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Timeline of Biotechnology

Aug 16, 2015



Campaign material for European Biotech Week

EUROPEAN EUROPEANBIOTECH BIOTECHW E E K W E E KThe Evolution of the RevolutionAnswers: A mouse A banana A chickenQ&ATry to rate the following in order of how similar you think their genes are to your own:M o u s e 7 5 % C h i c k e n : 6 0 % B a n a n a 5 5 %Is DNA found in every cell of your body?Answer:Y e s , a p a r t f r o m r e d b l o o d c e l l sHow many meters of DNA does a cell contain?Answer:R o u g h l y 2 m e t e r s o f D N AHow many bases in the DNA code are there in every cell of your body?Answer:T h e r e a r e a p p r o x i m a t e l y3 b i l l i o n ( 3 , 0 0 0 , 0 0 0 , 0 0 0 )c h e m i c a l l e t t e r s ( o t h e r w i s e k n o w n a sb a s e s ) i n t h e D N A c o d ei n e v e r y c e l l i n y o u r b o d y1942By carefully feeding cantaloupe mold in large tanks, American microbiologist Andrew Moyer develops a technique ofproducing penicillin in large quantities,launching its career as a wonder drug.8,000 BC4,000 BC2,000 BC500 BC19681961197319971998199019701970300 BCEUROPEAN EUROPEANBIOTECH BIOTECHW E E K W E E KBiotechnology begins, as humans begin choosing or altering plants and livestock so they can bedomesticated.Potatoes becomethe frst cultivated food.Egyptians master the art ofwinemaking.Egyptians and Sumerians learn brewing and cheese making.In China, moldy soybean curds become the frst antibiotic to treat infections and ailments.1796First small pox vaccine is discovered.Edward Jenner discovered the process of vaccination by inoculating a small boy with cowpox and then trying to re-infect him with smallpox. Theboy recovered from theweaker cowpox infection and thus became immuneto smallpox. The cowpox virus was called Vaccinia,from the Latin word for cow,Vacca. This is how the word Vaccine came into use.1941Danish microbiologist A. Justin coins theterm geneticengineering,a technique involvingthe transfer of a select piece of genetic material from oneorganism to another.1958DNA is produced in a test tubefor the frst time.Marshall W. Nirenberg and Har Gobind Khorana win the Nobel Prize for deciphering the genetic codes of the 20 amino acids,leading researchers to later conclude that the genetic code is universal among all living things.Discovery of messenger RNA tape copyMessenger RNA plays a key rolein protein synthesis. Messenger RNA, also known as mRNA, areRNA molecules that carry genetic information from the DNA in thecell nucleus to the protein-makingmachinery in the cell cytoplasm.For some time after the discovery of DNAs genetic role and thedeciphering of its double-stranded structure (by Crick and Watson),researchers remained perplexed about how exactly the genetic information was conveyed from thegenes to the cytoplasm to producethe proteins required for cellular functions.The French biologists Francois Jacob and Jacques Monod received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their part in this research in 1965.1971First completesynthesis of a gene.First gene-spliced DNA from diferent organisms.Stanley Cohen and Herbert Boyer develop recombinant DNA technology. Con-sidered to be the birth ofmodern biotechnology, they complete the frst successful genetic engineering exper-iment by inserting a genefrom an African clawed toad into bacterial DNA.1989Discovery of defective gene for cystic fbrosis by Dr. Lap-Chee Tsui at Torontos Hospital for Sick Children. Similar discoveries later link specifc genes to other disorders, such as autism,Huntingtons Disease, and a rare heart problem known as Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy. Each has added to a growing knowledge of the complex relationship between gene function and disease.1984Genetic fngerprintingis discovered, which is used today to establish family relationships and to identify criminal suspects.1986The frst genetically engineered plants aregrown outside in felds for the frst time in the USA.They are genetically altered tobacco plants.The world meets Dolly the sheep,the frst cloned mammal. UNESCO adopts the Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights, recognizing thehuman genome as a common heritage that must be safeguarded from inappropriate manipulation.The roundworm C.elegans becomes thefrst multi-cellular organism to have its genome completely sequenced.1999German and Swiss scientists developgolden rice, fortifed with betacarotene,which stimulates production ofVitamin A, thus preventing forms of blindness.Chymosin, an enzyme used in cheese-making, becomes one ofthe frst food products in Canada to be manufactured with recombinant techniques. Normally extracted from rennet, an enzyme complex found in the lining of a cow stomach, chymosin is now produced directly in agents such as e.coli bacteria.The Human Genome Project is launched. This international,13-year efort to determine thesequences of the three billion chemical base pairs that make upthe DNA of a person, eventually identifes 20,00025,000 genes.1976The sequence ofnucleic acid basepairs that combineto make DNA is