Timeline of key events in biotechnology

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B Zetsche, J Gootenberg, O Abudayyeh, I Slaymaker, et al, 'Cpf1 Is a Single RNA-Guided Endonuclease of a Class 2 CRISPR-Cas System', Cell (2015): 1-13.2015-09-25T00:00:00+0000The operation was carried out at Moorfield Eye Hospital, London. It involved transplanting eye cells, called retinal pigment epithelieum, which were derived from stem cells. The surgery was performed by Lyndon Da Cruz as part of the London Project to Cure Blindness, a collaboration between Moorfields, the UCL Institute of Optahalmology and the National Institute for Health Research. 2015-09-29T00:00:00+0000Work presented by geneticist George Church of Harvard Medical School to US National Academy of Sciences.2015-10-05T00:00:00+00002015-10-05T00:00:00+0000Satoshi Omura, Japanese microbiologist, and William C Campbell, Irish American biologist, awarded Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovery of avermectin2015-10-05T00:00:00+0000Statement issued alongside its report 'Updating its Reflection on the Human Genome and Human Rights'. 2015-10-06T00:00:00+0000Awarded to the Swedish scientist, Tomas Lindahl, American scientist, Paul Modrich and Turkish-American scientist, Aziz Sancar.2015-10-07T00:00:00+0000Trial aimed at assessing the use of stem cells, grown from donated human bone marrow, to slow down or stop tissue damage in kidneys in diabetic patients. The project is led by Timothy O'Brien from the National University of Ireland and funded by 6 million Euro grant from European Union Horizon 2020 programme. 2015-10-20T00:00:00+0000TALENs genome editing technique used to design immune cells to help treat baby, Layla Richards, with leukaemia. Work conducted by Paul Vehys and Waseem Qasim. 2015-11-05T00:00:00+0000J E DiCarlo, A Chavez, S L Dietz, K M Esvelt, G M Church, 'Safeguarding CRISPR-Cas9 gene drives in yeast', Nature Biotechnology, doi:10.1038/nbt.3412.2015-11-16T00:00:00+0000V M Gantz, N Jasinskiene, O Tatarenkova, A Fazekas, V M Macias, E Bier, A A James, 'Highly efficient Cas9-mediated gene drive for population modification of the malaria vector mosquito Anopheles stephensi', PNAS Early edition (2015), doi/10.1073/pnas 15210771122015-11-23T00:00:00+0000Summit recommended the continuation of basic and clinical research of the applications gene editing in somatic cells, but stressed it would be 'irresponsible to proceed with any clinical use of germline editing' until the technology's safety and efficacy issues were better understood. 2015-12-01T00:00:00+0000The results suggest 'adenoviral delivery of zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs) to T-cells may be uniquely immune-stimulatory for both acute control of infection, and importantly, HIV reservoir reduction'. Sangamo Biosciences, Press release.2015-12-11T00:00:00+0000Gilman shared the 1994 Nobel Prize for Medicine for discovering G-proteins and their role in signal transduction within cells.2015-12-23T00:00:00+0000Nelson, C E, Hakim, C H, Ousterout, D G, Thakore, P I, et al, 'In vivo genome editing improves muscle function in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy', Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.aad51432015-12-31T00:00:00+0000Kleinstiver, B P, Pattanayak, V, Prew, M S, Tsai, S Q, Nguyen, N T, Zheng, Z, Joung, K, 'High-fidelity CRISPR–Cas9 nucleases with no detectable genome-wide off-target effects', Nature, doi:10.1038.2016-01-06T00:00:00+0000The UK Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority give the go ahead to a team at the Crick institute, led by Kathy Nikan, to edit human embyos to undestand the genetic cause of miscarriage. 2016-02-01T00:00:00+0000The research was conducted by scientists at the University of Warwick who studied tissue samples donated by 183 patients at the Imlantation Research Clinic in Coventry. The finding opened up new possibilities for developing stem cell based treatments for the prevention of miscarriage. E. S. Lucas et al, 'Loss of endometrial plasticity in recurrent pregnancy loss', Stem Cells, 34/2 (2016), 346-56. 2016-03-08T00:00:00+0000The infants received the therapy as part of a small scale trial carried out by Kang Zhang and his team at the Shiley Institute of the University of California in San Diego, together with colleagues in China. The study was published in H. Lin et al, 'Lens regeneration using endogenous stem cells with gain of visual function', Nature, 531 (2016), 323-28.2016-03-09T00:00:00+0000The cells proved capable of differentiating into many cell types, such as nerve, heart, and pancreatic cells, while retaining a single set of chromosomes. It is hoped the cells could help reduce the compexity of identifying genetic abnormalities. The work was done by Dieter Egli of Columbia University, New York, and Nissim Benvenisty, Hebrew University, Jerusalem. It was published in I. Sagi et al, 'Derivation and differentiation of haploid human embryonic stem cells', Nature (2016), doi:10.1038/nature17408.2016-03-17T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
25 Sep 2015New protein, Cpf1, found which could simplify genome editing. Zhang, Zetsche, Gootenberg, Abudayyeh, SlaymakerBroad Institute, Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing
29 Sep 2015First UK patient recieved experimental stem cell treatment for age-related macular degeneration University College London, National Institute for Health ResearchStem cells
5 Oct 2015US Scientists report use of CRISPR to modify 60 genes in pig embryos in first step to create pig organs suitable for use in humansChurchHarvard UniversityCRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing, Transgenic animals
5 Oct 2015Tu Youyou awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of artemisinin, a treatment for malariaYouyou  
5 Oct 2015Satoshi Omura, Japanese microbiologist, and William C Campbell, Irish American biologist, awarded Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovery of avermectinOmura, Campbell  
6 Oct 2015UNESCO’s International Bioethic Committee called for ban on genetic editing of human germline   CRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing
7 Oct 2015Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to scientists for understanding the process of DNA repairLindahl, Modrich, SancarFrancis Crick Institute, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of North CarolinaDNA
20 Oct 2015UK NHS sets up stem cell factory in Liverpool to supply experimental treatment for people with diabetes  Stem cells
5 Nov 2015First report of successful use of gene therapy to treat leukaemiaVehs, QuasimGreat Ormond StreetGene therapy, Gene editing, TALENs
16 Nov 2015US Scientists publish a technique for overwriting changes made by CRISPR/Cas 9DiCarlo, Chavez, Dietz, Esvelt, ChurchHarvard University, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich CRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing
23 Nov 2015US scientists report successful use of CRISPR/Cas9 to genetically modify mosquitoes to make them poor hosts for malaria parasiteGantz, Jasinskiene, Tatarenkova, Fazekas, Macias, Bier, JamesUniversity California San Diego, University of California IrvineCRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing
1 Dec 2015 - 3 Dec 2015 International Summit on Human Gene Editing met to discuss the scientific, medical, ethical, and governance issues associated with recent advances in human gene-editing researchBaltimore, Doudna, Church, ZhangUS National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, US National Academy of Medicine, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Royal SocietyCRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing
11 Dec 2015Preliminary results presented for phase 2 trial using Zinc finger nuclease modified CD4 and CD8 cells to treat HIV patients  Sangamo BiosciencesGene therapy, Gene editing, Zinc fingers
23 Dec 2015Alfred G Gilman diedGilman Cell
31 Dec 2015CRISPR successfully used to improve muscle function in mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, opening way to use CRISPR to correct genetic mutatiuons in affected tissues of sick patientsNelson, Gersbach, Hakim, Ousterout, ThakoreDuke University, University of Missouri, University of North Carolina, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard UniversityCRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing, Gene therapy
6 Jan 2016Harvard scientists published improved version of CRISPR/Cas 9 with less risk of off-target DNA breaksKleinstiver, Pattanayak, Prew, Tsai, Nguyen, Zheng, JoungHarvard UniversityCRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing
1 Feb 2016UK scientists authorised to genetically modify human embryos using CRISPR-Cas 9NiakanCrick InstituteCRISPR-Cas9
8 Mar 2016UK scientists link repeated miscarriages to a reduction of stem cells in lining of the wombBrosens, QuenbyUniversity of WarwickStem Cells
9 Mar 2016A dozen infants born with cataracts reported to regain sight after receiving new stem cell therapy to regenerate healthy lenses in their eyes. ZhangUniversity of California San DiegoStem Cells
17 Mar 2016Scientists announce the first generation of an embryonic stem cell that carries a single copy of the human genome rather than the usual twoEgli, Benvinsty, Sagi, Chia, Golan-Lev, Peretz, Weissbein, Sui, Sauer, YanukkaColumbia UniversityStem cells

