9 Sep 2011

The History of Biotechnology

Austrian botanist and monk Gregor Mendel proposes basics laws of heredity based upon his cross-breeding experiments with the pea plant. Although a community journal published his theories, they are ignored in support of done thirty years.
German embroyolgist Walther Fleming was examining salamander larve under a microscope when he noticed tiny threads within the cell's nucleus that appeared to be dividing. These tiny treads are later identified as chromosomes.
The term eugenics is coined by Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin. Galton is an early advocate of improving the human condition via selective breeding.

Twenty-eight years after Fleming obsevred chromosome  within a cell's nucleus, biologist Thomas Hunt Mrogan's experiments with fruit flies reveal that some genetically determined traits are sex linked. In addition his work verifies that the genes reside on chromosomes.


U.S.Biologist Hermann Muller discovers that x-rays can cause genetic mutations in fruit flies.

Oswald Avery, Colin Macleod and Maclyn McCarty demonstrate that DNA, not protein, is the hereditary material in most living organisms. This was accomplished based upon their work with the pneumococcus.
UK physcian Douglas Bevis demonstrates how amniocentesis can be used to test fetuses for the their RH factor compatability. The prenatal test will later be used extensively to screen for a number of genetic disorders.
James D.  Watson and Francis Crick publish their paper on the very nature and structure of DNA. They concluded the paper with the medical understatement of the century,  "this structure (DNA) has novel features, which are of considerable biological interest."

UC-Berkeley biochemist Heinz Fraenkel-Conrat takes apart and then reassembles the tobacco virus, demonstrating "Self Assembly."
Using one strand of natural viral DNA to assemble 5,300 nucleotide building blocks, Nobel Laureate Arthur Kornberg's Stanford group synthesizes infectious viral DNA.
Science reports that Stanford Geneticist Leonard Herzenberg develops the flourescence-activated
Cell sorter, which can identify up to 5,000 closely related animal cells.

UC-Berkeley virologists Peter Duesberg and Peter Vogt discover the first oncogene in a virus. Dubbed SRC, the gene has been implicated in many human cancers.
Stanford immunologist Hugh McDevitt reports in Science genes which control immune responses to foreign substances, suggesting predictable susceptibility to some diseases.
UC-Berkeley biochemist Bruce Ames develops a test to identify chemicals that damage DNA, The Ames Test becomes a widely used method to identify carcinogenic substances.
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA (PNAS) publishes a paper by Stanford Geneticists Stanley Cohen and Annie Chang, and UCSF Biochemists Herbert Boyer and Robert Helling describing the first construction of a recombinant DNAmolecule containing the genetic material from two different species.
PNAS publishes a paper by Stanley Cohen and Herbert Boyer in which they demonstrate the expression of a foreign gene implanted in bacteria by recombinant DNA methods. Cohen and Boyer show that DNA can be cut with a restriction enzyme, joined together with other enzymes, and reproduced by inserting the DNA into Escherichia coli.

Science publishes a letter by Stanford Biochemist Paul Berg and others calling for National Institute of Health Guidelines for DNA Splicing. The letter requests that scientists desist from certain types of recombinant DNA experiments until questions of safety can be addressed
Researchers and academicians convene a three-day meeting at Asilomar to debate scientific concerns about gene splicing. A year later the NIH issues guidelines.
UCSF virologists J. Michael Bishop and Harold Varmus show that oncogenes appear on animal chromosomes and alternatives in their structure or expression result in cancer.
UCSF biochemists Bill Rutter and Howard Goodman report in Science the isolation of the gene for rat insulin.
Genentech Inc. Reports expression of the first human protein produced in a microorganism, somatostatin, a human growth hormone-releasing inhibitory factor.
After two years of discussion between Stanford and the NIH, the federal government affirms that universities can hold patents and license recombinant DNA inventions.
Genentech Inc. And The City of Hope National Medical Center announce the successful laboratory production of human insulin using recombinant DNA technology.
The U.S. Supreme Court holds that life forms can be patented when it allows General Electric's Ananda Chakrabarty a patent covering genetic manipulation techniques.

Genentech Inc. Conducts the first biotech initial public offering. The stock price climbs from $35 to $89, settling at $71.25 at the end of the first day.
Stanford receives a process patent to make mirror-image molecules known as chimeras, an important step in developing new pharmaceuticals.
Cetus completes what was at the time the largest IPO (Initial Public Offering) in U.S. History. Net proceeds top $107 million.

