Timeline of key events in biotechnology

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1975-01-01T00:00:00+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+0000Julian was a chemist who was a renowned pioneer of pharmacological synthesis. He was the first African-American granted a doctoral degree in chemistry and the first to be inducted into the National Academy of Sciences. In 1935 he achieved the first synthesis of physostigmine. This he produced from soybean oil. The drug is used to treat glaucoma and delayed gastric emptying. A year later he joined the Gidden Company in Chicago where he oversaw the development of the industrial large-scale chemical synthesis of the human sex hormones progesterone, oestrogen and testosterone from soybean plant sterols. This work laid the foundation for the industrial production of cortisone, other corticosteroids, and the oral contraceptive pill. Julian left Gidden in 1953 to found his own company, Julian Laboratories Inc.1975-04-19T00:00:00+0000GT Stevenson, F K Stevenson, 'Antibody to a molecularly defined antigen confined to a tumour cell surface', Nature, 254 (1975), 714-16.1975-04-24T00:00:00+0000The marker was found by George and Freda Stevenson, a husband and wife team at the Tenovus Research Laboratory, Southampton University. This they found during investigations of leukaemia in guinea-pigs. They called the marker 'idiotype' because it was identical on every tumour cells but different for every other normal B lymphocytes. Their findings paved the way to development of cancer immunotherapy. The work was published in G T Stevenson, F K Stevenson, 'Antibody to a molecularly-defined antigen confined to a tumour cell surface', Nature, 254 (1975), 714-16. 1975-04-25T00:00:00+0000Cesar Milstein, with the help of Tony Vickers, submits the monoclonal antibody technique to the British National Development Corporation for patenting,1975-08-07T00:00:00+0000G. Kohler, C. Milstein, 'Continuous cultures of fused cells secreting antibody of predefined specificity', Nature 256 (1975), 495-7. Article highlighted that monoclonal antibodies could be invaluable for medical and industrial purposes. By 1993 the paper had been cited in more than 6,905 publications.1975-08-07T00:00:00+0000EA Carswell, LJ Old, RL Kassel, S Green, N Fiore, B Williamson, 'An endotoxin-induced serum factor that causes necrosis of tumors', Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 72/9 (1975), 3666-70.1975-09-01T00:00:00+0000Tatum shared the 1958 Nobel Prize for Medicine for discovering how genes regulate biochemical events in cells. 1975-11-05T00:00:00+0000The experiments use antibodies generated by in sheep with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia cells taken from humans. The research is carried out by Freda and George Stevenson at the Tenovus Research Laboratory, Southampton University.1976-01-01T00:00:00+0000Robert Swanson, venture capitalist and Herbert Boyer, American biochemist, establish Genentech in San Francisco. It is the first biotechnology company established specifically dedicated to commercialising recombinant DNA. Its founding marks the start of what is to become a burgeoning biotechnology industry. 1976-04-01T00:00:00+0000Dam was a biochemist and physiologist who shared the 1943 Nobel Prize for Medicine for the discovery of vitamin K, which he established was important for blood-clotting. He made the discovery based on experiments during which he noticed that chickens fed with a cholesterol-free diet developed haemorrhages and started bleeding. Unable to rectify the problem by adding cholesterol to the diet, Dam found that a second compound- vitamin K - was responsible.1976-04-17T00:00:00+0000Monod was a French biochemist who together with Francois Jacob worked out the genetic control of enzyme and virus synthesis based on their experiments with Escherichia coli in the early 1960s. They proposed that a messenger molecule in cells carried codes from the DNA in the cell nucleus to the site of protein synthesis in the cell's cytoplasm. This messenger was later called messenger RNA. Based on his work Monrod was awarded a Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1965. 