Genetics: Timeline of key events

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A team of scientists managed to engineer mice to express Cas9 and a DNA sequence needed for the gene drive, called a cassette, which encoded a guide RNA that targets a sequence in the TYR gene which affects the mouse coat colour. This provided a means of tracking the frequency of the genetic modification over several generations of mice. The work was published in HA Grunwald et al. 'Super-Mendelian inheritance mediated by CRISPR–Cas9 in the female mouse germline', Nature, January 23, 2019.2019-01-23T00:00:00+0000Brenner was born to humble Jewish immigrants in South Africa. His father was a cobbler from Lithuania and his mother came from Latvia. Entering university at the age of 15 Brenner completed a degree in science because in his second year it was realised that he would be too young to qualify as a doctor. Specialising in genetics, Brenner shared the 2002 Nobel Prize for Medicine for helping to discover how genes regulate tissue and organ development. Using the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans as a model organism, Brenner demonstrated that triplets of nucleotides within RNA encode the individual amino acids of a protein, and signals when protein manufacture should stop. 2019-04-05T00:00:00+0000Known as 'whole exome sequencing', the test makes it possible to scan for around 20,000 human genes in just 27 hours rather than 10 days as was the case previously. The test was developed by South West Genomic Laboratory Hub and enable quick diagnoses of approximately 5,000 rare conditions like cystic fibrosis. 2019-10-01T00:00:00+0000Altman was a Canadian molecular biologist who shared the 1989 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for discovering the catalytic properties of RNA. This emerged out of some work Altman carried out between 1978 and 1983 on a bacterial enzyme called RNAs-P. His research helped transform the basic understanding of nuclear acids, which up to this moment had been understood to only carry genetic information. It also opened up the possibility of using genetic engineering to develop new forms of therapy against viral infections. 2022-04-05T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
23 Jan 2019CRISPR-Cas9 used to control genetic inheritance in miceGrunwald, Gntz, Poplawski, Xu, Bier, CooperUniversity of California San DiegoCRISPR-Cas9, Genetics, Transgenic animals
5 Apr 2019Sydney Brenner diedBrennerLaboratory of Molecular BiologyGenetics
Oct 2019NHS introduced new fast-track DNA test to scan for rare diseases in babies and children South West Genomic Laboratory HubDNA Sequencing, Genomics, Genetics
5 Apr 2022Sidney Altman diedAltmanHarvard University, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Yale UniversityRNA, genetics

23 Jan 2019

CRISPR-Cas9 used to control genetic inheritance in mice

5 Apr 2019

Sydney Brenner died

Oct 2019

NHS introduced new fast-track DNA test to scan for rare diseases in babies and children

5 Apr 2022

Sidney Altman died

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