Timeline of key events in biotechnology

Mouseover the event title for a more detailed description of the event (if available). To search for particular terms in the description of the event enter the term in the box below 'Event' on the table and press 'enter'. Alternatively use the dropdown lists to filter by Person, Place or Science. Click here to clear the filter.

The work was done by Ross G Harrison, an American biologist and anatomist. It was the first time animal tissue was successfully grown outside the body. 2019-05-24T19:57:41+0000The tubes were described by Garbielle Falloppio, an anatomist and physician, based on his study of reproductive organs in both sexes. 1561-01-01T00:00:00+0000Francis Bacon was a philosopher who is known as the father of the scientific method. He argued that scientific knowledge should be built upon careful observation of events in nature and the process of induction. His approach to scientific enquiry was published in his book Novum Organum in 1620. Bacon also served as the Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England under Queen Elizabeth 1. 1561-01-22T00:00:00+0000Gabriele Falloppio described the Fallopian tubes appearing like a trumpet. 1566-01-01T00:00:00+0000Harvey was the first physician to describe in detail the pump action of the heart and the circulation of blood. He published this work in 1628. His findings sparked controversy at the time because they challenged Galen's teachings that blood passed between ventricles through invisible pores and the traditional view that blood circulation involved two separate systems. 1578-04-01T00:00:00+00001600-01-01T00:00:00+0000Francis Bacon was an English philosopher who is known as the father of the scientific method. He argued that scientific knowledge should be built upon careful observation of events in nature and the process of induction. His approach to scientific enquiry was published in his book Novum Organum in 1620. Bacon also served as the Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England under Queen Elizabeth 1.1626-04-09T00:00:00+0000Hooke was a natural philosopher. In 1665 he coined the word 'cell' to describe a basic unit of life in his book, Microphia, describing his observations with microscopes and telescopes and biological experiments. This emerged out of his studies of a thin cutting of cork which he noted to have empty spaces contained by walls, and plants in which he said the cells resembled that of a honeycomb. He calculated that the number of cells in a cubic inch was 1,259,712,000. While Hooke did not grasp the full meaning of his discovery, his work laid the foundation for the cell theory. 1635-07-28T00:00:00+0000The suggestion was made by the English physician William Harvey in his book Exercitationes de generatione animalium (On Animal Generation). He put forward his idea based on his observations with hens' eggs. 1651-01-01T00:00:00+0000Harvey was an English physician. He was the first physician to describe in detail the pump action of the heart and the circulation of blood. He published this work in 1628. His findings sparked controversy at the time because they challenged Galen's teachings that blood passed between ventricles through invisible pores and the traditional view that blood circulation involved two separate systems. 1657-06-03T00:00:00+0000The English physicist Robert Hooke provided the first description of cells to the Royal Society.1663-01-01T00:00:00+0000Jan Swammerdam, a Dutch biologist and microscopist, submitted illustrations of the uterus and ovary to the Royal Society. 1671-01-01T00:00:00+0000The work was done by Reinier de Graaf, a Dutch physician and anatomist1672-01-01T00:00:00+0000van Leeuwenhoek developed the microscope to study the quality of thread in fabrics sold in his draper's shop.1674-01-01T00:00:00+0000This was made by by Antoine van Leeuwenhoek, a Dutch textile merchant, while examining water closely. His letter announcing the discovery was greeted with scepticism by the Royal Society. 1675-01-01T00:00:00+0000Leeuwenhoek wrote to the Royal Society reporting his discovery of microscopic tadpole-like creatures in a sample of seminal fluid that he collected from his wife after making love to her. Leeuwenhoek subsequently found sperm in many other animals and determined that they were made by the testes. 