Timeline of key events in biotechnology

Mouseover the event title for a more detailed description of the event (if available). To search for particular terms in the description of the event enter the term in the box below 'Event' on the table and press 'enter'. Alternatively use the dropdown lists to filter by Person, Place or Science. Click here to clear the filter.

ister pioneered the practice of cleanliness in surgery by introducing the routine use of carbolic acid on surgical instruments and wounds.1912-02-10T00:00:00+0000Stevens was an American biologist who was one of the first scientists to describe the importance of the Y chromosome for determining the sex of some species, and to recognise that females have two X chromosomes. 1912-05-04T00:00:00+0000Axelrod was a biochemist who shared the 1970 Nobel Prize for Medicine for 'discoveries concerning the humoral transmittors in the nerve terminals and the mechanism for their storage, release and inactivation.'1912-05-30T00:00:00+0000Porter was a Canadian biologist who developed electron microscope techniques to get high resolution images of cells and tissues. He also developed a roller-flask for culturing cells and co-invented an instrument for getting ultra-thin slices of tissue for microscopy. 1912-06-11T00:00:00+0000Luria shared the 1969 Nobel Prize for Medicine for 'discoveries concerning the replication mechanism and the genetic structure of viruses.'1912-08-13T00:00:00+0000Palade helped determine cell function and organization. He and colleagues demonstrated that all plant cells and some animal and bacteria cells have a vacuole, an enclosed compartment in the cell membrane, which contains enzymes essential to maintaining the cell's health.1912-11-19T00:00:00+0000Mazia helped identify the cell structure responsible for mitosis, which is process eukaryotic cells use to divide chromosomes into two identical daughter cells.1912-12-18T00:00:00+0000Alfred Sturtevant, an American geneticist, experimenting with Drosophila flies, determines that genes are arranged on chromosomes in a linear fashion, like beads on a necklace. 1913-01-01T00:00:00+0000Steptoe was an obstetrician and gynaecologist who co-pioneered in vitro fertilization, the technique that produced the first test tube baby in 1978.1913-06-09T00:00:00+0000Sperry won the 1981 Nobel Prize for Medicine for 'discoveries concerning the functional specialization of the cerebral hemispheres.'1913-08-20T00:00:00+0000A biochemist, Moore shared the 1972 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for contributions to the 'understanding of the connection between chemical structure and catalytic activity of the active centre of the ribonuclease molecule.'1913-09-04T00:00:00+0000 JB Murphy, 'Studies on tissue specificity', Journal of Experimental Medicine, 19 (1914), 181-86.1914-01-01T00:00:00+0000Hodgkin shared the 1963 Nobel Prize for Medicine for 'discoveries concerning the ionic mechanisms involved in excitation and inhibition in the peripheral and central portions of the nerve cell membrane.'1914-02-05T00:00:00+0000Dulbecco shared the 1975 Nobel Prize for Medicine for 'discoveries concerning the interaction between tumour viruses and the genetic material of the cell.'1914-02-22T00:00:00+0000Perutz shared the 1962 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for determining the structure of haemoglobin, the protein responsible for transporting oxygen in blood, and other globular proteins.1914-05-19T00:00:00+0000Synge shared the 1952 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for the invention of partition chromatography, a techique used to separate amino acids in the study of proteins, carbohydrates and DNA.1914-10-28T00:00:00+0000A medical reseacher and virologist, Salk developed the first successful polio vaccine.1914-10-28T00:00:00+0000Speigelman developed the nucleic acid hybridization technique that enables specific DNA and RNA strands to be removed from cells and is the foundation of present day recombinant DNA technology. 1914-12-14T00:00:00+0000The experiments involved increasing the number of lymphocytes in the blood of mice by treating them with low doses of X-rays. JB Murphy, JJ Morton, 'The effects of X-rays on the resistance to cancer in mice', Science, 42 (1915), 842. 1915-01-01T00:00:00+0000Medawar won the 1960 Nobel Prize for the 'discovery of acquired immunological tolerance.'1915-02-28T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
10 Feb 1912Joseph Lister diedListerKing's College London 
4 May 1912Nettie Maria Stevens diedStevensBryn Mawr CollegeGenetics
30 May 1912Julius Axelrod was born in New York, NY, USAAxelrodNational Institutes of HealthNeuroscience
11 Jun 1912Keith Roberts Porter was born in Yarmough, Nova Scotia, CanadaPorter University of ColoradoCell
13 Aug 1912Salvador E Luria was born in Torino, ItalyLuriaMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyGenetics, Virology
19 Nov 1912George E Palade was born in Iasi, RomaniaPaladeRockefeller UniversityCell
18 Dec 1912Daniel Mazia was born Scranton, PA, USAMaziaUniversity of California BerkeleyCell, Genetics
1913First mapping of a chromosomeSturtevantColumbia UniversityDNA
9 Jun 1913Patrick Steptoe was born in Oxford, United KingdomSteptoeOxford, United KingdomReproduction
20 Aug 1913Roger W Sperry was born in Hartford CT, USASperryCalifornia Institute of TechnologyNeuroscience
4 Sep 1913Stanford Moore was born in Chicago IL, USAMooreRockefeller UniversityBiochemistry
1914Experiments by James B Murphy demonstrate that lymphocytes help animals reject grafted tumoursMurphyRockefeller IntituteImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology
5 Feb 1914Alan Lloyd Hodgkin was born in Banbury, United KingdomHodgkinCambridge UniversityNeuroscience
22 Feb 1914Renato Dulbecco was born in Catanzaro, ItalyDulbeccoImperial Cancer Research Fund LaboratoryGenetics, Virology, Oncology
19 May 1914Max F Perutz was born in Vienna, AustriaPerutzLaboratory of Molecular BiologyBiochemistry
28 Oct 1914Richard L M Synge was born in Liverpool, United KingdomSyngeRowett Research InstituteAnalytical chemistry
28 Oct 1914Jonas Salk was born in New York City, USASalkUniversity of PittsburghVirology, Vaccine
14 Dec 1914Solomon Spiegelman was born in Brooklyn, NY, USASpiegelmanUniversity of MinnesotaRecombinant DNA
1915 James B Murphy puts forward hypothesis that the nonspecific stimulation of lymphocytes could provide a cure for cancer based on experiments he and John J Morton carried out on miceMurphy, MortonRockefeller InstituteImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology
28 Feb 1915Peter Brian Medawar was born in Rio de Janeiro, BrazilMedawarUniversity College LondonImmunology