determined for thefrst time for a specifc gene.1977Herbert Boyer, founder ofthe pioneer biotechnology frm Genentech, uses E. coli bacteria to produce human insulin. The techniquerepresents a signifcant improvement in the efciency and long term viability ofproducing this vital medical therapy, formerly extracted from limited supplies ofanimal tissues that could lead to allergic reactions. The vast majority of insulin used in the today is now produced through this recombinant method.Norman Borlaug becomes the frst plant breeder to win a Nobel Prize, for his work on new wheat varieties that increase yields by 70 per cent. This marks the beginning of theGreen Revolution in world agriculture.American microbiologist Daniel Nathans discovers the frst restriction enzyme that can cut DNA into pieces for various studies and applications. The restriction enzyme technique becomes a fundamental tool in modern genetic research, helpingto create the biotechnology industry and providing the basis for the Human GenomeProject.Swiss scientish Werner Arber,discover that bacterica defent themselves against viruses by cutting thebirus DNA usingspecial restriction enzymes. Theseenzymes are now widely used in modern DNA technologies.1919The word biotechnologyis used in print for the frst time.1839-1855German scientists Matthias Schleiden and Theodor Schwann propose that all organisms arecomposed of cells.Prussian physician RudolfVirchow declares:Everycelloriginates fromanothercell.1833First enzymediscovered and isolated.Greeks developgrafting techniques for plant breeding.1663English physicist,mathematician and inventor Robert Hookediscovers theexistence of thecell.1675Dutch student ofnatural history and microscope-maker Antonij van Leeuwenhoek discovers bacteria.1838Swedish chemist Jns JakobBerzelius discovers proteins.1859Charles Darwins landmark book,The Origin ofSpecies is published.1861French chemist Louis Pasteur develops pasteurization,a process that protects food by heating it to kill dangerous microbes.1865After seven years ofcultivating and testingthousands of pea plants,Gregor Mendel publishes a description of rules governing how hereditary traits pass between generations, the foundation of modern genetics.1870-1910Father of modern plant breeding Luther Burbank develops over 800 new strains of fruits, vegetables and fowers.His blight-resistant Burbank potato is heavily planted across Ireland, ending the potato famine.Botanist William James Beal produces the frst experimental corn hybrid in the laboratory.1922In Toronto, Dr.Frederick Bantingand his assistant Charles Best discover insulin as a treatment for diabetes.1928Scottish bacteriologist Sir Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin as an antibiotic.1943Canadian scientist Oswald TheodoreAvery isolates pureDNA.1953James Watson and Francis Crick arethe frst to describethe double helix structure of DNA.1982The frst recombinant DNA vaccine for livestock is developed.2003200920092013The Human Genome Project is completed.Researchers at Canadas Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centrein British Columbia are the frst to sequence the SARS genome.2010First synthetic cellIn May 2010, J. Craig Venter Institute created the frst fully synthetic, self-replicating bacterial cell, which was named Synthia.While the U.S. government has plugged $430 million into synthetic biology since 2005, most of it has gone toward developingalternative fuels. Some frms arenow starting to leverage thetechnology for medical purposes.2011Human Trials of Malaria VaccineHuman trials of a malaria vaccine areunderway and showing positive results.This cold be the frst vaccine against a parasitic infection.2012Draft Genome for WheatAn international team announces a draft ofthe wheat genome.A hybrid of threegrasses, bread wheat has 3 genomes and over 96 000 genes within one plant, making it particularly complex to decipher.Winnipegs National Microbiology Laboratory completes the frst genetic sequencing of the H1N1fu virus, just as the disease is reaching international pandemic proportions.Quebecbased frm Medicago grows H5N1 (bird fu) vaccinein tobacco leaves. The product becomes the frst plantbased infu-enza vaccine to undergo human trials in Canada.A Canadian team of scientists and engineers from the University of Toronto develop a microchipwith nanoscale components to detect chemical markers for can-cer, a technique that could makediagnosis much faster.The international Potato GenomeSequencing Consortium, releases a draft of the full sequence ofgenome of the potato, the worlds third most important crop.The frst bionic eye has seen the light of day in theUnited States, giving hope to the blind around the world.Developed by Second Sight Medical Products, the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System has helped more than 60 peoplerecover partial sight, with some experiencing better results than others.2013The world celebrates the60th anniversary of Watson and Cricks discovery of thedouble helixAccess to treatment for HIV/ AIDSThe United Nations

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