Timeline of key events in biotechnology

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Milstein suggests at a Wellcome Foundation lecture that by using genetic engineering scientists might be able to design tailor-made monoclonal antibodies that mimic antibodies made by the human body. This would free them up from a dependence on rodents for producing monoclonal antibodies. He publishes the idea in C. Milstein, 'Monoclonal antibodies from hybrid myelomas: Wellcome Foundation Lecture 1980', Proceedings Royal Society of London, 211 (1981), 393-412.1980-01-01T00:00:00+0000Referred to as Campath-1 (CAMbridge Pathology) family of antibodies, these are the first set of monoclonal antibodies against human lymphocytes derived from a rat. 1980-01-01T00:00:00+0000Treatment given by Martin Cline to one patient in Israel and one in Italy. Cline criticised for failing to get secure permission from his Institutional Review Board at his home university - the University of California Los Angeles - and for not having sufficient animal data to show his method worked. 1980-01-01T00:00:00+0000Prize shared with Walter Gilbert. Awarded on the basis of their 'contributions concerning the determination of base sequences in nucleic acids.' 1980-01-01T00:00:00+0000The aim is to establish a centralised sequence computerised database tha is available free of charge. 1980-01-01T00:00:00+00001980-01-01T00:00:00+0000The vaccine was developed by Stanley Plotkin, Hilary Koprowski and Tadeusz Wiktor at the Wistar Institute1980-01-01T00:00:00+00001980-01-01T00:00:00+0000It was one of the largest tracts of eukaryotic DNA sequenced up this time. The work was published in E Soeda, JR Arrand, N Smolar, JE Walsh, BE Griffin, ‘Coding potential and regulatory signals of the polyoma virus genome’, Nature, 283 (1980) 445-53.1980-01-01T00:00:00+0000Stein was an American biochemist who shared the 1972 Nobel Prize for contributing to understanding the composition and functioning of ribonuclease, an enzyme that catalyses the break down of RNA into smaller components. It was the first structure and sequence worked out for any enzyme. Stein carried out the work with his colleague Stanford Moore in 1963. The two scientists were aided by their invention of the first means for automated amino acid analysis. In addition to his work on ribonuclease, Stein showed how proteins that are comprised of the same amino acids can have very different characteristics and functions.1980-02-02T00:00:00+00001980-06-01T00:00:00+0000Spinks Report on Biotechnology points finger at Cesar Milstein and his colleagues for not attempting to patent the technique for producing monoclonal antibodies.1980-07-03T00:00:00+0000The call followed an investigation undertaken by Bernice Sandler into sexual harassment of students in higher education institutions. She was an American women's rights activist who was instrumental in getting Title IX passed, a US Law that prevented any education programme receiving Federal financial assistance discriminating on the basis of sex. 1980-08-01T00:00:00+0000Shankman, a Canadian born pathologist, was the first to describe how a healthy cell changes into a cancerous cell. Her work helped transform cervical cancer into an easily diagnosed and treatable condition. She also demonstrated the links between the herpes simplex virus and cervical cancer and between cervical cancer and the oral contraceptive pill.1980-08-18T00:00:00+0000Gordon, J W, Scangos, G A, Plotkin, D J, Barbosa, J A, Ruddle, F H, 'Genetic transformation of mouse embryos by microinjection of purified DNA', PNAS USA 77 (1980), 7380–4.1980-09-01T00:00:00+0000Database was started by Margaret Dayhoff at the NBRF in the mid 1960s and comprised over 200,000 residues. Within a month of its operation more than 100 scientists had requested access to the database. The database was funded with contributions from m Genex, Merck, Eli Lilly, DuPont, Hoffman–La Roche, and Upjohn, and computer time donated by Pfizer Medical Systems.1980-09-15T00:00:00+0000M Capecchi, 'High efficiency transformation by direct microinjection of DNA into cultured mammalian cells', Cell, 22/2 (1980), 479-88.1980-11-01T00:00:00+0000Tests begin with 17-1A, also known as edrecolomab, a monoclonal antibody developed at the Wistar Institute. 1980-12-01T00:00:00+0000First genetically-engineered plant is reported1981-01-01T00:00:00+0000First mice genetically cloned1981-01-01T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
1980Cesar Milstein proposed the use of recombinant DNA to improve monoclonal antibodiesMilsteinLaboratory of Molecular BiologyMonoclonal antibodies, Recombinant DNA
1980First monoclonal antibodies developed against T-cells which can also activate human complement.Waldmann, Cobbold, Hale, Metcalfe. Watt, TrangCambridge UniversityMonoclonal antibodies, Campath
1980Gene therapy unsuccessfully tried out in two patients with beta-thalaessemia sparks controversyClineUniversity of California Los AngelesGene therapy
1980Sanger awarded his second Nobel Prize in ChemistrySanger, GilbertHarvard University, Laboratory of Molecular BiologyDNA Sequencing
Jan 1980European Molecular Biology Laboratory convenes meeting on Computing and DNA Sequences EMBLDNA Sequencing
1980US National Cancer Institute added $13.5 million to its budget for new Biological Response Modifiers, igniting search for agents able to modify host's response to tumour cells  Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology
1980US licensed first rabies vaccine for human useKoprowski, Plotkin, WiktorWistar InstituteVaccine, Virology
1980Depleting suppressive immune cells with IL-2 shown to enhance adoptive cellular therapy  Adoptive cell therapy
1980Polyoma virus DNA sequencedGriffin, Soeda, Arrand, WalshImperial Cancer Research Fund LaboratoriesDNA sequencing
2 Feb 1980William H Stein diedSteinRockefeller UniversityRNA, Biochemistry
Jun 1980European Molecular Biology Laboratory makes its nucleic acid database publicly available EMBL 
1980British government commissioned report publically criticises non-patenting of technique for producing monoclonal antibodiesMilstein Monoclonal antibodies
Aug 1980US National Advisory Council on Women's Educational Programs called on higher education institutions to prohibit sexual harassment and put in place avenues for making complaints and implementing sanctionsSandler  
18 Aug 1980Elizabeth Stern Shankman diedShankmanUniversity of California at Los AngelesOncology
Sep 1980First transgenic mice made with recombinant DNA announced Barbosa, Gordon, Plotkin, Ruddle, ScangosYale UniversityGene editing, Transgenic animals, Recombinant DNA
1980Largest nucleic acid sequence database in the world made available free over telephone networkDayhoffNational Biomedical Research Foundation, Georgetown UniversityDNA Sequencing
Nov 1980Technique published using fine glass micropipettes to inject DNA directly into the nuclei of cultured mammalian cells. High efficiency of the method enables investigators to generate transgenic mice containing random insertions of exogenous DNA. CapecchiUniversity of UtahGene editing, Transgenic animals
Dec 1980Clinical tials begin with a monoclonal antibody for the treatment of gastrointestinal cancerKoprowskiWistar InstituteMonoclonal antibodies
1981First genetically-engineered plant reported  Recombinant DNA
1981First genetically cloned mice  Recombinant DNA

