Timeline of key events in biotechnology

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This is found to contain 5,385 nucleotides. It is the first DNA based organism to have its complete genome sequenced. Sanger and his team use the plus and minus technique to determine the sequence. 1977-01-01T00:00:00+0000Duncan McCallum, a business computer programmer in Cambridge writes the first computer programme for DNA sequencing. This is used by Sanger's sequencing group at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology. 1977-01-01T00:00:00+0000Two separate teams, one led by Fred Sanger at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK, and one composed of Allan Maxam, and Walter Gilbert at Harvard University publish two different methods for sequencing DNA. The first, known as the Sanger Method, or dideoxy sequencing, involves the breaking down and then building up of DNA sequences. The second, the Maxam-Gilbert method, involves the partial chemical modification of nucleotides in DNA. 1977-02-01T00:00:00+0000Cesar Milstein and David Murray from Sera-Lab agree partner to commercially distribute cells for producing monoclonal antibodies to meet the worldwide requests flooding into Milstein's laboratory for access to such cells. 1977-02-01T00:00:00+0000JH Robinson, JJT Owen, 'Generation of T-cell function in organ culture of foetal mouse thymus I. Mitogen responsiveness', Clin Exp Immunol 23 (1977), 347-54.1977-02-01T00:00:00+0000AW Burghess, J Camakaris, D Metcalf, 'Purification and properties of colony-stimulating factor from mouse lung conditioned medium', Journal Biol Chem, 252 (1977), 1998-2003.1977-03-25T00:00:00+0000Together with Australian immunologist, the Argentinian biochemist Cesar Milstein and Italian biochemist Giovanni Galfre develop monoclonal antibodies against rat histocompatibility antigens. This research demonstrates the practical applications of monoclonal antibodies for the first time, opening the way to their use for tissue typing for organ transplants. he work is published as A. F. Williams, G. Galfre, C. Milstein, 'Analysis of Cell Surfaces by Xenogeneic Myeloma-Hybrid Antibodies Differentiation Antigens of Rat Lymphocytes', Cell 12 (Nov 1977), 663-73. This paper would go on to cited in more than 1,490 publications by 1993. 1977-04-01T00:00:00+0000FK Stevenson, E V elliott, G T Stevenson, 'Some effects of leukaemic B lymphocytes of antibodies to defined regions of their surface immunoglobulin', Immunology 3 (1977), 54-9.1977-04-01T00:00:00+0000Hilary Koprowski, Polish born virologist and Carlo Croce, Italian born geneticist, both based at the Wistar Institute, file for the first US patent for monoclonal antibodies. The antibodies are made against viral antigens using cells supplied from Milstein's laboratory in September 1976. 1977-06-01T00:00:00+0000FW Ruscetti, DA Morgan, RC Gallo, 'Functional and morphologic characterization of human T cells continuously grown in vitro', Jounral Immunology, 119 (1977), 131-8.1977-07-01T00:00:00+0000Fieser synthesised the first viamin K, an important blood-clotting agent, and also invemnted the military agent napalm. 1977-07-25T00:00:00+0000Argentinian biochemist Cesar Milstein, Italian biochemist Giovanni Galfre, and Australian scientist Alan Williams publish technique for the development of monoclonal antibodies against unknown rat cell surface antigens, predicting it will be possible to make monoclonals against any sort of cell surface molecule. The publication marks the beginning of the major use of monoclonals for understanding cellular function and disease. The article is published as A.F. Williams, G. Galfre and C. Milstein, 'Analysis of cell surfaces by xenogeneic myeloma-hybrid antibodies: Differentiation antigens of rat lymphocytes', Cell, 12/3 (1 Nov 1977), 663-73.1977-11-01T00:00:00+0000Ivor Royston, British-American onclologist together with American scientist Howard Birndorf set up Hybritech in San Diego. Hybritech is the first American company established to commercialise monoclonal antibodies for medical diagnostics and therapeutics. 1978-01-01T00:00:00+0000Genentech scientists succeed in genetically engineering human insulin in E-Coli.1978-01-01T00:00:00+0000Argentinian biochemist Cesar Milstein and British immunologist Andrew McMichael produce the first monoclonal antibodies that target human T-cells. This lays the foundation for new understandings of the immune responses and disease. While initially rejected for publication, this work is published in A.J. McMichael, J.R. Pitch, J.W. Fabre, David Y. Mason, G. Galfre, 'A human thymocyte antigen defined by a hybrid myeloma monoclonal antibody', European Journal of Immunology, 9/3 (March 1979), 205-210. 1978-01-01T00:00:00+0000Cesar Milstein and Alan Williams generate a monoclonal antibody that targets blood group A cells. 1978-01-01T00:00:00+00001978-01-01T00:00:00+0000Sera-Lab, a British company specialising in antiserum, issues its first catalogue advertising monoclonal antibody cells from Milstein's laboratory. It represents the first commercialisation of monoclonal antibodies. 1978-02-01T00:00:00+0000An American-Canadian physiologist, Best co-discovered insulin.1978-03-31T00:00:00+0000Hinden, A, Hicks, J B, Fink, G R, 'Transformation of yeast', PNAS, 75/4 (1978), 1929-33.1978-04-01T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
1977Complete sequence of bacteriophage phi X174 DNA determinedSangerLaboratory of Molecular BiologyDNA Sequencing
1977First computer programme written to help with the compilation and analysis of DNA sequence dataMcCallumLaboratory of Molecular BiologyDNA Sequencing
Feb 1977Two different DNA sequencing methods published that allow for the rapid sequencing of long stretches of DNASanger, Maxam, GilbertHarvard University, Laboratory of Molecular BiologyDNA Sequencing
Feb 1977Partnership begun for first commercial distribution of cells for producing monoclonal antibodiesMilstein, Murray Monoclonal antibodies
Feb 1977Scientists find a way to generate T cells in thymic tissue in test tubes, paving the way study mechanisms underlying the regulation of T cell developmentRobinson, OwenUniversity of Newcastle upon TyneImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology
25 Mar 1977Discovery of Granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF). This plays an important role in the immune system and the process of inflammation. Burghess, Camakaris, MetcalfWalter and Eliza Hall InstituteImmunology
1977Monoclonals produced against histocompatibility antigensMilstein, Galfre, HowardLaboratory of Molecular Biology, Brabraham InstituteMonoclonal antibodies
1 Apr 1977Development of first anti-idiotype antibodies. These are shown to activate immune defense cells to attack tumour cells in guinea-pigsStevenson, ElliottTenovus Research LaboratoryImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology
Jun 1977First US patent application filed for monoclonal antibodiesCroce, Koprowski, MilsteinWistar InstituteMonoclonal antibodies
Jul 1977T cell growth factor, later named Interleukin-2 (IL-2), discovered in mice, providing a means to grow and expand normal lypmphocytes in test tubesRuscetti, Morgan, GalloNational Cancer InstituteImnmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology
25 Jul 1977Louis F Fieser diedFieserHarvard University 
1977Monoclonal antibodies made to unknown cell surface antigensMilstein, Galfre, WilliamsLaboratory of Molecular Biology, Sir William Dunn School of PathologyMonoclonal antibodies
1978Hybritech foundedRoyston, Birndoff, GreeneSan DiegoMonoclonal antibodies
1978Human insulin produced in E-coli GenentechRecombinant DNA
1978First monoclonal antibodies generated to human T-cellsMilstein, McMichaelLaboratory of Molecular Biology, Oxford UniversityMonoclonal antibodies
1978First monoclonal antibody generated for blood typingMilsteinLaboratory of Molecular Biology, Oxford UniversityMonoclonal antibodies
1978Transplantable stem cells discovered in human cord bloodEvansCambridge UniversityStem cells
Feb 1978First commercialisation of monoclonal antibodies as laboratory reagentsMilstein, MurrayLaboratory of Molecular Biology, Sera-LabMonoclonal antibodies
1978Charles H Best diedBestUniversity of TorontoEndocrinology
Apr 1978Experiments show the possiblity of transforming the genome of yeastHinnen, Hicks, FinkCornell UniversityGene editing

