Timeline of key events in biotechnology

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2015-09-15T00:00:00+0000Permission sought from UK Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority by scientists based at Francis Crick Institute in London. The research is to focus on embyos less than 2 weeks old and is designed to understand why some women lose their babies before term. 2015-09-18T00:00:00+0000The pigs, a small breed known as Bama, have had some genes disabled. They are being used for studying stem cells, gut microbiota, and Laron syndome, a type of dwarfism caused by a mutation in the human GHR gene. 2015-09-23T00:00:00+0000B Zetsche, J Gootenberg, O Abudayyeh, I Slaymaker, et al, 'Cpf1 Is a Single RNA-Guided Endonuclease of a Class 2 CRISPR-Cas System', Cell (2015): 1-13.2015-09-25T00:00:00+0000The operation was carried out at Moorfield Eye Hospital, London. It involved transplanting eye cells, called retinal pigment epithelieum, which were derived from stem cells. The surgery was performed by Lyndon Da Cruz as part of the London Project to Cure Blindness, a collaboration between Moorfields, the UCL Institute of Optahalmology and the National Institute for Health Research. 2015-09-29T00:00:00+0000Work presented by geneticist George Church of Harvard Medical School to US National Academy of Sciences.2015-10-05T00:00:00+00002015-10-05T00:00:00+0000Satoshi Omura, Japanese microbiologist, and William C Campbell, Irish American biologist, awarded Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovery of avermectin2015-10-05T00:00:00+0000Statement issued alongside its report 'Updating its Reflection on the Human Genome and Human Rights'. 2015-10-06T00:00:00+0000Awarded to the Swedish scientist, Tomas Lindahl, American scientist, Paul Modrich and Turkish-American scientist, Aziz Sancar.2015-10-07T00:00:00+0000Trial aimed at assessing the use of stem cells, grown from donated human bone marrow, to slow down or stop tissue damage in kidneys in diabetic patients. The project is led by Timothy O'Brien from the National University of Ireland and funded by 6 million Euro grant from European Union Horizon 2020 programme. 2015-10-20T00:00:00+0000TALENs genome editing technique used to design immune cells to help treat baby, Layla Richards, with leukaemia. Work conducted by Paul Vehys and Waseem Qasim. 2015-11-05T00:00:00+0000J E DiCarlo, A Chavez, S L Dietz, K M Esvelt, G M Church, 'Safeguarding CRISPR-Cas9 gene drives in yeast', Nature Biotechnology, doi:10.1038/nbt.3412.2015-11-16T00:00:00+0000V M Gantz, N Jasinskiene, O Tatarenkova, A Fazekas, V M Macias, E Bier, A A James, 'Highly efficient Cas9-mediated gene drive for population modification of the malaria vector mosquito Anopheles stephensi', PNAS Early edition (2015), doi/10.1073/pnas 15210771122015-11-23T00:00:00+0000Research conducted by team led by immunologist Laurence Zitvogel. M. Vetizou et al, 'Anticancer immunotherapy by CTLA-4 blockade relies on the gut microbiota', Science, 350/6264, (2015), 1079-84. doi: 10.1126/science.aad1329.2015-11-27T00:00:00+0000Summit recommended the continuation of basic and clinical research of the applications gene editing in somatic cells, but stressed it would be 'irresponsible to proceed with any clinical use of germline editing' until the technology's safety and efficacy issues were better understood. 2015-12-01T00:00:00+0000The results suggest 'adenoviral delivery of zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs) to T-cells may be uniquely immune-stimulatory for both acute control of infection, and importantly, HIV reservoir reduction'. Sangamo Biosciences, Press release.2015-12-11T00:00:00+0000Gilman shared the 1994 Nobel Prize for Medicine for discovering G-proteins and their role in signal transduction within cells.2015-12-23T00:00:00+0000Nelson, C E, Hakim, C H, Ousterout, D G, Thakore, P I, et al, 'In vivo genome editing improves muscle function in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy', Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.aad51432015-12-31T00:00:00+0000Kleinstiver, B P, Pattanayak, V, Prew, M S, Tsai, S Q, Nguyen, N T, Zheng, Z, Joung, K, 'High-fidelity CRISPR–Cas9 nucleases with no detectable genome-wide off-target effects', Nature, doi:10.1038.2016-01-06T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
15 Sep 2015UK Nuffield Council on Bioethics held its first workshop to identify and define ethical questions relating to developments in genome editing research  CRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing
18 Sep 2015UK scientists seek license to genetically modify human embryos to study the role played by genes in the first few days of human fertilisationNaikanCrick InstituteCRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing
23 Sep 2015Beijing Genomics Institute announced the sale of the first micropigs created with the help of the TALENs gene-editing technique at Shenzhen International Biotech Leaders Summit Beijing Genomics InstituteGene editing, TALENS, Transgenic animals
25 Sep 2015New protein, Cpf1, found which could simplify genome editing. Zhang, Zetsche, Gootenberg, Abudayyeh, SlaymakerBroad Institute, Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing
29 Sep 2015First UK patient recieved experimental stem cell treatment for age-related macular degeneration University College London, National Institute for Health ResearchStem cells
5 Oct 2015US Scientists report use of CRISPR to modify 60 genes in pig embryos in first step to create pig organs suitable for use in humansChurchHarvard UniversityCRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing, Transgenic animals
5 Oct 2015Tu Youyou awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of artemisinin, a treatment for malariaYouyou  
5 Oct 2015Satoshi Omura, Japanese microbiologist, and William C Campbell, Irish American biologist, awarded Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovery of avermectinOmura, Campbell  
6 Oct 2015UNESCO’s International Bioethic Committee called for ban on genetic editing of human germline   CRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing
7 Oct 2015Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to scientists for understanding the process of DNA repairLindahl, Modrich, SancarFrancis Crick Institute, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of North CarolinaDNA
20 Oct 2015UK NHS sets up stem cell factory in Liverpool to supply experimental treatment for people with diabetes  Stem cells
5 Nov 2015First report of successful use of gene therapy to treat leukaemiaVehs, QuasimGreat Ormond StreetGene therapy, Gene editing, TALENs
16 Nov 2015US Scientists publish a technique for overwriting changes made by CRISPR/Cas 9DiCarlo, Chavez, Dietz, Esvelt, ChurchHarvard University, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich CRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing
23 Nov 2015US scientists report successful use of CRISPR/Cas9 to genetically modify mosquitoes to make them poor hosts for malaria parasiteGantz, Jasinskiene, Tatarenkova, Fazekas, Macias, Bier, JamesUniversity California San Diego, University of California IrvineCRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing
27 Nov 2015Experiments in mice indicate that a tumour's response to cancer immunotherapy using CTLA-4 checkpoint inhibitor can be improved by changing the gut microbiome Zitvogel, Veitzou, Institut Gustave RoussyCancer immunotherapy, Immune checkpoint inhibitors, Oncology, Microbiome
1 Dec 2015 - 3 Dec 2015 International Summit on Human Gene Editing met to discuss the scientific, medical, ethical, and governance issues associated with recent advances in human gene-editing researchBaltimore, Doudna, Church, ZhangUS National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, US National Academy of Medicine, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Royal SocietyCRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing
11 Dec 2015Preliminary results presented for phase 2 trial using Zinc finger nuclease modified CD4 and CD8 cells to treat HIV patients  Sangamo BiosciencesGene therapy, Gene editing, Zinc fingers
23 Dec 2015Alfred G Gilman diedGilman Cell
31 Dec 2015CRISPR successfully used to improve muscle function in mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, opening way to use CRISPR to correct genetic mutatiuons in affected tissues of sick patientsNelson, Gersbach, Hakim, Ousterout, ThakoreDuke University, University of Missouri, University of North Carolina, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard UniversityCRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing, Gene therapy
6 Jan 2016US scientists published improved version of CRISPR/Cas 9 with less risk of off-target DNA breaksKleinstiver, Pattanayak, Prew, Tsai, Nguyen, Zheng, JoungHarvard UniversityCRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing

15 Sep 2015

UK Nuffield Council on Bioethics held its first workshop to identify and define ethical questions relating to developments in genome editing research

18 Sep 2015

UK scientists seek license to genetically modify human embryos to study the role played by genes in the first few days of human fertilisation

23 Sep 2015

Beijing Genomics Institute announced the sale of the first micropigs created with the help of the TALENs gene-editing technique at Shenzhen International Biotech Leaders Summit

25 Sep 2015

New protein, Cpf1, found which could simplify genome editing.

29 Sep 2015

First UK patient recieved experimental stem cell treatment for age-related macular degeneration

5 Oct 2015

US Scientists report use of CRISPR to modify 60 genes in pig embryos in first step to create pig organs suitable for use in humans

5 Oct 2015

Tu Youyou awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of artemisinin, a treatment for malaria

5 Oct 2015

Satoshi Omura, Japanese microbiologist, and William C Campbell, Irish American biologist, awarded Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovery of avermectin

6 Oct 2015

UNESCO’s International Bioethic Committee called for ban on genetic editing of human germline

7 Oct 2015

Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to scientists for understanding the process of DNA repair

20 Oct 2015

UK NHS sets up stem cell factory in Liverpool to supply experimental treatment for people with diabetes

5 Nov 2015

First report of successful use of gene therapy to treat leukaemia

16 Nov 2015

US Scientists publish a technique for overwriting changes made by CRISPR/Cas 9

23 Nov 2015

US scientists report successful use of CRISPR/Cas9 to genetically modify mosquitoes to make them poor hosts for malaria parasite

27 Nov 2015

Experiments in mice indicate that a tumour's response to cancer immunotherapy using CTLA-4 checkpoint inhibitor can be improved by changing the gut microbiome

1 Dec 2015 - 3 Dec 2015

International Summit on Human Gene Editing met to discuss the scientific, medical, ethical, and governance issues associated with recent advances in human gene-editing research

11 Dec 2015

Preliminary results presented for phase 2 trial using Zinc finger nuclease modified CD4 and CD8 cells to treat HIV patients

23 Dec 2015

Alfred G Gilman died

31 Dec 2015

CRISPR successfully used to improve muscle function in mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, opening way to use CRISPR to correct genetic mutatiuons in affected tissues of sick patients

6 Jan 2016

US scientists published improved version of CRISPR/Cas 9 with less risk of off-target DNA breaks