1980

Cesar Milstein proposed the use of recombinant DNA to improve monoclonal antibodies

1980

First monoclonal antibodies developed against T-cells which can also activate human complement.

1980

Gene therapy unsuccessfully tried out in two patients with beta-thalaessemia sparks controversy

1980

Sanger awarded his second Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Jan 1980

European Molecular Biology Laboratory convenes meeting on Computing and DNA Sequences

1980

US National Cancer Institute added $13.5 million to its budget for new Biological Response Modifiers, igniting search for agents able to modify host's response to tumour cells

1980

US licensed first rabies vaccine for human use

1980

Depleting suppressive immune cells with IL-2 shown to enhance adoptive cellular therapy

1980

Polyoma virus DNA sequenced

2 Feb 1980

William H Stein died

Jun 1980

European Molecular Biology Laboratory makes its nucleic acid database publicly available

1980

British government commissioned report publically criticises non-patenting of technique for producing monoclonal antibodies

Aug 1980

US National Advisory Council on Women's Educational Programs called on higher education institutions to prohibit sexual harassment and put in place avenues for making complaints and implementing sanctions

18 Aug 1980

Elizabeth Stern Shankman died

Sep 1980

First transgenic mice made with recombinant DNA announced

1980

Largest nucleic acid sequence database in the world made available free over telephone network

Nov 1980

Technique published using fine glass micropipettes to inject DNA directly into the nuclei of cultured mammalian cells. High efficiency of the method enables investigators to generate transgenic mice containing random insertions of exogenous DNA.

Dec 1980

Clinical tials begin with a monoclonal antibody for the treatment of gastrointestinal cancer

1981

First genetically-engineered plant reported

1981

First genetically cloned mice