Timeline of key events in biotechnology

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Barnard was a South African cardiac surgeon who performed the first successful human to human heart transplant.1922-11-08T00:00:00+0000Cohen helped idolate the nerve growth factor that induces the differentiation of nerve tissue. The resesearch has helped advance knowledge about cancer growth and the development of cancer treatments. 1922-11-17T00:00:00+0000Lederberg is best known for having discovered the lambda phage, an indispensable tool for studying gene regulation and genetic recombination. She also invented the replica plating technique which is pivotal to tracking antibiotic resistance. 1922-12-18T00:00:00+0000Carlsson shared the 2000 Nobel Prize for Medicine for 'discoveries concerning signal transduction in the nervous system.'1923-01-25T00:00:00+0000Askonas co-developed one of the first systems for the cloning of antibody-forming B cells in vivo, some of the earliest monoclonal antibodies. She was also one of the first scientists to isolate and clone virus specific T lymphocytes, laying the foundation for defining different influenza sub-sets and improving vaccines. 1923-04-01T00:00:00+0000An American physician and virologist, Gajdusek helped discover the origins and dissemination of infectious diseases. He also investigated kuru, a neurological disease later determined to be the first human prion disease. 1923-09-09T00:00:00+0000E. Freund, G. Kaminer, Wiener Klinische Wochenschrift, Jan 19241924-01-01T00:00:00+0000Guillemin shared the 1977 Nobel Prize for Medicine for 'discoveries concerning the peptide hormone production of the brain.'1924-01-11T00:00:00+0000Loeb was a German-American physiologist and biologist who demonstrated the possibility of reproduction without male fertilisation, parthenogenesis, in sea urchin eggs. He found it was possible to stimulate embryonic development in the eggs of sea urchins without sperm by making slight chemical changes to the water where the eggs were kept. This he discovered while conducting experiments at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. His results were published in 'Activation of the unfertilized egg by ultra-violet rays', Science, 40/1036 (1914), 680-1. While Loeb was nominated for the Nobel Prize many times he never won. 1924-02-11T00:00:00+0000Cormack shared the 1979 Nobel Prize for Medicine for 'the development of computer assisted tomography' - the CT scan. The method makes use of computer-processed X-ray measurements taken at different angles for diagnosis. Since its introduction, in the 1970s, CT scans have become a common form of medical imaging to supplement X-rays and ultrasound. 1924-02-23T00:00:00+0000MacEwen was a Scottish physician who developed a technique to locate brain tumours by observing changes in motor and sensory functions. He performed the first successful intracranial surgery in 1879 on a teenage girl. The operation was conducted based on preoperative observation of twitches on her face and arms. The patient lived for another eight years. An autopsy performed after her death showed no trace of her tumour.1924-03-22T00:00:00+0000Black was a physician and pharmacologist. He is best known for pioneering methods to develop purposefully built drug molecules instead of being synthesised and then investigated for their therapeutic effects. He invented the first modern blood-pressure drug and first modern ulcer drug, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1988. 1924-06-14T00:00:00+0000Bayliss as a British physiologist who, together with Ernest Starling, discovered the first hormone. Found in 1902 the two scientists named the hormone 'secretin' after the Greek word meaning to set in motion. The hormone helps secrete pancreatic juice when food enters the intestines. Bayliss subsequently worked out how trypsin, an enzyme, formed in the small intestine and the time it took to digest protein. He also saved the lives of many soldiers in World War I by recommending injections of gum-saline injections. He made the recommendation based on his studies of wound shock.1924-08-27T00:00:00+0000Benesch was a biochemist who helped discover how haemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells, transports oxygen from the lungs to all cells in the body. This she did with her husband Reinhold in 1967. They subsequently made important breakthroughs into the formation of sickle cells, the cause of sickle-cell anaemia, using the electron microscope. Ruth was one of the 10,000 Jewish children who escaped Nazi Germany to England as part of the Kindertransport programme. 1925-02-25T00:00:00+0000Dayhoff is known as the founder of bioinformatics. This she did by pioneering the application of mathematics and computational techniques to the sequencing of proteins and nucleic acids and establishing the first publicly available database for research in the area. 1925-03-11T00:00:00+0000Miramontes was a chemist. He is best known for having helped synthesise noresthindrone, one of the first compounds used as an oral contraceptive. This he did in 1951 when he was 26 years old. He did the worlk while based at Syntex, a small Mexican company that first made its name in the production of steroids. 1925-03-16T00:00:00+0000Lederberg was an American geneticist who helped discover the mechanism of genetic recombination in bacteria. This was based on some experiments he performed with Edward Tatum in 1946 which involved mixing two different strains of bacteria. Their experiments also demonstrated for the first time that bacteria reproduced sexually, rather than by cells splitting in two, thereby proving that bacterial genetic systems were similar to those of multicelluar organisms. Later on, in 1952, working with Norton Zinder, Lederberg found that certain bacteriophages (viruses that affect bacteria) could carry a bacterial gene from one bacterium to another. In 1958 Lederberg shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine for 'discoveries concerning genetic recombination and the organisation of the genetic material of bacteria.' 1925-05-23T00:00:00+0000Smithies was a geneticist and physical biochemist. He first made his mark in 1955 through his invention of starch gel electrophoresis, a technique used to study human protein variation. Later on, in the 1980s he developed a method for targeted gene replacement in mice, now known as gene targeting, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2007. His method has paved the way to the creation of thousands of lines of mice carrying desired genetic mutations. Such mice are now widely used to investigate the role of many different genes in human health and disease.1925-06-23T00:00:00+0000T.B. Johnson, R.D. Coghill, 'The discovery of 5-methyl-cytosine in tuberculinic acid, the nucleic acid of the Tubercle bacillus', Journal of the American Chemical Society, 47/11 (1925, 2838–44. 1925-11-01T00:00:00+0000Rodell shared the 1994 Nobel Prize in Medicine for the discovery of G-proteins and their role in signal transduction within the cell.1925-12-01T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
8 Nov 1922Christiaan Barnard was born in Beaufort West, South AfricaBarnardUniversity of Cape TownTransplantation
17 Nov 1922Stanley Cohen was born in Brooklyn, NY, USACohenVanderbilt UniversityCell, Biochemistry
18 Dec 1922Esther Lederberg was born in Bronx, New York, USALederbergWisconsin UniversityGenetics, Antimicrobial resistance, Bacteriophages, Lambda phage
25 Jan 1923Arvid Carlsson was born in Uppsala, SwedenCarlssonGoteborg UniversityNeuroscience
1 Apr 1923Brigitte Askonas was born in Vienna, AustriaAskonasViennaMonoclonal antibodies, Immunology
9 Sep 1923Daniel C Gajdusek was born in Yonkers NY, USAGajdusek National Institutes of HealthInfectious diseases
1924Austrian physicians Ernest Freund and Gisa Kaminer discover a substance in intestines of cancer patients that reduce ability of normal serum to dissolve cancer cells. Freund, KaminerRudolf-Stiftung HospitalImmune checkpoint inhibitors, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology
11 Jan 1924Roger Guillemin, 1977 Nobel Prize for Medicine, was born in Dijon, FranceGuilleminSalk InstituteEndocrinology
11 Feb 1924Jacques Loeb diedLoebRockefeller UniversityReproduction
23 Feb 1924Allan M Cormack was born in Johannesburg, South AfricaCormackTufts UniversityDiagnostic imaging
22 Mar 1924William MacEwen diedMacEwanUniversity of GlasgowNeuroscience
14 Jun 1924James W Black was born in Uddingston, ScotlandBlackKing's College LondonPharmacology
27 Aug 1924William M Bayliss diedBaylissUniversity College London 
25 Feb 1925Ruth Erica (Leroi) Benesch was born in Paris, FranceBeneschColumbia UnivesityBiochemistry
11 Mar 1925Margaret Dayhoff was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USADayhoffPhiladelphia 
16 Mar 1925Luis Ernesto Miramontes was born in Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico MiramontesSyntexReproduction
23 May 1925Joshua Lederberg was born in Montclair, NJ, USALederbergUniversity of WisconsinGenetics, Plasmids, Recombinant DNA
23 Jun 1925Oliver Smithies was born in Halifax, United KingdomSmithesUniversity of Washington, University of North CarolinaGenetics, Transgenic animals
Nov 1925T.B. Johnson and R.D. Coghill reported detecting a minor amount of methylated cytosine derivative as byproduct of hyrdrolysis of tuberculinic acid with sulfuric acid but other scientists struggled to replicate their results. Johnson, CoghillYale UniversityDNA methylation, Epigenetics
1 Dec 1925Martin Rodbell was born in Baltimore MD, USARodbellNational Institute of Environmental Health SciencesCell

