Timeline of key events in biotechnology

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The Belgian case was a person who had been repatriated from Wuhan. China reported 20,438 infected cases and the total number of deaths to have risen to 426. 2020-02-04T00:00:00+0000US laid on more flights to evacuate US citizens from Wuhan. 2020-02-05T00:00:00+00002020-02-06T00:00:00+0000Born in Beizhen, China, Wenliang worked at Wuhan Central Hospital from 2014. He had contracted Covid-19 from a patient. His death highlighted the large toll Covid-19 on healthcare workers. 2020-02-07T00:00:00+00002020-02-11T00:00:00+0000A person with Leber’s congenital amaurosis 10 (LCA10), a genetic condition that is a leading cause of blindness in childhood, was given the treatment. It involved administering a CRISPR–Cas9 gene therapy directly into the patient's eye, near photoreceptor cells. The treatment aims to delete a mutation in the gene CEP290 that is responsible for LCA10. The procedure was performed at Oregon Health and Science University by Mark Pennesi. 2020-03-04T00:00:00+00002020-03-11T00:00:00+00002020-03-18T00:00:00+0000Three non peer-review papers published showing modification of just one gene in human embryos cause unintended DNA deletions and rearrangements in the surrounded targeted sequence. The work was undertaken only for research purposes with embryos being destroyed after the end of the experiments. The first study was carried out by researchers at the Francis Crick Institute (doi.org/10.1101/2020.06.05.135913), the second by researchers at Columbia University (doi.org/10.1101/2020.06.17.149237) and the last one by researchers at Oregon Health & Science University (https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.06.19.162214). 2020-06-01T00:00:00+00002020-06-10T00:00:00+0000The Prize was awarded to Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice, three scientists behind discovery of Hepatitis C virus which causes damage to the liver, including cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer. In recent years hepatitis C has had considerably more attention and research funding than hepatitis B, which causes similar symptoms. Yet hepatitis B is considerably more common and causes more liver-rated cancer and death worldwide than hepatitis C. Hepatitis B is also approximately 5-10 times more infectious than hepatitis C. Unlike Hepatitis C, which usually only spreads through blood-to blood contact, hepatitis B is spread from contact with bodily fluids of a person who has the infection. 2020-10-05T00:00:00+0000Doudna and Charpentier's development of the CRISPR/Cas9 method together with other colleagues has radically transformed the process for gene editing. Enabling genetic engineering to be carried out on an unprecedented scale at very low cost, CRISPR/Cas9 is now exploited for a wide range of applications ranging from agriculture through to human health. 2020-10-07T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
4 Feb 2020Belgium reported its first confirmed Covid-19 case  Covid-19
5 Feb 2020WHO announced there was 'no known effective' treatment for Covid-19  Covid-19
6 Feb 2020Malaysia reported the country's first known human-to-human transmission of Covid-19 and number of people infected in Europe reached 30  Covid-19
7 Feb 2020Li Wenliang, the first Chinese doctor to sound the alarm over Covid-19 died from the disease aged 33 years oldLi WenliangWuhan Central Hospital Covid-19
11 Feb 2020WHO officially named the new coronavirus disease Covid-19   Covid-19
4 Mar 2020First patient received gene editing therapy with CRISPR directly administered into the bodyPennesiOregon Health and Science UniversityCrispr-Cas9, Gene editing, Opthalmology, Gene therapy
11 Mar 2020WHO declared Covid-19 to be a pandemic  Covid-19
18 Mar 2020The Czech republic made the wearing of masks compulsory to try and prevent the spread of Covid-19  Covid-19
Jun 2020Research published casting doubt over safety of using CRISPR-Cas 9 to modify human embryos Francis Crick Institute, Columbia University, Oregon Health & Science UniversityCrispr-Cas9, Gene editing
10 Jun 2020Oxford Nanopore Technology launched its first IVD regulated diagnostic, a highly accurate COVID-19 test called LamPORE Oxford Nanopore TechnologyNanopore sequencing
5 Oct 2020Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine awarded for discovery of Hepatitis C virusHarvey Alter, Michael Houghton, Charles Rice, Washington University in St. LouisNational Institutes of Health, Chiron CorporationInfectious diseases,
7 Oct 2020Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna 'for the development of a method for genome editing'.Doudna, CharpentierUniversity California Berkeley, University of UmeaCRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing,

4 Feb 2020

Belgium reported its first confirmed Covid-19 case

5 Feb 2020

WHO announced there was 'no known effective' treatment for Covid-19

6 Feb 2020

Malaysia reported the country's first known human-to-human transmission of Covid-19 and number of people infected in Europe reached 30

7 Feb 2020

Li Wenliang, the first Chinese doctor to sound the alarm over Covid-19 died from the disease aged 33 years old

11 Feb 2020

WHO officially named the new coronavirus disease Covid-19

4 Mar 2020

First patient received gene editing therapy with CRISPR directly administered into the body

11 Mar 2020

WHO declared Covid-19 to be a pandemic

18 Mar 2020

The Czech republic made the wearing of masks compulsory to try and prevent the spread of Covid-19

Jun 2020

Research published casting doubt over safety of using CRISPR-Cas 9 to modify human embryos

10 Jun 2020

Oxford Nanopore Technology launched its first IVD regulated diagnostic, a highly accurate COVID-19 test called LamPORE

5 Oct 2020

Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine awarded for discovery of Hepatitis C virus

7 Oct 2020

Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna 'for the development of a method for genome editing'.

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