Timeline of key events in biotechnology

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The tumour stem cell idea emerges from the study of teratomas in tumour biology. Teratomas are a group of tumours, some benign and some malignant. Such tumours develop from cells early in their development before they become muscle cell, or a nerve cell, etc. 1969-01-01T00:00:00+0000Kjell Kleppe, a Norwegian scientist working in H. Gobind Khorana's Institute for Enzyme Research at University of Wisconsin publishes papers describing the principles of PCR.1969-01-01T00:00:00+0000Called Thermus aquaticus (Taq) this enzyme becomes a standard source of enzymes because it can withstand higher temperatures than those from E Coli. Taq is later important in the PCR technique. 1969-01-01T00:00:00+0000This was developed by Peter Lobhan, a graduate student of Dale Kaiser at Stanford University.1969-01-01T00:00:00+0000The vaccine, RA27/3 had been developed by a team headed by Stanley Plotkin.1969-01-01T00:00:00+0000I. Hellstrom, K. E. Hellstrom, C. A. Evans, G. Heppaer, G. E. Piece, I. P. S. Yang, 'Serum-mediated protection of neoplastic cells from inhibition by lymphocytes immune to their tumor-specific antigens', PNAS USA, 1969, 62, 362-9.1969-02-01T00:00:00+0000W. Arber, S.Linn, 'DNA modification and restriction', Annual Review Biochemistry, 38 (1969), 467-500.1969-07-01T00:00:00+0000Brigette Askonas, a Canadian biochemist, Alan Williamson, a British immunologist, and Brian Wright clone B cells in vivo using spleen cells from mice immunised with haptenated carrier antigen.1970-01-01T00:00:00+0000The American geneticist Leonard Herzenberg creates the flueorcence-activated cell sorter, or FACS, an invaluable tool for studying cell structure and function. Coupled later with monoclonal antibodies the FACS is today a vital not only for basic research but medical diagnosis. 1970-01-01T00:00:00+0000Achived by Har Gobind Khorana at the University of Wisconsin-Madison1970-01-01T00:00:00+0000Treatment given by Stanfield Rogers, Oak Ridge Laboratory and H G Terheggen, municipal hospital, Cologne, in attempt to cure hyperargininemia, an extremely rare genetic disorder that causes brain damage. H. G. Terheggen, A. Lowenthal, F. Lavinha and J.P. Colombo, Familial hyperargininaemia, Archive Disease Childhood, 50 (1975), 57.1970-01-01T00:00:00+0000Milstein working with his doctoral student, David Secher, and post-doctoral researcher Dick Cotton, start their hunt for somatic mutants among antibodies. Reported in R.G.H. Cotton, D.S. Secher, C. Milstein, 'Somatic mutation and the origin of antibody diversity, Clonal variability of the immunoglobulin produced by MOPC21 cells in culture', European Journal Immunology, 3 (1973), 135-40. 1970-07-01T00:00:00+0000Hamilton O Smith, Kent W Wilcox, Journal of Molecular Biology 51/2 (1970), 379-91. 1970-07-01T00:00:00+0000Sera-Lab is established in Crawley-Down, UK, to commercially supply serum reagents to the scientific community. Sera-Lab was to become the first company to commercialise monoclonal antibodies. 1971-01-01T00:00:00+0000Ronald Cape, Peter Farley and Donald Glaser establish Cetus Corporation to generate industrial micro-organisms for the production of greater amounts of chemical feedstocks, antibiotics and vaccine compounds. 1971-01-01T00:00:00+0000K. Kleppe, E Ohtsuka, R Kleppe, I Molineux, HG Khorana, "Studies on polynucleotides *1, *2XCVI. Repair replication of short synthetic DNA's as catalyzed by DNA polymerases", Journal of Molecular Biology, 56/2 (1971), 341-61. The method provides an artificial system of primers and templates that allows DNA polymerase to copy segments of the gene being synthesised. 1971-01-01T00:00:00+0000This was done in Dale Kaiser's laboratory by Douglas Berg together with Janet Mertz and David Jackson1971-01-01T00:00:00+0000The 12 base sequence of bacteriophage lambda DNA is published by Ray Wu and Ellen Taylor in the Journal of Molecular Biology, 57 (1971) 0, 491-511. 1971-05-01T00:00:00+0000Robert Pollack contacted Paul Berg to raise concerns about the potential biohazards of experiments his doctoral research plans to do involving the introduction of genes from the oncovirus SV40 in the human gut bacteria, E-Coli. Following this Berg self-imposed a moratorium on experiments in his laboratory involving the cloning of SV40 in E-Coli. 1971-06-01T00:00:00+0000H. O. Sjogren, I. Hellstrom, S. C. Bansal, K. E. Hellstom, 'Suggestive evidence that the blocking antibodies of tumor-bearing individuals may be antigen--antibody complexes', PNAS, USA, 1971, 68/6, 1372-5. 1971-06-01T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
1969Concept of the tumour stem cell is bornFialkow, Pierce, Hamburger, Salmon, Nowell, Damjanov, SolterUniversity of Washington in SeattleStem cells
1969First principles for PCR publishedKhorana, KleppeUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonPCR, DNA Sequencing
1969New species of bacterium is isolated from hot spring in Yellowstone National Park by Thomas BrockBrockCase Western Reserve UniversityPCR, DNA Sequencing
1969New idea for generating recombinant DNA conceivedLobhanStanford UniversityRecombinant DNA
1969 - 1970First license approved in US and Europe for vaccine against rubella (German measles)PlotkinWistar InstituteVaccine, Virology
Feb 1969Team led by Karl and Ingegerd Hellstrom observe serum from mice with chemically induced tumours can block reaction of lymphocytesHellstrom, Evans, Heppner, Pierce, Yang Fred Hutchinson Cancer CenterImmune checkpoint inhibitors, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology
Jul 1969Discovery of methylase, an enzyme, found to add protective methyl groups to DNAArber, LinnUniversity of GenevaDNA methylation, Epigenetics
1970 - 1972Means developed for cloning B cells that produce single antibodies with known specificityAskonas, Williamson, WrightNational Institute for Medical ResearchMonoclonal antibodies
1970Fluorescence activated cell sorter createdHerzenbergStanford UniversityAntibodies
1970First complete gene synthesised KhoranaUniversity of Wisconsinrecombinant DNA, DNA
1970 - 1975Three West German very young sisters fail to respond to first ever administered gene therapy Rogers, TerheggenOak Ridge National Laboratory, Cologne municipal hospitalGene therapy
Jul 1970Cesar Milstein launches experiments to determine whether somatic mutation underlies antibody diversityCotton, Milstein, SecherLaboratory of Molecular BiologyAntibodies
Jul 1970First restriction enzyme isolated and characterisedSmith, WilcoxJohns Hopkins UniversityRestriction enzymes, Recombinant DNA, DNA Sequencing
1971Sera-Lab foundedMurray Monoclonal antibodies
1971Cetus Corporation, the first biotechnology was foundedCape, Farley, GlaserCetusStem cells
1971Process called repair replication for synthesising short DNA duplexes and single-stranded DNA by polymerases is publishedKhorana, KleppeMITPCR, DNA Sequencing
1971First plasmid bacterial cloning vector constructedBerg, Mertz, JacksonStanford UniversityRecombinant DNA
May 1971Complete sequence of bacteriophage lambda DNA reportedWu, TaylorCornell UniversityDNA Sequencing
Jun 1971First time potential biohazards of recombinant DNA raisedMertz, Berg, PollackStanford UniversityRecombinant DNA
Jun 1971Hellstom team suggest that antibodies bound to tumour cells mask their detection by the immune system Sjogren, Hellstrom, BansalFred Hutchinson Cancer CenterImmune checkpoint inhibitors, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology

