Timeline of key events in biotechnology

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Milstein and Cotton's create hybrid cell to study allelenic exclusion in antibodies. Reported in R.G.H. Cotton, C. Milstein, 'Fusion of two immunoglobulin-producing myeloma cells', Nature 244 (1973), 42-3. This work lays the foundation for the later development of monoclonal antibodies.1973-07-06T00:00:00+0000A Swiss physiologist, Hess identified the parts of the brain that control internal organs.1973-08-12T00:00:00+0000Waksman was a biochemist and microbiologist. He was the first to coin the term 'antibiotic' and was responsible for the development of many different antibiotics, including streptomycin, used to treat tuberculosis.1973-08-16T00:00:00+0000The National Institutes of Health forms a Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee to oversee recombinant genetic research.1974-01-01T00:00:00+00001974-01-01T00:00:00+00001974-01-01T00:00:00+0000O Stutman, 'Tumor development after 3-methylcholanthrene in immunologically deficient athymic-nude mice', Science, 183 (1974), 534-6.1974-02-08T00:00:00+0000Sutherland determined how hormones work through the isolation of cyclic adenosine monophosphate. This he demonstrated acts as a second messenger in cells and has an important role in the actions of hormones at the cellular level.1974-03-09T00:00:00+0000The investigation into somatic mutation lays the basis for the hunt for an antibody which has known specificity for particular antigens.1974-06-01T00:00:00+0000Berg, P, Baltimore, D, Boyer, J W, Cohen, S N, et al, 'Biohazards of Recombinant DNA,' Science, 185 (1974): 3034.1974-07-05T00:00:00+0000Asilomar Conference in California declares moratorium on genetic engineering research in order to have time to estimate the biohazard risks of recombinant DNA research and develop guidelines.1975-01-01T00:00:00+0000Cesar Milstein, an Argentinian scientist, and Georges Kohler, a German scientist, develop the first long-lasting monoclonal antibodies as part of their basic research project to investigate the mechanism behind the diversity of antibodies. 1975-01-01T00:00:00+0000Swiss-born immunologist Walter Gerhard cultivates single antibodies with known specificity against influenza viruses using Klinman's splenic fragment technique.1975-01-01T00:00:00+0000The Argentinian born scientists Claudio Cuello and Cesar Milstein generate a monoclonal antibody against substance P, a peptide involved in the neurotransmission of pain. This marks the first application of monoclonal antibodies to neuroscience paving the way to an explosion of research into the brain the central nervous system bringing with it better understandings of neurological disease and neuropharmacological intervention. The work is published in A.C. Cuello, G. Galfre, C. Milstein, 'Detection of substance P in the central nervous system by a monoclonal antibody', Proceedings of the National Academy Science, USA, 76 (1979), 3532-6. 1975-01-01T00:00:00+00001975-01-01T00:00:00+0000The method enables 80 nucleotides to be sequenced in one go. Represents radical new approach which allows direct visual scanning of a sequence. 1975-01-01T00:00:00+0000A.D. Riggs, 'X inactivation, differentiation, and DNA methylation', Cytogenet Cell Genet, 14 (1975), 9–25; R. Sager, R. Kitchin, 'Selective silencing of eukaryotic DNA', Science, 189/4201 (1975), 426-33. 1975-01-01T00:00:00+0000R. Holliday, J.E. Pugh, 'DNA modification mechanisms and gene activity during development', Science, 187 (1975), 226–32.1975-01-01T00:00:00+0000R Kiessling, E Klein, H Pross, H Wigzell, 'Natural” killer cells in the mouse. II. Cytotoxic cells with specificity for mouse Moloney leukemia cells. Characteristics of the killer cell', European Journal of Immunology, 5 (1975), 117-121.1975-02-01T00:00:00+0000M Jondal, H Pross, 'Surface markers on human B and T lymphocytes, Cytotoxicity against cell lines as a functional marker for lymphocyte subpopulations', International Journal of Cancer, 15 (1975) 15, 596-605. 1975-04-15T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
Jul 1973Cesar Milstein and Dick Cotton report the successful fusion of two different myeloma cell lines, one from a mouse and the other from a ratCotton, MilsteinLaboratory of Molecular BiologyMonoclonal antibodies
12 Aug 1973Walter R Hess diedHessUniversity of ZurichNeuroscience
16 Aug 1973Selman A Waksman diedWaksmanRutgers UniversityAntibacterial agents
1974Regulation begins for recombinant genetic research  Recombinant DNA
1974First publication on inserting foreign DNA into miceJaenisch, MintzSalk Institute, Fox Chase Institute for Cancer ResearchTransgenic animals
1974The European Molecular Biology Laboratory is founded EMBL 
8 Feb 1974Immune surveillance theory that immune system provides protection against cancer discredited by research showing that 'Nude' mice lacking immune system function no more likely to develop tumours than normal miceStutmanMemorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer CenterImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology
9 Mar 1974Earl W Sutherland diedSutherlandVanderbilt UniversityCell
Jun 1974Georges Kohler joins Cesar Milstein's research team to investigate somatic mutation and antibody diversityKohler, MilsteinLaboratory of Molecular BiologyMonoclonal antibodies
Jul 1974First concerns about potential biohazards of recombinant DNA publishedBerg, Baltimore, Boyer, Cohen Recombinant DNA
1975Temporary moratorium on genetic engineeringBerg Recombinant DNA
Jan 1975Unlimited long-surviving monoclonal antibodies createdMilstein, KohlerLaboratory of Molecular BiologyMonoclonal antibodies
1975Short-lasting antibodies against influenza virus devisedGerhardWistar InstituteMonoclonal antibodies
1975 - 1979First monoclonal antibody created to target a neurotransmitter peptideMilstein, CuelloLaboratory of Molecular Biology, MRC Neurochemical Pharmacology Unit, Oxford UniversityMonoclonal antibodies
1975A liquid media is developed for growing bone marrow cells, including the blood stem cellDexterPaterson Institute for Cancer ResearchStem cells
1975Sanger and Coulson publish their plus minus method for DNA sequencingSanger, CoulsonLaboratory of Molecular BiologyDNA Sequencing
1975DNA methylation suggested as mechanism behind X-chomosome silencing in embryosRiggs, Sager, KitchenCity of Hope National Medical Center, Harvard UniversityDNA methylation, Epigenetics, Embryology
1975DNA methylation proposed as important mechanism for the control of gene expression in higher organismsHoilliday, PughNational Institute for Medical ResearchDNA methylation, Epigenetics
Feb 1975Natural killer cell identified in mice and shown to be important part of immune systemKiessling, Klein, Pross, WigzellKarolinska InstituteImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology
15 Apr 1975Human natural killer cell isolatedJondal, ProssKarolinska InstituteImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology

