Timeline of key events in biotechnology

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An Australian virologist and physician, MacFarlane Burnet is most well known for his discovery of acquired immunological tolerance and demonstrating how the body recognises the difference between self and non-self. His work helped advance the development of vaccines, tissue transplantation, monoclonal antibodies and associated therapies. 1985-08-31T00:00:00+0000An English biochemist, Porter helped determine the chemical structure of antibodies. 1985-09-07T00:00:00+0000An American microbiologist, Enders shared the 1954 Nobel Prize for helping to develop a technique to grow the poliomyeltitis virus, paving the way to a vaccine against polio. 1985-09-08T00:00:00+0000Smithies, O, Gregg, R G, Boggs, S S, Koralewski, M A, Kucherlapati, R S, 'Insertion of DNA sequences into the human chromosomal beta-globin locus by homologous recombination', Nature, 317 (1985): 230-34.1985-09-19T00:00:00+0000Rose discovered the amino acid threonine and its role in nutrition. He also established that ten amino acids were vital to human health: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine1985-09-25T00:00:00+00001985-12-01T00:00:00+0000Jasin, M, de Villiers, J, Weber, F, Schaffner, W, 'High frequency of homologous recombination in mammalian cells', Cell, 43/3 part 2 (1985), 695-703.1985-12-01T00:00:00+0000SA Rosenberg et al, 'Observations on the systemic administration of autologous lymphokine-activated killer cells and recombinant interleukin-2 to patients with metastatic cancer', New England Journal of Medicine, 313 (1985), 1485-92.1985-12-05T00:00:00+0000JM Adams, AW Harris, CA Pinkert, LM Corcoran, WS Alexander, S Cory, RD Palmiter, RL, Brinster, 'The c-myc oncogene driven by immunoglobulin enhancers induces lymphoid malignancy in transgenic mice', Nature, 318 (1985), 533-38.1985-12-12T00:00:00+0000The technique enabled the amplification of small fragments of DNA on a large scale. It was published in RK Saiki et al, Enzymatic Amplification of beta-globin Genomic Sequences and Restriction Site Analysis for Diagnosis of Sickle Cell Anemia, Science, 230 (1985), 1350-54.1985-12-20T00:00:00+00001986-01-01T00:00:00+0000Leroy Hood and colleagues at the California Institute of Technology together with a team including Lloyd Smith and Michael and Tim Hunkapiller, develop the first automated DNA sequencing machine. The machine is commercialised by Applied Biosystems. 1986-01-01T00:00:00+0000Injections of a gene for pigment coloration in peturnias unexpectedly results in white flowers instead of purple flowers. US plant geneticists carrying out the experiment, Richard Jorgensen and Carolyn Napoli, call the phenomenenon 'cosuppression'.1986-01-01T00:00:00+0000Thomas, K R, Folger, K R, Capecchi, M R, 'High frequency targeting of genes to specific sites in the mammalian genome,' Cell, 44 (1986), 419–28. 1986-02-14T00:00:00+0000 First meeting on genome mapping and sequencing takes place at Cold Spring Harbor.1986-04-30T00:00:00+0000Greg Winter together with other colleagues from the Laboratory Molecular Biology demonstrate the feasibility of building a new more human-like monoclonal antibody by grafting on to the humab antibody portions of a variable region from a mouse antibody. This reduced the mouse component of the monoclonal antibody to just 5%, making the monoclonal antibody safer and more effective for use in humans. The technique was published in PT Jones, PH Dear, J Foote, MS Neuberger, G Winter, 'Replacing the complementarity-determining regions in a mouse antibody with those from a mouse', Nature, 321 (29 May 1986), 522-5.1986-05-01T00:00:00+0000Hoffmann-LaRoche and Schering-Plough gain FDA permission to market genetically engineered alpha interferon for use as treatment hairy cell leukaemia. The development of interferon rested on the application of both genetic cloning and monoclonal antibodies. 1986-06-04T00:00:00+0000Orthoclone OKT3, developed by Ortho Pharm, was approved as an immunosuppressant drug to reduce acute rejection in patients with kidney transplants. It is a mouse-derived (murine) monoclonal antibody (Muromonab-CD3) that targets a membrane protein on the surface of T cells.1986-06-19T00:00:00+0000White House Office of Science and Technology Policy published its Coordinated Framework for Regulation of Biotechnology establishing regulatory jurisdiction and principles for USDA, EPA, FDA, NIH, NSF and OSHA.1986-06-26T00:00:00+0000FDA grants a BLA to Merck & Co. for Recombivax HB, the first recombinant vaccine for hepatitis B. It is seen as a breakthrough because it carries no risk of infecting healthy people,1986-07-23T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
31 Aug 1985Frank Macfarlane Burnet diedBurnettWalter and Eliza Hall InstituteImmunology
7 Sep 1985Rodney R Porter diedPorterOxford UniversityAntibodies
8 Sep 1985John F Enders diedEndersChildren's Hospital BostonVirology, Vaccine
19 Sep 1985Technique published for the accurate insertion of a corrective DNA in the human genomeSmithies, Gregg, Boggs, Koralewski, KucherlapatiUniversity of WisconsinGene eding, Gene Therapy
25 Sep 1985William Cumming Rose diedRoseUniversity of IllinoisNutrition, Biochemistry
Dec 1985Cetus Corporation and Perkin-Elmer partnered to develop instruments and reagents for PCR Cetus CorporationPCR
Dec 1985Experiments with plasmids indicate double-strand break technique efficient for gene editing in mammalian cellsJasin, de Villiers, Weber, SchaffnerUniversity of ZurichGene editing
Dec 1985IL-2 based immunotherapy shown to reduce tumours in patients with melanoma and renal cell cancerRosenbergNational Cancer InstituteImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology, Adoptive cell therapy
Dec 1985New transgenic mouse model developed to study cancer, opening up the possibility of studying oncogene cooperation and the efficacy of novel anti-cell signal drugs for lymphoma therapyAdams, Harris, Pinkert, Corcoran, Alexander, Cory, Palmiter, BrinsterWalter and Eliza Hall Institute, University of Pennsylvania, Howard Hughes Medical InstituteTrangenic animals, Oncology
20 Dec 1985The Polymerase Chain Reaction technique was publishedMullisCetus CorporationPCR, DNA Sequencing
1986National Marrow Donor Programme established in US  Stem cells
1986First machine developed for automating DNA sequencingHood, Smith, HunkapillerCalifornia Institute of Technology, Applied BiosystemsDNA Sequencing, Genomics
1986Discovery of RNA interference (RNAi)Jorgensen, NapoliAdvanced Genetic SciencesRNA interference
14 Feb 1986Gene targeting technique used to correct defective gene in the chromosome of a mammalian cellThomas, Folger, CapecchiUniversity of UtahGene editing
Apr 1986Human Genome Organization founded  DNA Sequencing, Genomics
May 1986First humanised monoclonal antibody createdDear, Foote, Jones, Neuberger, WinterLaboratory of Molecular BiologyMonoclonal antibodies, Recombinant DNA
Jun 1986Interferon approved for treating hairy cell leukaemia  Recombinant DNA, Monoclonal antibodies
Jun 1986First monoclonal antibody drug approvedChang, Kung, Gringas, Schlossman, Goldstein  Monoclonal antibodies
Jun 1986Co-ordinated US regulatory framework esablished for biotechnology  Regulation
Jul 1986First recombinant vaccine licensed Merck & CoRecombinant DNA, Vaccine