1977

Complete sequence of bacteriophage phi X174 DNA determined

1977

First computer programme written to help with the compilation and analysis of DNA sequence data

Feb 1977

Two different DNA sequencing methods published that allow for the rapid sequencing of long stretches of DNA

Feb 1977

Partnership begun for first commercial distribution of cells for producing monoclonal antibodies

Feb 1977

Scientists find a way to generate T cells in thymic tissue in test tubes, paving the way study mechanisms underlying the regulation of T cell development

25 Mar 1977

Discovery of Granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF). This plays an important role in the immune system and the process of inflammation.

1977

Monoclonals produced against histocompatibility antigens

1 Apr 1977

Development of first anti-idiotype antibodies. These are shown to activate immune defense cells to attack tumour cells in guinea-pigs

Jun 1977

First US patent application filed for monoclonal antibodies

Jul 1977

T cell growth factor, later named Interleukin-2 (IL-2), discovered in mice, providing a means to grow and expand normal lypmphocytes in test tubes

25 Jul 1977

Louis F Fieser died

1977

Monoclonal antibodies made to unknown cell surface antigens

1978

Hybritech founded

1978

Human insulin produced in E-coli

1978

First monoclonal antibodies generated to human T-cells

1978

First monoclonal antibody generated for blood typing

1978

Transplantable stem cells discovered in human cord blood

Feb 1978

First commercialisation of monoclonal antibodies as laboratory reagents

1978

Charles H Best died

Apr 1978

Experiments show the possiblity of transforming the genome of yeast