Jul 1973

Cesar Milstein and Dick Cotton report the successful fusion of two different myeloma cell lines, one from a mouse and the other from a rat

12 Aug 1973

Walter R Hess died

16 Aug 1973

Selman A Waksman died

1974

Regulation begins for recombinant genetic research

1974

First publication on inserting foreign DNA into mice

1974

The European Molecular Biology Laboratory is founded

8 Feb 1974

Immune surveillance theory that immune system provides protection against cancer discredited by research showing that 'Nude' mice lacking immune system function no more likely to develop tumours than normal mice

9 Mar 1974

Earl W Sutherland died

Jun 1974

Georges Kohler joins Cesar Milstein's research team to investigate somatic mutation and antibody diversity

Jul 1974

First concerns about potential biohazards of recombinant DNA published

1975

Temporary moratorium on genetic engineering

Jan 1975

Unlimited long-surviving monoclonal antibodies created

1975

Short-lasting antibodies against influenza virus devised

1975 - 1979

First monoclonal antibody created to target a neurotransmitter peptide

1975

A liquid media is developed for growing bone marrow cells, including the blood stem cell

1975

Sanger and Coulson publish their plus minus method for DNA sequencing

1975

DNA methylation suggested as mechanism behind X-chomosome silencing in embryos

1975

DNA methylation proposed as important mechanism for the control of gene expression in higher organisms

Feb 1975

Natural killer cell identified in mice and shown to be important part of immune system

15 Apr 1975

Human natural killer cell isolated