Timeline of key events in biotechnology

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Fraenkel-Conrat was a German biochemist who discovered that RNA was pivotal to the genetic control of viral reproduction. 1999-04-10T00:00:00+0000Vijay Singh, head of largescale cell culture at Schering-Plough, publishes details of a disposable bioreactor for cell culture using wave-induced agitation. This provides for a major advance in the manufacture of biologicals. 1999-07-01T00:00:00+0000Meeting held under auspices of European Commission's research directorate, DGXII, organised by Nicole Dewandre. Calls for and calls for establishment of network to document best practice in European Union member states1999-07-01T00:00:00+0000M. Toyota, N. Ahuja, M. Ohe-Toyota, J.G. Herman, S.B. Baylin, J-P.J. Issa, 'CpG island methylator phenotype in colorectal cancer', PNAS, 96/15 (1999), 8681–86.1999-07-20T00:00:00+0000Jesse Gelsinger, an 18 year old, died after suffering a severe immune response to an adenoviral vector in a dose escalation trial testing gene therapy for ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency, an inherited metabolic disorder. His death led to a major reappraisal of gene therapy and stricter regulations for clinical trials investigating gene therapy.1999-09-17T00:00:00+0000H.D. Morgan, H.G. Sutherland, D.I. Martin, E. Whitelaw, 'Epigenetic inheritance at the agouti locus in the mouse', Nature Genetics, 23 (1991), 314–18.1999-11-01T00:00:00+0000Each delegate assigned task to produce report describing existing national policies to promote women in science1999-11-01T00:00:00+0000Nathans was an American molecular biologist who co-discovered restriction enzymes and their applications to break DNA molecules. 1999-11-16T00:00:00+0000Together with Herbert Boyer, Swanson helped found Genentech, the first biotechnology company dedicated to commercialising recombinant DNA. From 1976 to 1990 Swanson was Chief Executive and Director of the company and played an instrumental role in leading it to become the first major biotechnology company to show a profit and go public. 1999-12-06T00:00:00+0000Treatment uses procedure devised by Bordignon.1999-12-01T00:00:00+00002000-01-01T00:00:00+0000Identified by Jonas Frisen and colleagues2000-01-01T00:00:00+00002000-01-01T00:00:00+0000Boys participating in multi-centre trial using procedure devised by Bordignon2000-01-01T00:00:00+0000Launched by the biotechnology company Medarex in collaboration with Jim Allison. 2000-01-01T00:00:00+0000Mojica F J, Diez-Villasenor C, Soria E, Juez G, 'Biological significance of a family of regularly spaced repeats in the genomes of Archaea, Bacteria and mitochondria', Molecular Microbiology 36/1 (April 2000): 244–6.2000-01-18T00:00:00+0000Benesch was a biochemist who co-discovered how haemoglobin transports oxygen during respiration. 2000-03-25T00:00:00+0000T. Nogtomi, H. Okayama, H. Masubuchi, T. Yonekawa, K. Wantabe, N. Amino, T. Hase, 'Loop-mediated isothermal amplification', Nucleic Acids Research, 28/12 (2000), e63.2000-06-15T00:00:00+0000U.S. President Bill Clinton and the British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced the completion of a rough draft of the human genome. 2000-06-26T00:00:00+0000Smith, J, Bibikova, M, Whitby, F G, Reddy, A R, Chandrasegaran, S, Carroll, D, 'Requirements for double-strand cleavage by chimeric restriction enzymes with zinc finger DNA-recognition domains', Nucleic Acids Research, 28 (2000), 3361–9. 2000-09-01T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
10 Apr 1999Heinz Ludwig Fraenkel-Conrat diedFraenkel-Conrat University of California BerkeleyGenetics, Virology
Jul 1999Disposable bioreactor developed Schering-Plough 
Jul 1999Meeting of 70 European organisations in Brussels issues joint statement describing the under-representation of women in science as 'a serious obstacle for the development of the sciences and for European society' Dewandre  
20 Jul 1999DNA methylation of CpG islands shown to be linked to colorectal cancerToyota, Ahuja, Ohe-Toyota, Herman, Baylin, IssaJohns Hopkins UniversityDNA methylation, Epigenetics, Oncology
Sep 1999Death of the first patient in a gene therapy trial prompts major setback for the fieldGelsinger, WilsonUniversity of PennsylvaniaGene therapy
Nov 1999First evidence from mammals that epigenetic changes can be passed down generations Morgan, Sutherland, Martin, WhitelawUniversity of SydneyEpigenetics
Nov 1999Helsinki Group on Women and Science set up by European Commission    
16 Nov 1999Daniel Nathans diedNathans Johns Hopkins University Restriction enzymes, Recombinant DNA
6 Dec 1999Robert Swanson died in Hillsborough, California, USASwanson  
1999 - 2002Multi-centre trials with gene therapy using stem cells to treat children with SCIDBordignon Gene therapy
2000Complete sequences of the genomes of the fruit fly Drosophila and the first plant, Arabidopsis, are published  DNA Sequencing, Genomics
2000Adult stem cells recognised as having potential to generate variety of cells for other organsFrisenKarolinska InstitutetStem cells
2000Retinal stem cells identified in mice   Stem cells
2000Two French boys suffering from SCID reported to be cured using gene therapy  Gene therapy
2000First clinical trials launched to test first immune checkpoint inhibitor drug containing a monoclonal antibody against CTLA-4 (ipilimumab, Yervoy®)AllisonMedarex, University of California BerkleyImmune checkpoint inhibitors, Immunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology, Monoclonal antibodies
18 Jan 2000More clustered repeats of DNA identified in other bacteria and archaea, termed Short Regularly Spaced Repeats (SRSR)Mojica, Diez-Villasenor, Soria, Juez University of Alicante, University Miguel HernandezCRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing
25 Mar 2000Ruth Erica (Leroi) Benesch diedBeneschColumbia UnivesityBiochemistry
15 Jun 2000New simpler and cheaper PCR method published opening possibility for use in middle to low-income countriesNogtomi, Okayama, Masubuchi, Yonekawa, Wantabe, AminoUniversity of Tokyo, Osaka University, Eiken Chemical CoDiagnostics, PCR
Jun 2000Human genome draft sequence announced  DNA Sequencing, Genomics
1 Sep 2000 Experiments show zinc finger nucleases can create double-stranded DNA breaks in cellsSmith, Bibikova, Whitby, Reddy, Chandrasegaran, Carroll Johns Hopkins University, University of Utah, Pondicherry UniversityGene editing, Zinc fingers