25 Sep 2015

New protein, Cpf1, found which could simplify genome editing.

29 Sep 2015

First UK patient recieved experimental stem cell treatment for age-related macular degeneration

5 Oct 2015

US Scientists report use of CRISPR to modify 60 genes in pig embryos in first step to create pig organs suitable for use in humans

5 Oct 2015

Tu Youyou awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of artemisinin, a treatment for malaria

5 Oct 2015

Satoshi Omura, Japanese microbiologist, and William C Campbell, Irish American biologist, awarded Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovery of avermectin

6 Oct 2015

UNESCO’s International Bioethic Committee called for ban on genetic editing of human germline

7 Oct 2015

Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to scientists for understanding the process of DNA repair

20 Oct 2015

UK NHS sets up stem cell factory in Liverpool to supply experimental treatment for people with diabetes

5 Nov 2015

First report of successful use of gene therapy to treat leukaemia

16 Nov 2015

US Scientists publish a technique for overwriting changes made by CRISPR/Cas 9

23 Nov 2015

US scientists report successful use of CRISPR/Cas9 to genetically modify mosquitoes to make them poor hosts for malaria parasite

1 Dec 2015 - 3 Dec 2015

International Summit on Human Gene Editing met to discuss the scientific, medical, ethical, and governance issues associated with recent advances in human gene-editing research

11 Dec 2015

Preliminary results presented for phase 2 trial using Zinc finger nuclease modified CD4 and CD8 cells to treat HIV patients

23 Dec 2015

Alfred G Gilman died

31 Dec 2015

CRISPR successfully used to improve muscle function in mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, opening way to use CRISPR to correct genetic mutatiuons in affected tissues of sick patients

6 Jan 2016

Harvard scientists published improved version of CRISPR/Cas 9 with less risk of off-target DNA breaks

1 Feb 2016

UK scientists authorised to genetically modify human embryos using CRISPR-Cas 9

8 Mar 2016

UK scientists link repeated miscarriages to a reduction of stem cells in lining of the womb

9 Mar 2016

A dozen infants born with cataracts reported to regain sight after receiving new stem cell therapy to regenerate healthy lenses in their eyes.

17 Mar 2016

Scientists announce the first generation of an embryonic stem cell that carries a single copy of the human genome rather than the usual two