1976-05-31T00:00:00+0000T. Maniathis, S. GekKee, A. Efstratiadis, F.C.Kafatos, ‘Amplification and characterization of a beta\r\n-globin gene synthesized in vitro’, Cell, 8/2 (June 1976), 163-82.1976-06-01T00:00:00+0000Koprowski uses myeloma cells from Milstein's laboratory to generate monoclonal antibodies against tumour antigens. This work forms the basis of the first patent later awarded for monoclonal antibodies.1976-09-01T00:00:00+0000DA Morgan, FW Ruscetti, RC. Gallo, 'Selective in vitro growth of T lymphocytes from normal human bone marrows', Science, 193 (1976), 1007-08. 1976-09-10T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
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
19 Apr 1975Percy Lavon Julian diedJulianHarvard UniversityPharmacology, Reproduction
24 Apr 1975Discovery of unique molecular marker, idiotype, on blood cancer cells, opening new avenue for cancer diagnosis and therapyStevensonTenovus Research LaboratoryImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology
25 Apr 1975Unique 'idiotype' marker discovered on the surface of proteins in cancer cells, providing target for treating cancer with antibodiesStevensonSouthampton UniversityAntibodies, Oncology, Cancer immunotherapy
Aug 1975First step taken to patent Kohler and Milstein's monoclonal antibodiesMilsteinLaboratory of Molecular BiologyMonoclonal antibodies
7 Aug 1975Cesar Milstein and Georges Kohler published their paper outlining a technique for producing limitless monoclonal antibodiesKohler, MilsteinLaboratory of Molecular BiologyMonoclonal antibodies
Sep 1975Tumour necrosis factor (TNF) was discovered. It was the first immune molecule shown to kill cancer cellsCarswell, Old, Kassel, Green, Fiore, WilliamsonMemorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology, Monoclonal antibodies
5 Nov 1975Edward Lawrie Tatum diedTatumRockefeller UniversityGenetics
Jan 1976Experiment in guinea-pigs with anti-idiotype antibodies shown to slow down leukaemiaStevensonSouthampton UniversityAntibodies
Apr 1976Genentech foundedSwanson, BoyerGenentech IncRecombinant DNA
17 Apr 1976Carl P H Dam diedDam  
31 May 1976Jacques Monod diedMonodPasteur InstituteGenetics
Jun 1976First human disease gene, beta-globin, clonedManiatis, GekKee, Efstratiadis, Kafatos Gene therapy
Sep 1976Cesar Milstein supplies myeloma cells to Hilary Koprowski at the Wistar Institute for producing monoclonal antibodiesKoprowski, MilsteinLaboratory of Molecular Biology, Wistar InstituteMonoclonal antibodies
10 Sep 1976Discovery of first T cell growth factor, later named Interleukin-2 (IL-2)Morgan, Ruscetti, GalloLitton Bioethics Research Laboratories, National Cancer InstituteImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology

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

19 Apr 1975

Percy Lavon Julian died

24 Apr 1975

Discovery of unique molecular marker, idiotype, on blood cancer cells, opening new avenue for cancer diagnosis and therapy

25 Apr 1975

Unique 'idiotype' marker discovered on the surface of proteins in cancer cells, providing target for treating cancer with antibodies

Aug 1975

First step taken to patent Kohler and Milstein's monoclonal antibodies

7 Aug 1975

Cesar Milstein and Georges Kohler published their paper outlining a technique for producing limitless monoclonal antibodies

Sep 1975

Tumour necrosis factor (TNF) was discovered. It was the first immune molecule shown to kill cancer cells

5 Nov 1975

Edward Lawrie Tatum died

Jan 1976

Experiment in guinea-pigs with anti-idiotype antibodies shown to slow down leukaemia

Apr 1976

Genentech founded

17 Apr 1976

Carl P H Dam died

31 May 1976

Jacques Monod died

Jun 1976

First human disease gene, beta-globin, cloned

Sep 1976

Cesar Milstein supplies myeloma cells to Hilary Koprowski at the Wistar Institute for producing monoclonal antibodies

10 Sep 1976

Discovery of first T cell growth factor, later named Interleukin-2 (IL-2)