Timeline of key events in biotechnology

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The virologists Jeronimo Cello, Aniko Paul, and Eckard Wimmer of the State University of New York, Stony Brook reported constructing an almost perfect replica of the polio virus from published sequences of the virus, and its reverse transcription into viral RNA. Their work was first announced online in 'Chemical synthesis of poliovirus cDNA: Generation of infectious virus in the absence of natural template', Nature, (12 July 2002), doi:10.1038/news020708-17. 2002-07-12T00:00:00+0000Martin was a biochemist. He shared the 1952 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for the 'invention of partition chromatography.' This he helped develop at the Wool Industries Research Association. Developed to help separate amino acids, partition chromatography is now deployed in most laboratories for the separation of compounds into their components. The new method used columns of silica with water and was known as 'partition chromatography' because of the way the sample 'partitioned' itself between two liquid phases. Martin later helped develop gas-liquid chromatography. 2002-07-28T00:00:00+0000Headed by Laszlo Otvos the research was published in the European Journal of Biochemistry.2002-08-07T00:00:00+0000Research carried out by Ramin Shiekhattar published in Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2002-08-20T00:00:00+0000Research led by Rajasekharan Somasundaram and Dorothee Herlyn published in Cancer Research.2002-09-14T00:00:00+0000Y. Iwai, M. Ishida, Y. Tanaka, T. Okazaki, T. Honjo, N. Minato, 'Involvement of PD-L1 on tumor cells in the escape from host immune system and tumor immunotherapy by PD-L1 blockade', PNAS USA, 99/19 (2002), 12293-7.2002-09-17T00:00:00+0000The drug was originally developed by Gilead Sciences for the treatment of HIV. The drug works by blocking an enzyme, reverse transcriptase, the heptitis B virus needs to reproduce in the body. 2002-09-20T00:00:00+0000The genomic sequence was completed for Plasmodium falciparum, the malaria parasite, which carries some 5,300 genes (Celera Genomics) and for malaria Anopheles gambiae, the mosquito's principal vector (TIGR and Sanger Centre). 2002-10-03T00:00:00+0000Adalimumab (Humira) approved by the FDA for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. The drug was developed and marketed by a collaboration between Cambridge Antibogy Technology, BASF Bioresearch Corporation and Abbott Laboratories.2002-12-31T00:00:00+0000S.K. Singh et al., 'Identification of a cancer stem cell in human brain tumors', Cancer Research, 63/18 (2003), 5821-8.2003-01-01T00:00:00+0000Research conducted in US using a disabled HIV virus carrying a gene to inhibit replication. Trial is a success2003-01-01T00:00:00+00002003-01-01T00:00:00+00002003-01-01T00:00:00+0000M. Al-Hajj et al., 'Prospective identification of tumorigenic breast cancer cells', PNAS, 100/7 (2003), 3983-88.2003-01-04T00:00:00+0000Dolly the sheep was created by cloning an adult cell. This was done by transferring the nucleus of an adult sheep's cell to the nucleus of an unfertilised egg cell. It took 277 attempts to achieve success.2003-02-14T00:00:00+0000JD Fontenot, MA Gavin, AY Rudensky, 'Foxp3 programs the development and function of CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells', Nature Immunology, 4 (2003), 330-36.2003-03-03T00:00:00+0000Z. Cui, M. C. Willingham, A. Hicks et al, 'Spontaneous regression of advanced cancer: Identification of a unique genetically determined, age-dependent trait in mice', PNAS, 100/11 (2003), 6682-7. 2003-03-19T00:00:00+0000The Human Genome Project was completed, two years ahead of schedule and at a cost of US$2.7 billion. Most of the government-sponsored sequencing was performed in universities and research centres from the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Germany. 2003-04-14T00:00:00+0000Katz was a physician and biophysicist who was forced to flee Nazi Germany for Britain as a child because of his Jewish background. He is best known for having uncovered the properties of synapses, the junction between two nerve cells where signals pass between nerve cells and other types of cells. In 1970 he shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine for 'discoveries concerning the humoral transmittors in the nerve terminals and the mechanism for their storage, release and inactivation.' His work laid the foundation for investigations into the effects of nerve agents and pesticides. 2003-04-20T00:00:00+0000This included 6 member states that had policies for vaccinating adolescents. Of the 89 member states with historically high prevalences of chronic hepatitis B infection, 64 (72%) had adopted universal infant hepatitis B vaccination.2003-05-01T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
12 Jul 2002Polio: First ever virus synthesised from chemicals aloneCello, Paul, WimmerStony Brook UniversityDNA Sequencing, Virology
28 Jul 2002Archer J P Martin diedMartinNational Institute for Medical ResearchAnalytical chemistry
7 Aug 2002Scientists identified segment of insect-derived antimicrobial peptide called pyrrhocoricin necessary for killing off bacteria opening up possible avenue for developing new antibioticsOtvosWistar InstituteAntimicrobial resistance
20 Aug 2002Link identified between genes responsible for neurofibromatosis, a common neurological disorder, and a protein thought to play role in Alzheimer's diseaseShiekhattarWistar InstituteNeuroscience, Genetics
14 Sep 2002Regulatory T cells discovered to restrain cytolytic T cells attacking cancer via messanger chemical called TGF-betaHerlyn, SomasundaramWistar InstituteImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology
17 Sep 2002Cancer cells shown to be capable of hijacking PD-1 protein to evade destruction by immune systemIwai , Ishida, Tanaka, Okazaki, Honjo, MinatoJapan Science and Technology CorporationImmune checkpoint inhibitors, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology
20 Sep 2002FDA approved adefovir, an antiviral drug, dipivoxil for treatment of chronic hepatitis B Gilead Sciences 
3 Oct 2002Genomic sequence of the principal malaria parasite and vector completed Celera Genomics, TIGR, Sanger CentreDNA Sequencing
Dec 2002First monoclonal antibody made using phage display approved for market CAT, BASF, AbbottMonoclonal antibodies, Phage display
2003Cancer stem cells isolated in human brain tumours Singh Stem cells
2003First human trial of gene therapy using modified lentivirus as a vector  Gene therapy
1 Jan 2003Sharma received ASCO Young Investigator Award to carry out clinical trials with NY-ES0-1 cancer vaccineSharmaMemorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer CenterCancer immunotherapy, Oncology
2003Sharma took up position at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterSharmaMD Anderson Cancer Center 
Jan 2003Rare human breast cancer stem cells identified Al-Hajj Stem cells
14 Feb 2003Dolly the sheep, the first cloned mammal diedWilmutRoslin InstituteStem cells, Cloning, Transgenic animals
2003Genetic switch identified that controls the development of T cells, an important immune cell that controls against autoimmunity and excess inflammationFontenot, Gavin, RudenskyHoward Hughes Medical Institute, University of WashingtonImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy
19 Mar 2003Mutant mouse discovered capable of warding off aggressive cancer and its offspring found to confer resistance to cancer in 40% of his offspringCui, Willingham, Hicks, Alexander-Miller, Howard, Hawkins, Millier, Weir, Du, DeLongWake Forest UniversityOncology, Cancer Immunotherapy
Apr 2003The sequence of the first human genome was published  DNA Sequencing, Genomics
20 Apr 2003Bernard Katz diedKatzUniversity College LondonNeuroscience
May 2003WHO recorded that 151 (79%) of 192 member states had adopted universal childhood hepatitis B vaccination programmes  Vaccine

