Timeline of key events in biotechnology

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Robert 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+0000Stanley was an American biochemist who shared the 1946 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for the 'preparation of enzymes and virus proteins in a pure form.'1971-06-15T00:00:00+0000Bragg shared the 1915 Nobel Prize in Physics with his father, William Henry Bragg, for the development of x-ray crystallography.1971-07-01T00:00:00+0000Houssay was an Argentinian physiologist who won the Nobel Prize in 1947 for discovering how the pituitary gland regulates glucose or blood sugar levels.1971-09-21T00:00:00+0000A Swedish biochemist, Tiselius developed the devise electrophoresis to separate and measure charged particles through a stationary liquid in an electric field. He also pioneered synthetic blood plasma.1971-10-29T00:00:00+0000Kathleen Danna and Daniel Nathans, PNAS, 68/12 (1971), 2913-17.1971-12-01T00:00:00+00001972-01-01T00:00:00+00001972-01-01T00:00:00+0000An American pathologist, Rous was the first to show how viruses could cause cancer. This was based on his work with tumours in chickens. 1972-02-16T00:00:00+0000T. Friedmann, R. Roblin, 'Gene therapy for human genetic disease?'. Science, 175/4025 (1972), 949-55.1972-03-03T00:00:00+0000Kendall shared the 1950 Nobel Prize for Medicine for work on hormones of the adrenal gland. 1972-05-04T00:00:00+0000Key architect of legislation was Bernice Sandler, part-time lecturer at University of Maryland who three-times was denied tenure-track positions despite being on the short-list. She failed to get the appointments because it was claimed was told she was ‘too strong for a woman’. 1972-06-01T00:00:00+0000Theiler won the 1951 Nobel Prize for Medicine for helping to develop a vaccine against yellow fever. 1972-08-11T00:00:00+0000This took place during an unscheduled extra session held at a three-day EMBO workshop on DNA restriction and modification. The session was chaired by Norton Zinder.1972-09-26T00:00:00+0000D A Jackson, R H Symons, P Berg, 'Biochemical Method for Inserting New Genetic Information into DNA of Simian Virus 40: Circular SV40 DNA Molecules Containing Lambda Phage Genes and the Galactose Operon of Escherichia coli', PNAS USA, 69/10 (1972), 2904-09.1972-10-01T00:00:00+0000Janet Mertz and Ronald Davis publish an easy-to-use technique for constructing recombinant DNA. 1972-11-01T00:00:00+0000This was prompted by the publication of the recombinant DNA experpiments published by Berg, Jackson and Symons1972-11-01T00:00:00+0000Stanley Cohen and Herbert Boyer publish genetic engineering techniques to cut and paste DNA (using restriction enzymes and ligases) and reproduce the new DNA in bacteria1973-01-01T00:00:00+0000Niels Jerne, Danish immunologist, electrifies research into antibodies with his proposition that within the body there are a vast number of immune responses going on all the time and that antibodies form not only to external antigens but also in response to internal antigens within the body. 1973-01-01T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
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
15 Jun 1971Wendell M Stanley diedStanleyRockefeller UniversityBiochemistry
1 Jul 1971William Lawrence Bragg died  X ray crystallography
21 Sep 1971Bernardo Alberto Houssay diedHoussay University of Buenos AiresMetabolism
29 Oct 1971Arne W K Tiselius diedTiseliusUppsala UniversityBiochemistry
Dec 1971First experiments published demonstrating the use of restriction enzymes to cut DNADanna, NathansJohns Hopkins UniversityRestriction enzymes, Recombinant DNA, DNA Sequencing
1972US National Cancer Institute recommended creation of international registry of immunotherapy trials  Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology
1972Wistar Instute named National Cancer Institute - first research institution to gain such a title Wistar InstituteOncology
16 Feb 1972Peyton Rous diedRousRockefeller UniversityVirology, Oncology
3 Mar 1972First time gene therapy proposed as treatment for genetic disordersFriedmann, RoblinSalk InstituteGene therapy
4 May 1972Edward Calvin Kendall diedKendallMayo ClinicEndocerinology
Jun 1972President Richard Nixon signs into federal law the Title IX Act, putting an end quotas against appointing women to university positions, including scienceSandler  
11 Aug 1972Max Theiler diedTheiler Vaccine
Sep 1972 - Sep 1972First time possible biohazards of recombinant DNA technology publicly discussedZinder Recombinant DNA
Oct 1972First paper published on generating recombinant DNABerg, Jackson, SymonsStanford UniversityRecombinant DNA
Nov 1972First easy-to-use technique published for constucting recombinant DNA. J. Mertz, R. Davis, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, USA 69/11, pp. 2270-74.Berg, MertzStanford University Medical SchoolRecombinant DNA
1 Nov 1972Nature editorial voiced concern about generating recombinant DNABerg, Jackson, SymonsStanford UniversityRecombinant DNA
1973Recombinant DNA produced in bacteriaCohen, BoyerStanford University Medical School, University of California San Francisco Recombinant DNA
1973Antibody network theoryJerneBasel Institute of ImmunologyAntibodies

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

15 Jun 1971

Wendell M Stanley died

1 Jul 1971

William Lawrence Bragg died

21 Sep 1971

Bernardo Alberto Houssay died

29 Oct 1971

Arne W K Tiselius died

Dec 1971

First experiments published demonstrating the use of restriction enzymes to cut DNA

1972

US National Cancer Institute recommended creation of international registry of immunotherapy trials

1972

Wistar Instute named National Cancer Institute - first research institution to gain such a title

16 Feb 1972

Peyton Rous died

3 Mar 1972

First time gene therapy proposed as treatment for genetic disorders

4 May 1972

Edward Calvin Kendall died

Jun 1972

President Richard Nixon signs into federal law the Title IX Act, putting an end quotas against appointing women to university positions, including science

11 Aug 1972

Max Theiler died

Sep 1972 - Sep 1972

First time possible biohazards of recombinant DNA technology publicly discussed

Oct 1972

First paper published on generating recombinant DNA

Nov 1972

First easy-to-use technique published for constucting recombinant DNA. J. Mertz, R. Davis, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, USA 69/11, pp. 2270-74.

1 Nov 1972

Nature editorial voiced concern about generating recombinant DNA

1973

Recombinant DNA produced in bacteria

1973

Antibody network theory