Timeline of key events in biotechnology

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Daclizumab was approved by the FDA for the preventition of acute rejection of kidney transplants. The monoclonal antibody was developed by Protein Design Labs using a humanising method devised by Cary Queen and marketed together with F. Hoffmann-La Roche. 1997-12-01T00:00:00+0000This overturns the long-held belief that the brain is unable to generate new neurons.1998-01-01T00:00:00+0000The drug is a monoclonal antibody that targets cancer cells that overproduce the HER2/neu oncoprotein1998-01-01T00:00:00+0000German Council of Science recommends the State and universities and research organisations provide adequate child care services and make appointment procedures gender-neutral to improve number of women in higher positions within science1998-01-01T00:00:00+00001998-01-01T00:00:00+0000Introduction of RNA into cells is shown to silence genes in the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans. Term 'RNA interference' coined. A Fire, S Xu, M K Montgomery, S A Kostas, S E Driver, C C Mello, 'Potent and specific genetic interference by double-stranded RNA in Caenorhabditis elegans', Nature 391 (1998), 806–11.1998-02-01T00:00:00+0000Hitchings shared the 1988 Nobel Prize for Medicine for 'discoveries of important principles for drug treatment.'1998-02-27T00:00:00+0000Higher education institutions required to present plans of action for equality and collect data on distribution of scientific personnel by gender. Includes giving child rearing allowance for young women and men.1998-03-01T00:00:00+0000Celera Corporation launches a parallel effort to sequence the human genome to the Human Genome Project. Celera's entry into the field pose policy concerns about open access to gene sequencing data and accelerates the sequencing process in the Human Genome Project. 1998-05-01T00:00:00+0000Cormack shared the 1979 Nobel Prize for Medicine for 'the development of computer assisted tomography.'1998-05-07T00:00:00+0000Remicade (infliximab) is approved for the treatment of Crohn's disease. Soon after Remicade wins approval for other autoimmune and inflammatory conditions including rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis. The drug, a monoclonal antibody against TNF alpha, a powerful promoter of inflammation, was developed in 1989 by Jan Vilcek and Jumning Le and developed in collaboration with Centocor, Marc Feldmann and Maini1998-08-01T00:00:00+0000James Thomson, Jeffrey Jones, and co-workers reported isolating five human embryonic stem cell lines from human blastocysts (Science 282/5391 (1998), 1145-7).1998-10-06T00:00:00+0000Rodell shared the 1994 Nobel Prize in Medicine for the discovery of G-proteins and their role in signal transduction within the cell.1998-12-07T00:00:00+0000The full 97 Mbp genome of Caenorhabditis elegans is found to have more than 19,000 genes.1998-12-11T00:00:00+0000Hodgkin shared the 1963 Nobel Prize for Medicine for 'discoveries concerning the ionic mechanisms involved in excitation and inhibition in the peripheral and central portions of the nerve cell membrane.'1998-12-20T00:00:00+0000Sequence of the first human chromosome (22) is published. 1999-01-01T00:00:00+0000Identified by Jonas Frisen and colleagues1999-01-01T00:00:00+0000Part of research to understand viral resistance in plants. A J Hamilton, D C Baulcombe, 'A species of small antisense RNA in posttranscriptional gene silencing in plants', Sciene, 29, 286/5441 (1999), 950-2.1999-01-01T00:00:00+0000Higher education institutions required to present plans of action for equality and collect data on distribution of scientific personnel by gender. Includes giving child rearing allowance for young women and men.1999-02-11T00:00:00+0000Elion shared the 1988 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for 'discoveries of important principles for drug treatment.'1999-02-21T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
Dec 1997First humanised monoclonal antibody approved for marketQueenProtein Design Labs, RocheMonoclonal antibodies, Recombinant DNA
1998Human brain demonstrated to contain cells with stem-like propertiesEriksson, GageSahlgrenska University Hospital, Salk InstituteStem cells
1998FDA approved Trastuzumab (Herceptin) for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer   Monoclonal antibodies, Oncology
1998Amendments made to German Higher Education Framework Act to promote gender equality in universities and provide greater support for young scientists   
1998European Commission Research Directorate General set up an expert group to prepare a report on women-and-science policy in the European Union   
Feb 1998Double stranded RNA demonstrated to be potent mechanism for silencing genesFire, Mello, Xu, Montgomery, Kostas, Driver, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Johns Hopkins University, University of Massachusetts Cancer CenterRNA interference
27 Feb 1998George H Hitchings diedHitchingsWellcome Research LaboratoriesPharmacology
Mar 1998 Academy of Finland set up working group to investigate career opportunities for women and ways to eliminate obstacles preventing equality in academic scientific community   
May 1998Commercial Human Genome Project launchedVenterCelera GenomicsDNA Sequencing,, Genomics
7 May 1998Allan M Cormack diedCormackTufts UniversityDiagnostic imaging
Aug 1998FDA and European regulatory authorities approved the first monoclonal antibody drug for an autoimmune diseaseVilcek, Le, Feldmann, MainiNew York University, Centocor, Kennedy Institute of RheumatologyMonoclonal antibodies
Oct 1998First human embryonic stem cell line derived Thomson, Itskovitz-Eldor, Shapiro, Waknitz, Swiergiel, Marshall, JonesUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonStem cells
7 Dec 1998Martin Rodbell diedRodbellNational Institute of Environmental Health SciencesCell
Dec 1998Complete genome sequence of the first multicellular organism, the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans, is published Sanger Institute, Washington UniversityDNA Sequencing, Genomics
20 Dec 1998Alan Lloyd Hodgkin diedHodgkinCambridge UniversityNeuroscience
1999First human chromosome sequence published  DNA Sequencing, Genomics
1999Adult neural stem cells identified as capable of forming new neural stem cellsFrisenKarolinska InstitutetStem cells
1999Discovery of small interfering RNA (siRNA), very small stretches of double-stranded RNA, interfere with genesBaulcombe, Hamilton John Innes CentreRNA interference
11 Feb 1999Danish Ministry of Research and Information Technology launched initiative to promote women in science    
21 Feb 1999Gertrude B Elion diedElionWellcome Research LaboratoriesPharmacology

Dec 1997

First humanised monoclonal antibody approved for market

1998

Human brain demonstrated to contain cells with stem-like properties

1998

FDA approved Trastuzumab (Herceptin) for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer

1998

Amendments made to German Higher Education Framework Act to promote gender equality in universities and provide greater support for young scientists

1998

European Commission Research Directorate General set up an expert group to prepare a report on women-and-science policy in the European Union

Feb 1998

Double stranded RNA demonstrated to be potent mechanism for silencing genes

27 Feb 1998

George H Hitchings died

Mar 1998

Academy of Finland set up working group to investigate career opportunities for women and ways to eliminate obstacles preventing equality in academic scientific community

May 1998

Commercial Human Genome Project launched

7 May 1998

Allan M Cormack died

Aug 1998

FDA and European regulatory authorities approved the first monoclonal antibody drug for an autoimmune disease

Oct 1998

First human embryonic stem cell line derived

7 Dec 1998

Martin Rodbell died

Dec 1998

Complete genome sequence of the first multicellular organism, the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans, is published

20 Dec 1998

Alan Lloyd Hodgkin died

1999

First human chromosome sequence published

1999

Adult neural stem cells identified as capable of forming new neural stem cells

1999

Discovery of small interfering RNA (siRNA), very small stretches of double-stranded RNA, interfere with genes

11 Feb 1999

Danish Ministry of Research and Information Technology launched initiative to promote women in science

21 Feb 1999

Gertrude B Elion died