1969

Concept of the tumour stem cell is born

1969

First principles for PCR published

1969

New species of bacterium is isolated from hot spring in Yellowstone National Park by Thomas Brock

1969

New idea for generating recombinant DNA conceived

1969 - 1970

First license approved in US and Europe for vaccine against rubella (German measles)

Feb 1969

Team led by Karl and Ingegerd Hellstrom observe serum from mice with chemically induced tumours can block reaction of lymphocytes

Jul 1969

Discovery of methylase, an enzyme, found to add protective methyl groups to DNA

1970 - 1972

Means developed for cloning B cells that produce single antibodies with known specificity

1970

Fluorescence activated cell sorter created

1970

First complete gene synthesised

1970 - 1975

Three West German very young sisters fail to respond to first ever administered gene therapy

Jul 1970

Cesar Milstein launches experiments to determine whether somatic mutation underlies antibody diversity

Jul 1970

First restriction enzyme isolated and characterised

1971

Sera-Lab founded

1971

Cetus Corporation, the first biotechnology was founded

1971

Process called repair replication for synthesising short DNA duplexes and single-stranded DNA by polymerases is published

1971

First plasmid bacterial cloning vector constructed

May 1971

Complete sequence of bacteriophage lambda DNA reported

Jun 1971

First time potential biohazards of recombinant DNA raised

Jun 1971

Hellstom team suggest that antibodies bound to tumour cells mask their detection by the immune system