10 Apr 1999

Heinz Ludwig Fraenkel-Conrat died

10 Apr 1999

Disposable bioreactor developed

Jul 1999

Meeting of 70 European organisations in Brussels issues joint statement describing the under-representation of women in science as 'a serious obstacle for the development of the sciences and for European society'

20 Jul 1999

DNA methylation of CpG islands shown to be linked to colorectal cancer

Sep 1999

Death of the first patient in a gene therapy trial prompts major setback for the field

Nov 1999

First evidence from mammals that epigenetic changes can be passed down generations

Nov 1999

Helsinki Group on Women and Science set up by European Commission

16 Nov 1999

Daniel Nathans died

6 Dec 1999

Robert Swanson died in Hillsborough, California, USA

1999 - 2002

Multi-centre trials with gene therapy using stem cells to treat children with SCID

2000

Complete sequences of the genomes of the fruit fly Drosophila and the first plant, Arabidopsis, are published

2000

Adult stem cells recognised as having potential to generate variety of cells for other organs

2000

Retinal stem cells identified in mice

2000

Two French boys suffering from SCID reported to be cured using gene therapy

2000

First clinical trials launched to test first immune checkpoint inhibitor drug containing a monoclonal antibody against CTLA-4 (ipilimumab, Yervoy®)

18 Jan 2000

More clustered repeats of DNA identified in other bacteria and archaea, termed Short Regularly Spaced Repeats (SRSR)

25 Mar 2000

Ruth Erica (Leroi) Benesch died

15 Jun 2000

New simpler and cheaper PCR method published opening possibility for use in middle to low-income countries

Jun 2000

Human genome draft sequence announced

1 Sep 2000

Experiments show zinc finger nucleases can create double-stranded DNA breaks in cells