8 Nov 1922

Christiaan Barnard was born in Beaufort West, South Africa

17 Nov 1922

Stanley Cohen was born in Brooklyn, NY, USA

18 Dec 1922

Esther Lederberg was born in Bronx, New York, USA

25 Jan 1923

Arvid Carlsson was born in Uppsala, Sweden

1 Apr 1923

Brigitte Askonas was born in Vienna, Austria

9 Sep 1923

Daniel C Gajdusek was born in Yonkers NY, USA

1924

Austrian physicians Ernest Freund and Gisa Kaminer discover a substance in intestines of cancer patients that reduce ability of normal serum to dissolve cancer cells.

11 Jan 1924

Roger Guillemin, 1977 Nobel Prize for Medicine, was born in Dijon, France

11 Feb 1924

Jacques Loeb died

23 Feb 1924

Allan M Cormack was born in Johannesburg, South Africa

22 Mar 1924

William MacEwen died

14 Jun 1924

James W Black was born in Uddingston, Scotland

27 Aug 1924

William M Bayliss died

25 Feb 1925

Ruth Erica (Leroi) Benesch was born in Paris, France

11 Mar 1925

Margaret Dayhoff was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

16 Mar 1925

Luis Ernesto Miramontes was born in Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico

23 May 1925

Joshua Lederberg was born in Montclair, NJ, USA

23 Jun 1925

Oliver Smithies was born in Halifax, United Kingdom

Nov 1925

T.B. Johnson and R.D. Coghill reported detecting a minor amount of methylated cytosine derivative as byproduct of hyrdrolysis of tuberculinic acid with sulfuric acid but other scientists struggled to replicate their results.

1 Dec 1925

Martin Rodbell was born in Baltimore MD, USA