1677-11-01T00:00:00+0000A van Leeuwenhoek, ‘An abstract of a Letter from Antonie van Leeuwenhoek’ Sep. 12, 1683; ‘About Animals in the scrurf of the Teeth’, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 14 (1684), 568–74.1683-01-01T00:00:00+0000Hooke was an English natural philosopher. In 1665 he coined the word 'cell' to describe a basic unit of life in his book, Microphia, describing his observations with microscopes and telescopes and biological experiments. This emerged out of his studies of a thin cutting of cork which he noted to have empty spaces contained by walls, and plants in which he said the cells resembled that of a honeycomb. He calculated that the number of cells in a cubic inch was 1,259,712,000. While Hooke did not grasp the full meaning of his discovery, his work laid the foundation for the cell theory.1703-03-03T00:00:00+0000Known as the father of modern physiology, von Haller was a physician who discovered the autonomous nature of the heart and the mechanism of respiration. He also discovered that bile helps digest fats and made many contributions to understanding the distinction between nerve impulses and muscle contractions. During his time he put forward different theories about the nature of embryological development, one of which proposed that the new individual exists within the maternal egg prior to conception. He also put forward an accurate model of fetal growth during gestation, showing that the growth was faster at the beginning than later on. 1708-10-16T00:00:00+0000Lamarck was a French biologist who proposed that physical traits were inherited through generations by two forces. The first force was alchemical and second was environmental. He first outlined his theory of evolution in a lecture in 1802. While discredited for many years, Lamark's theory that organisms can acquire physical traits from their environment and pass these on to their offspring has resurfaced with the rise of epigenetics, a science that seeks to understand how chemical modifications to genes and proteins made in one generation are passed on to the next one.1744-10-01T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
24 May 2019Embryonic frog nerve cells cultivated and grown in vitro for a monthRoss HarrisonYale UniversityCell culture
1561Fallopian tubes described for first timeFallopioUniversity of PaduaReproduction
22 Jan 1561Francis Bacon was born in LondonBacon  
1566Fallopian tubes discovered to extend from the uterus to the ovariesFallopioUniversity of PaduaReproduction
1 Apr 1578William Harvey was born in Folkestone, United KingdomHarvey Cardiovascular
1600 - 1900Outbreaks of jaundice common in urban populations and armies during wars   
9 Apr 1626Francis Bacon diedBacon  
28 Jul 1635Robert Hooke was born Freshwater, Isle of WightHooke Cell
1651First time idea put forward that all organisms start life in an eggHarvey Reproduction
3 Jun 1657William Harvey diedHarvey Cardiovascular
1663First time the cell described as a basic unit of lifeHookeRoyal SocietyCell
1671First description of the uterus and ovariesSwammerdam Reproduction
1672First time Fallopian tubes shown to carry products of the ovary to the uterusde Graaf Reproduction
1674Invention of the microscope by Antonie van LeeuwenhoekLeeuwenhoek  
1675First microscopic observations of protozoa and bacteria Leeuwenhoek Bacteriology, Microbiology
1 Nov 1677First time living sperm observedLeeuwenhoek  Reproduction
1683 - 1684Antonie van Leewenhoek, a Dutch merchant, observed striking differences between microbes in oral and fecal samples taken from himself and collected from sick and healthy individuals van Leeuwenhoek Microbiome
3 Mar 1703Robert Hooke diedHooke Cell
16 Oct 1708Albrecht von Haller was born in Bern, Switzerlandvon HallerUniversity of GottingenAnatomy, Embryology, Reproduction, Physiology
1 Oct 1744Jean-Baptiste Lamarck was born in Bazentin, Picardy, FranceLamarckFrench Academy of SciencesGenetics

24 May 2019

Embryonic frog nerve cells cultivated and grown in vitro for a month

1561

Fallopian tubes described for first time

22 Jan 1561

Francis Bacon was born in London

1566

Fallopian tubes discovered to extend from the uterus to the ovaries

1 Apr 1578

William Harvey was born in Folkestone, United Kingdom

1600 - 1900

Outbreaks of jaundice common in urban populations and armies during wars

9 Apr 1626

Francis Bacon died

28 Jul 1635

Robert Hooke was born Freshwater, Isle of Wight

1651

First time idea put forward that all organisms start life in an egg

3 Jun 1657

William Harvey died

1663

First time the cell described as a basic unit of life

1671

First description of the uterus and ovaries

1672

First time Fallopian tubes shown to carry products of the ovary to the uterus

1674

Invention of the microscope by Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

1675

First microscopic observations of protozoa and bacteria

1 Nov 1677

First time living sperm observed

1683 - 1684

Antonie van Leewenhoek, a Dutch merchant, observed striking differences between microbes in oral and fecal samples taken from himself and collected from sick and healthy individuals

3 Mar 1703

Robert Hooke died

16 Oct 1708

Albrecht von Haller was born in Bern, Switzerland

1 Oct 1744

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck was born in Bazentin, Picardy, France