31 Aug 1985

Frank Macfarlane Burnet died

7 Sep 1985

Rodney R Porter died

8 Sep 1985

John F Enders died

19 Sep 1985

Technique published for the accurate insertion of a corrective DNA in the human genome

25 Sep 1985

William Cumming Rose died

Dec 1985

Cetus Corporation and Perkin-Elmer partnered to develop instruments and reagents for PCR

Dec 1985

Experiments with plasmids indicate double-strand break technique efficient for gene editing in mammalian cells

Dec 1985

IL-2 based immunotherapy shown to reduce tumours in patients with melanoma and renal cell cancer

Dec 1985

New transgenic mouse model developed to study cancer, opening up the possibility of studying oncogene cooperation and the efficacy of novel anti-cell signal drugs for lymphoma therapy

20 Dec 1985

The Polymerase Chain Reaction technique was published

1986

National Marrow Donor Programme established in US

1986

First machine developed for automating DNA sequencing

1986

Discovery of RNA interference (RNAi)

14 Feb 1986

Gene targeting technique used to correct defective gene in the chromosome of a mammalian cell

14 Feb 1986

Human Genome Organization founded

May 1986

First humanised monoclonal antibody created

Jun 1986

Interferon approved for treating hairy cell leukaemia

Jun 1986

First monoclonal antibody drug approved

Jun 1986

Co-ordinated US regulatory framework esablished for biotechnology

Jun 1986

First recombinant vaccine licensed