Chiron Corp. Chairman Bill Rutter and Research Director Pablo Valenzuela report in Nature a yeast expression system to produce the hepatitis B surface antigen.

Alza Corp. Receives FDA approval to market the first product (for motion sickness) based on a transdermal or skin patch, delivery system.

Applied Biosystems Inc. Introduces the first commercial gas phase protein sequencer, reducing the amount of protein sample needed to sequence a protein.
UCSF neurologist Stanley Prusiner describes a new pathogen, dubbed "prion," which contains little or no genetic material and contributes to degenerative brain diseases.
UC-Berkeley Plant pathologist Steve Lindow requests government permission to test genetically engineered bacteria to control frost damage to potatoes or strawberries.
Eli Lilly & Company receives FDA approval to sell Genentech  Inc.'s human insulin, the first product of recombinant DNA technology to reach the market.
UCSF pediatric immunologist Arthur Ammann warns the Centers for Disease Control that tainted blood can transmit AIDS. Nine months later, the blood bank at Stanford School of Medicine becomes the first to screen blood to prevent AIDS transmission.

Syntex Corp.'s diagnostics and drug monitoring subsidiary, Syva Co., receives FDA approval for a monoclonal antibody based diagnostic test for Chlamydia Trachomatis.

Applied Biosystems Inc. Begins supplying DNA synthesis instruments using phosphoramadite chemistry, to manufacture synthetic DNA used in probes, primers and gene constructs.


SRI International files for a patent for an E. Coli expression vector. Three months later SRI unveils a five year biotechnology business plan.
Jay Levy's UCSF lab isolates the AIDS virus at almost the same time it is isolated at the Pasteur Institute in Paris and at the NIH.
Cal Bio scientists describe in Nature the isolation of a gene for anaritide acetate, which helps regulate blood pressure and control salt and water excretion.
Stanford receives a patent for prokaryote DNA
Chiron Corp. Announces the first cloning and sequencing of the entire human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) genome.
Genentech's Axel Ullrich reports the sequencing of the human insulin receptor in Nature . Bill Rutter's UCSF team describes the sequencing in Cell two months later.
Cal Bio clones the gene that encodes human lung surfactant protein, a major step toward reducing a premature birth complication.
Genentech Inc. Receives FDA approval to market human growth hormone. The first recombinant pharmaceutical product to be sold by a biotechnology company.
Science reports Cetus Corp.'s GeneAmptm polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology, which allows the generation of billions of targeted gene sequence copies in only hours.
Disclosure of Advanced Genetic Sciences Inc. "Roof-Top" experiments with ice-minus bacteria leads to heightened EPA regulation of open-air trials of engineered organisms.
Molecular Devices receives a patent covering a method employing light-generated electrical signals for detecting chemical reactions on the surface of semiconductor chips.
The FDA grants Chiron Corp. A license for the first recombinant vaccine, to battle the hepatitis B virus.
Chiron Corp. And Ortho Diagnostics Systems Inc. Reach agreement to supply AIDS and hepatitis screening and diagnostic tests to blood banks worldwide.
Science publishes a paper by UC-Berkeley chemist Peter Schultz describing how to combine antibodies and enzymes creating "abzymes" to create pharmaceuticals.
Calgene Inc. Receives a patent for the tomato polygalacturonase DNA sequence and its use to produce an antisense RNA sequence, to produce extended shelf life fruit.
Advanced Genetic Sciences Inc. Conducts the first field test of a recombinant organism, Pseudomonas Syringae, a frost inhibitor, on a Contra Costa County strawberry patch.
The NIH (National Institute of Health) awards IntelliGenetics Inc. A $17.2 million over five years to administer GenBank(R), the national computerized data bank of nucleic acid sequences.
Genentech Inc. Receives FDA approval to market Activase(R) (genetically engineered tissue plasminogen activator) to treat heart attacks.
The "Harvard Mouse," created by molecular geneticists Philip Leder and Timothy Stewart, now at Genentech Inc., becomes the first mammal patented in the U.S.