12 Jul 2002

Polio: First ever virus synthesised from chemicals alone

28 Jul 2002

Archer J P Martin died

7 Aug 2002

Scientists identified segment of insect-derived antimicrobial peptide called pyrrhocoricin necessary for killing off bacteria opening up possible avenue for developing new antibiotics

20 Aug 2002

Link identified between genes responsible for neurofibromatosis, a common neurological disorder, and a protein thought to play role in Alzheimer's disease

14 Sep 2002

Regulatory T cells discovered to restrain cytolytic T cells attacking cancer via messanger chemical called TGF-beta

17 Sep 2002

Cancer cells shown to be capable of hijacking PD-1 protein to evade destruction by immune system

20 Sep 2002

FDA approved adefovir, an antiviral drug, dipivoxil for treatment of chronic hepatitis B

3 Oct 2002

Genomic sequence of the principal malaria parasite and vector completed

Dec 2002

First monoclonal antibody made using phage display approved for market

2003

Cancer stem cells isolated in human brain tumours

2003

First human trial of gene therapy using modified lentivirus as a vector

1 Jan 2003

Sharma received ASCO Young Investigator Award to carry out clinical trials with NY-ES0-1 cancer vaccine

2003

Sharma took up position at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Jan 2003

Rare human breast cancer stem cells identified

14 Feb 2003

Dolly the sheep, the first cloned mammal died

2003

Genetic switch identified that controls the development of T cells, an important immune cell that controls against autoimmunity and excess inflammation

19 Mar 2003

Mutant mouse discovered capable of warding off aggressive cancer and its offspring found to confer resistance to cancer in 40% of his offspring

Apr 2003

The sequence of the first human genome was published

20 Apr 2003

Bernard Katz died

May 2003

WHO recorded that 151 (79%) of 192 member states had adopted universal childhood hepatitis B vaccination programmes