Timeline of key events in biotechnology

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Lewis Thomas and Frank MacFarlane Burnet develop a theory that the immune system regularly screens and protects the body against cancer, and that cancer only develops when this mechanism fails. 1957-01-01T00:00:00+0000Found by Charlotte Friend, the virus is now known as Friend leukaemia virus. 1957-01-01T00:00:00+00001957-01-01T00:00:00+0000Working with Hilary Koprowski, Plotkin worked on infectious diseases, including a report on the outbreak of anthrax among millworkers1957-01-01T00:00:00+0000The observation was made by Lazarus Astrachan and Elliot Voilin in an experiment to understand ho hereditary information encoded in DNA is used by living cells to synthesise proteins.1957-01-01T00:00:00+0000C.H. Waddington, The Strategy of the Genes: A Discussion of Some Aspects of Theoretical Biology (London, 1957).1957-01-01T00:00:00+0000ED Thomas, HL Lochte, WC Lu, JW Ferrebee, 'Intravenous infusion of bone marrow in patients receiving radiation and chemotherapy'. The New England Journal of Medicine, 257 (J.W. (12 September 1957), 491–6.1957-01-09T00:00:00+0000Hamilton was a medical physicist who pioneered the use of radioistopes for treating and diagnosing disease. He found radioactive iodine particular useful in the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid disorders. 1957-02-18T00:00:00+0000Crick presented his theory to the Society for Experimental Biology. He proposed that RNA acted as an intermediary between DNA and proteins, helping to translate information in the DNA into proteins and that three bases in the DNA always specify one amino acid in a protein. 1957-09-19T00:00:00+0000Achieved by Arthur Kornberg, the experiment was published in the Journal of Biological Chemsitry in May 1958.1957-10-01T00:00:00+0000The American molecular biologists Matthew Meselson and Franklin Stahl describe how DNA replicates, arguing that each strand of the DNA serves as a template for the replicated strand. 1958-01-01T00:00:00+0000The American molecular geneticist Joshua Lederberg and the Austrian-Australian biologist Gustav Nossal publish results from experiments confirming one cell is responsible for the production of just one type of antibody. This confirms the clonal selection theory. 1958-01-01T00:00:00+0000Milstein studies the enzyme phosphoglucomutase under the supervision of Malcolm Dixon and Edwin Webb at the Sir William Dunn School of Biochemistry.1958-01-01T00:00:00+0000Prize awarded to Sanger 'for his work on the structure of proteins, especially that of insulin'.1958-01-01T00:00:00+0000Franklin was a British biophysicist who developed the first x-ray crystalography photograph establishing the double helix structure of DNA. Both Watson and Crick used her photograph to establish their model of DNA for which they won the Nobel Prize. 1958-04-16T00:00:00+0000The patients are 6 Yugoslav physicians who had been accidentally irradiated at a nuclear power plant.1959-01-01T00:00:00+00001959-01-01T00:00:00+0000Fire shared the 2006 Nobel Prize for Medicine for 'discovery of RNA interference - gene silencing by double-stranded RNA.'1959-04-27T00:00:00+0000LJ Old, DA Clarke, B Benacerraf, 'Effect of bacillus calmette-guerin infection on transplanted tumours in the mouse', Nature, 184 (1959), 291-92.1959-07-25T00:00:00+0000Tanaka shared the 2002 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for the development of mass spectrophotometric methods for analysing biological molecules such as proteins. 1959-08-03T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
1957 - 1959Concept developed that the immune system naturally protects against cancerBurnet, Lewis Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology
1957Leukaemia virus found, reinforcing idea that viruses can cause cancerFriendMemorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterOncology
1957Hilary Koprowski appointed fifth director of the Wistar InstituteKoprowskiWistar Institute 
1957Stanley Plotkin assigned to work temporarily at Wistar Institute by CDC of US Public Health ServicePlotkinWistar Institute 
1957First observation of messenger RNAAstrachan, VolkinOak Ridge National LaboratoryDNA, RNA, genetics
1957Conrad Waddington develops model of epigenetic landscape to show the process of cellular decision-making during biological developmentWaddngtonCambridge UniversityEpigenetics, Embryology
Jan 1957First report of bone marrow transplants performed in human (cancer) patientsThomas, Lochte, Lu, FerrebeeBassett Medical CenterStem cells
18 Feb 1957Joseph G Hamilton diedHamiltonCrocker Laboratory 
19 Sep 1957Francis Crick presented what is now known as the 'central dogma' in molecular biology which argues that the main function of genetic material is to control the synthesis of proteinsCrickCavendish LaboratoryDNA
Oct 1957First synthesis of DNA in a test tubeKornbergWashington University in St. LouisDNA, recombinant DNA
1958DNA replication explainedMeselson, StahlCalifornia Institute of TechnologyDNA
1958The cell is confirmed responsible for antibody productionLederberg, NossalUniversity of Wisconsin, Walter and Eliza Hall InstituteAntibodies
1958 - 1961Cesar Milstein takes up a British Council Scholarship at Cambridge UniversityMilstein, Dixon, WebbSir William Dunn School of Pathology 
1958Sanger awarded his first Nobel Prize in ChemistrySangerCambridge UniversityDNA Sequencing
16 Apr 1958Rosalind E Franklin diedFranklinKings College LondonDNA
1959Infused allogeneic bone marrow in accidentally irradiated workers shown to give rise to mature blood cellsMatheHopital Saint LouisStem cells
1959Experiments in mice prove the existence of resident blood stem cells in marrowThomas Bassett Medical CenterStem cells
27 Apr 1959Andrew Z Fire was born in Stanford CA, USAFire Stanford University School RNA interference
25 Jul 1959Mice injected with BCG vaccine shown to develop resistance to growth of implanted tumours. This was the first direct evidence of the immune system's ability to prevent cancer. Old, Clarke, BenacerrafMemorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterCancer immunotherapy, Oncology
3 Aug 1959Koichi Tanaka was born in Toyama City, JapanTanakaShimadzu CorporationAnalytical chemistry

1957 - 1959

Concept developed that the immune system naturally protects against cancer

1957

Leukaemia virus found, reinforcing idea that viruses can cause cancer

1957

Hilary Koprowski appointed fifth director of the Wistar Institute

1957

Stanley Plotkin assigned to work temporarily at Wistar Institute by CDC of US Public Health Service

1957

First observation of messenger RNA

1957

Conrad Waddington develops model of epigenetic landscape to show the process of cellular decision-making during biological development

Jan 1957

First report of bone marrow transplants performed in human (cancer) patients

18 Feb 1957

Joseph G Hamilton died

19 Sep 1957

Francis Crick presented what is now known as the 'central dogma' in molecular biology which argues that the main function of genetic material is to control the synthesis of proteins

Oct 1957

First synthesis of DNA in a test tube

1958

DNA replication explained

1958

The cell is confirmed responsible for antibody production

1958 - 1961

Cesar Milstein takes up a British Council Scholarship at Cambridge University

1958

Sanger awarded his first Nobel Prize in Chemistry

16 Apr 1958

Rosalind E Franklin died

1959

Infused allogeneic bone marrow in accidentally irradiated workers shown to give rise to mature blood cells

1959

Experiments in mice prove the existence of resident blood stem cells in marrow

27 Apr 1959

Andrew Z Fire was born in Stanford CA, USA

25 Jul 1959

Mice injected with BCG vaccine shown to develop resistance to growth of implanted tumours. This was the first direct evidence of the immune system's ability to prevent cancer.

3 Aug 1959

Koichi Tanaka was born in Toyama City, Japan