Timeline of key events in biotechnology

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Prize 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+0000Stein shared the 1972 Nobel Prize for contributing to understanding the 'connection between chemical structure and catalytic activity of the active centre of the ribonuclease molecule.'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+0000This followed an investigation into sexual harassment of students in higher education institutions1980-08-01T00:00:00+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+0000The database was developed by Margaret Dayhoff, an American physical chemist, for storing nucleic acid sequences. It was a sophisticated on-line computer database that was accessible by telephone to outside users.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.1980-09-01T00:00:00+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+00001981-01-01T00:00:00+0000Philip Karr, a patient with lymphoma, is treated by Ron Levy at Stanford University with a customised monoclonal antibody. It marks the first time a monoclonal antibody successfully treats cancer in a patient.1981-01-01T00:00:00+00001981-01-01T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
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
2 Feb 1980William H Stein diedSteinRockefeller UniversityRNA
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, led by Bernice Sandler, 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
Sep 1980First DNA sequence database createdDayhoffNational Biomedical Research FoundationDNA Sequencing
1980Largest nucleic acid sequence database in the world made available free over telephone networkDayhoffNational Biomedical Research FoundationDNA 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
1981First embryonic stem cells identified in mice EvansCambridge UniversityStem cells
1981First patient successfully treated with anti-idiotype monoclonal antibodyLevyStanford University Medical SchoolCancer immunotherapy, Monoclonal antibodies
Jan 1981First cloning of mice claimedIllmensee, HoppeUniversity of Geneva, Jackson laboratoryCloning

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

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, led by Bernice Sandler, 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

Sep 1980

First DNA sequence database created

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

1981

First embryonic stem cells identified in mice

1981

First patient successfully treated with anti-idiotype monoclonal antibody

Jan 1981

First cloning of mice claimed