SyStemix Inc. Receives a license on a patent application for the SCID -hu mouse, an immune deficient mouse with a reconstituted human immune system.
Genencor International receives a patent for a process to make bleach-resistant protease enzymes to use in detergents.
The first International Biotechnology Expo & Scientific Conference opens in Oakland, CA. IBEX is now the largest conference to focus on the biotech industry.
Hoffman-La Roche Inc. And Cetus Corp. Reach a licensing agreement for two anti-cancer drugs, interleukin-2 and Polyethylene Glycol modified IL-2. The move leads the way for further cross-licensing between companies with parallel patents.
XOMA Corp. Files for FDA approval to market the first immunoconjugate, CD5 Plus, to treat acute graft-vs.Host disease, a bone marrow transplant complication.
XOMA Corp. Files for FDA approval to market E5, a monoclonal antibody-based therapeutic drug, to treat gram-negative sepsis.
Stanford University opens the $100 million Beckman Center to link fundamental molecular biology and clinical medicine. Nobel Laureate Paul Berg is named director.
Calgene Inc. Conducts its first field tests of antisense tomatoes, to test reduced fruit rotting. This first antisense food product awaits FDAmarketing approval.
Syntex Laboratories introduces an anti-viral agent to slow the spread of life-or-sight-threatening cytomegalovirus infections in immuno-compromised patients.
Plant Gene Expression Center molecular biologist Athanasios Theologis reports in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA) the cloning of a gene necessary to synthesize ethylene, the ripening hormone and gas.
Cutter Biological files for a new drug application for a recombinant Factor VIII biological, the blood-clotting protein missing in people with hemophilia.
The first daily, on-line biotechnology business newspaper, BioWorld
Begins publishing in San Mateo, California. The following April, a daily fax version is introduced.
Arris Pharmaceutical Corp.'s Monty Krieger describes in Nature the cloning of a gene that could lead to an atherosclerosis therapeutic for heart disease.
Science reports that scientists at Genlabs Technologies Inc. And the Centers for Disease Control cloned a portion of the hepatitis E virus.
Protein Design Labs Inc. Reports in Cancer Research that its humanized, anti-IL-2 receptor antibody mediates antibody-dependent cellular toxicity against target T cells.
UCSF and Stanford issue their 100th recombinant DNA patent license. By the end of fiscal 1991, both campuses had earned $40 million from the patents.
Calgene Inc. Announces the first successful field trial of genetically engineered cotton plants for use with the herbicide bromoxynil.
The FDA licenses Chiron's hepatitis C antibody test, removing a major threat to the nation's blood supply and the screening of donated whole blood.
An article in Science by researchers at Athena Neurosciences Inc. Reports on events leading to the formation of the beta amyloid plaque found in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.
Two years after UC-Davis pomologists Gale McGranahan and Abhaya Dandekar report the transfer of a foreign gene into a walnut plant, the first woody crop field trial begins.
The California Supreme Court rules in the John Moore case that a patient does not have rights to profits from products derived from his own cell line.
The FDA approves for sale Burroughs Wellcome Co's synthetic lung surfactant, based on respiratory distress syndrome research conducted by UCSF physiologist John Clements.
The Bay Area Bioscience Center, a non-profit public service corporation founded by universities, companies and local government, open it's office.
UC-Berkeley epidemiologist Mary-Claire King reports in Sciencefinding a gene linked to breast cancer in families with a high degree of incidence before age 45.
The first transgenic dairy cow, created by GenPharm International, Inc. Is born. The cow will be used to produce milk proteins to make infant formula.
The Human Genome project begins: The goal is set of mapping the entire human genome by 2005.
Cancer patients are treated with a gene therapy that produces the tumor necrosis factor, a natural tumor fighting protein. Genes for deafness, colon cancer, inflammation, and sense of smell are discovered.
Nature publishes the discovery by Plant Gene Expression Center research geneticist Sarah Hake that corn's developmental gene, Kn1, contains a homebox for regulating gene expression.
Genes are transferred to treat patients with hereditary high cholesterol, adult brain tumors and neuroblastoma (a  nervous system cancer in infants and children. The genes for adult muscular dystrophy and childhood deafness are discovered.
The first physical maps presented for chromosome 21 and chromosome Y.
Genes are transferred to treat patients with cystic fibrosis, malignant melanoma, small-cell lung cancer, and brain tumors. Researchers discover genes for hereditary colon cancer, Huntington disease, hyperactivity, Lou Gehrigs disease, the most common forms of alzheimer's disease, adrenoleukodystrophy, and adult-onset diabetes.
USDA approves genetically engineered tomato and cow hormone that stimulates milk production.
The physical maps of the following chromsomes are published: 3,11,12,16,19 and 22.
"Dolly" becomes first the mammal cloned.
The Human Genome Project and Celara Genomics Inc. Announce a major milestone in mapping the human genome.