10 Feb 1912

Joseph Lister died

4 May 1912

Nettie Maria Stevens died

30 May 1912

Julius Axelrod was born in New York, NY, USA

11 Jun 1912

Keith Roberts Porter was born in Yarmough, Nova Scotia, Canada

13 Aug 1912

Salvador E Luria was born in Torino, Italy

19 Nov 1912

George E Palade was born in Iasi, Romania

18 Dec 1912

Daniel Mazia was born Scranton, PA, USA

1913

First mapping of a chromosome

9 Jun 1913

Patrick Steptoe was born in Oxford, United Kingdom

20 Aug 1913

Roger W Sperry was born in Hartford CT, USA

4 Sep 1913

Stanford Moore was born in Chicago IL, USA

1914

Experiments by James B Murphy demonstrate that lymphocytes help animals reject grafted tumours

5 Feb 1914

Alan Lloyd Hodgkin was born in Banbury, United Kingdom

22 Feb 1914

Renato Dulbecco was born in Catanzaro, Italy

19 May 1914

Max F Perutz was born in Vienna, Austria

28 Oct 1914

Richard L M Synge was born in Liverpool, United Kingdom

28 Oct 1914

Jonas Salk was born in New York City, USA

14 Dec 1914

Solomon Spiegelman was born in Brooklyn, NY, USA

1915

James B Murphy puts forward hypothesis that the nonspecific stimulation of lymphocytes could provide a cure for cancer based on experiments he and John J Morton carried out on mice

28 Feb 1915

Peter Brian Medawar was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil