
  • DNA lab-made

    DNA lab-made
    DNA is made in a test tube for the first time.
  • Economic Research Service (ERS) is established

    Economic Research Service (ERS) is established
    help people with their decisions on economic and policy issues related to agriculture, food, farming, natural resources, and rural development
    -Biotech: address economic issues related to the marketing, labeling, and trading of biotechnology-derived products
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is established

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is established
    -Their mission is to protect human health and the environment by writing and enforcing regulations
    -Regulate new biotechnology crops to ensure these crops don't harm the environment, including other plant and animal species
  • Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is established

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is established
    -Protect animal health, animal welfare, and plant health
    -Determine whether a genetically engineered organism is safe for the environment and that it is safe to use in agriculture
  • Insulin produced

    Insulin produced
    Recombinant human insulin is produced for the first time.
  • Biogen Idec is established

    Biogen Idec is established
    -Worldwide innovative therapies for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, hemophilia and autoimmune disorders
    -Trusted source for multiple sclerosis therapies, discovered the world’s most prescribed treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and an effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis
  • HGH synthesized

    HGH synthesized
    Human growth hormone is synthesized for the first time.
  • Polio free USA

    The United States is certified polio-free by the International Commission for the Certification of Polio Eradication.
  • Smallpox eradicated

    Smallpox eradicated
    Smallpox is globally eradicated following 20-year mass vaccination effort.
  • Organism patented

    Organism patented
    The U.S. Supreme Court approves the principle of patenting organisms, which allows the Exxon oil company to patent an oil-eating microorganism.
  • Amgen is established

    Amgen is established
    -Devoted to patients who suffer from serious illnesses by discovering, developing and manufacturing innovative human therapeutics. They use tools like advanced human genetics to understand the basics of human biology.
    -Amgen R&D contains therapies for hard to treat diseases that have helped over 25 million patients with cancer, kidney failure, blood and autoimmune disorders, as well as other diseases.
  • Period: to

    Technological Period

    Using modern tech to solidify and delve deeper into findings
  • Transgenic animals produced

    Scientists at Ohio University produce the first transgenic animals by transferring genes from other animals into mice.
  • Genzyme is established

    Genzyme is established
    -Committed to bringing transformative therapies for patients with rare and special diseases
    -Known for expertise with rare genetic diseases, lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs), and have expanded to other disease areas such as, thyroid cancer and multiple sclerosis.
    -Clinical trials to create treatments for people with LSDs who have no treatment options and MS treatments that could not only stop the progression of the disease, but also repair the damaged imm
  • Vaccine for livestock developed

    The first recombinant DNA vaccine for livestock is developed.
  • Insulin approved by FDA

    The first biotech drug, human insulin produced in genetically modified bacteria, is approved by FDA. Genentech and Eli Lilly developed the product.
  • Novo Nordisk is established

    Novo Nordisk is established
    -Danish companies Nordisk Insulinlaboratorium and Novo Terapeutisk Laboratorium founded in 1923 and 1925
    -Both companies started the production of insulin
    -Both companies decided to merge in 1983 becoming Novo Nordisk
    -Ever since then Novo Nordisk has had a leading position in diabetes care along with haemophilia care, growth hormone therapy and hormone replacement therapy.
  • Disease markers found

    Genetic markers are found for kidney disease and cystic fibrosis.
  • Hep B vaccine created

    Hep B vaccine created
    The first recombinant vaccine for humans, a vaccine for hepatitis B, is approved.
  • Coordinated Framework for Regulation of Biotechnology

    basic federal policy for regulating the development and introduction of products derived from biotechnology
  • Celgene is established

    Celgene is established
    -Global integrated biopharmaceutical company primarily focused on innovative therapies that are designed to treat patients with cancer and immune-inflammatory related diseases
    -More than 300 clinical trials studying investigational compounds for patients with incurable hematological and solid tumor cancers such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and small cell lung cancer.
  • Gilead Sciences is established

    Gilead Sciences is established
    -Researched-based biopharmaceutical company that develops and commercializes innovative medicines in areas of unmet medical needs.
    -Focused on developing medications that advance the treatment of life-threatening diseases such as HIV/AIDS, liver diseases, cancer, and serious respiratory and cardiovascular conditions
    -More than 200 active clinical trials assessing compounds with potential to become next-generation therapies
  • Pest-resistant corn produced

    Pest-resistant corn produced
    The first pest-resistant corn, Bt corn, is produced.
  • Gene therapy

    Gene therapy
    The first successful gene therapy is performed on a 4-year-old girl suffering from an immune disorder.
  • Breast cancer gene

    Breast cancer gene
    The first gene linked to breast cancer is discovered.
  • GE corn commercialized

    GE corn commercialized
    The first genetically engineered crop is commercialized.
  • Sheep cloned

    Sheep cloned
    A sheep named Dolly in Scotland becomes the first animal cloned from an adult cell.
  • Parkinsons gene discovered

    Parkinsons gene discovered
    The first gene associated with Parkinson’s disease is discovered.
  • Period: to

    Corporate/Modern Period

    The time when businesses fund/make advances
  • Quick diagnostic test created

    Quick diagnostic test created
    A diagnostic test allows quick identification of Bovine Spongicorm Encephalopathy (BSE, also known as “mad cow” disease) and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD)
  • Kenya signs biotech protocol

    Kenya signs biotech protocol
    Kenya is the first country to sign the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. This agreement was created to ensure the safe handling, transport and use of living modified organisms (LMOs) resulting from modern biotechnology that may have adverse effects on biological diversity, taking also into account risks to human health.
  • Transgenic food approved

    Transgenic food approved
    EPA approves the first transgenic rootworm-resistant corn.
  • Approval of first gene therapy product

    China grants the world’s first regulatory approval of a gene therapy product, Gendicine (Shenzhen SiBiono GenTech), which delivers the p53 gene as a therapy for squamous cell head and neck cancer.
  • Human genome sequenced

    Human genome sequenced
    The Human Genome Project completes sequencing of the human genome.
  • UN endorses biotech

    UN Food and Agriculture Organization endorses biotech crops, stating biotechnology is a complementary tool to traditional farming methods that can help poor farmers and consumers in developing nations.
  • Government incentivizes biotech

    The Energy Policy Act is passed and signed into law, authorizing numerous incentives for bioethanol development.
  • Preventative cancer vaccine created

    FDA approves the recombinant vaccine Gardasil®, the first vaccine developed against human papillomavirus (HPV), an infection implicated in cervical and throat cancers, and the first preventative cancer vaccine.
  • Plant-made vaccine approved

    USDA grantsDow AgroSciences the first regulatory approval for a plant-made vaccine.
  • Avian flu vaccine approved

    FDA approves the H5N1 vaccine, the first vaccine approved for avian flu.
  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is established

    National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is established
    -provide funding and program leadership for extramural research, higher education, and extension activities in food and agricultural biotechnology
  • 330 acres of crops

    Global biotech crop acreage reaches 330 million acres.
  • Medicinal animal created

    FDA approves the first genetically engineered animal for production of a recombinant form of human antithrombin.