Timeline of key events in biotechnology

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Richet won the 1913 Nobel Prize for Medicine for his research into anaphylaxis, an acute allergic reaction where extremely small doses of an allergen may cause life-threatening anaphylactic shock.1850-08-26T00:00:00+0000A histologist and neuroscientist, Ramon y Cahal shared the 1906 Nobel Prize for Medicine for discoveries about the structure of the nervous system. 1852-05-01T00:00:00+0000Petri is credited with the invention of the petri dish, a shallow glass cylinder used to culture cells and bacteria.1852-05-31T00:00:00+0000Fischer won the 1902 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for demonstrating the structure of biological compounds, including sugars proteins and purines. 1852-10-09T00:00:00+0000A Danish bacteriologist, Gram developed a method to quickly identify two different large groups of bacteria. His method is now routinely used for histology and microbiology. Bacteria that absorb the stain which turn purple are known as Gram positive bacteria, and those that do not absorb the stain, which might be coloured pink with a counterstain, are labelled Gram negative. 1853-09-13T00:00:00+0000Kossel is best known for having isolated and described the five organic compounds present in nucleic acid which are key to the formation of DNA and RNA. 1853-09-16T00:00:00+00001854-03-14T00:00:00+0000Ehrlich was the first to coin the term antibody and helped develop the first serum based therapies. Based on this he promoted the idea of using compounds, such as antibodies, as magic bullets for therapy, a concept that would later inspire the development of monoclonal antibody drugs. 1854-03-14T00:00:00+0000von Behring won the 1901 Nobel Prize for Medicine for his serum treatments against diptheria and tetanus.1854-03-15T00:00:00+0000Ehrlich, a biologist, is most well-known for coining the term 'antibody' and his side-chain theory of antibody formation which transformed understandings of how the immune system worked and laid the foundation for the development of serum therapy and monoclonal antibodies. 1854-03-24T00:00:00+0000Takamine was the first to isolate the hormone adrenalin from the suprarenal gland. It was the first pure hormone isolated from a natural source.1854-11-03T00:00:00+0000The bacterium was found in the human colon by German paediatrician Theodor Escherich while searching for the cause of fatal intestinal diseases in children. Inititally it was called Bacterium coli, but was later renamed Escherichia coli in honour of its discoverer. The bacterium would go on to become the most studied living organism and a major tool for biotechnology.1855-01-01T00:00:00+0000Ross elucidated the life-cycle of the parasite that causes malaria: Plasmodium.1857-05-13T00:00:00+0000Sherrington shared the 1932 Nobel Prize for Medicine for research into the function of neurons. He coined the terms synapse and neuron to describe parts of the nerve cell that receive or transmit nervous impulses between cells. 1857-11-27T00:00:00+0000Eijkman helped discover vitamins and identify beriberi as a disease caused by poor diet. 1858-08-11T00:00:00+0000Charles Darwin, English naturalist, publishes his theory of natural selection which establishes that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestry.1859-01-01T00:00:00+0000Loeb was a physiologist who demonstrated the possibility of reproduction without male fertilisation, parthenogenesis, in sea urchin eggs. 1859-04-07T00:00:00+0000A pathologist and microbiology, Smith identified the causes of several infectious parasitic diseases, including Texas Cattle Fever caused by ticks. His work laid the ground for investigation of yellow fever and malaria. 1859-07-31T00:00:00+0000Bayliss co-discovered the first hormone. Named secretin after the Greek word meaning to set in motion, the hormone helps secrete pancreatic juice when food enters the intestines. 1860-05-02T00:00:00+0000Buchner won the 1907 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his reseach into the process of fermentation.1860-05-20T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
26 Aug 1850Charles Robert Richet was born in Paris, FranceRichetSorbonne UniversityImmunology
1 May 1852Santiago Ramon y Cajal was born in Petilla de Arago, SpainRamon y CajalMadrid UniversityNeuroscience
31 May 1852Richard Julius Petri was bornPetriImperial Health OfficeBacteriology
9 Oct 1852Hermann Emil Fischer was born in Euskirchen, Prussia (now Germany)FischerUniversity of BerlinBiochemistry
13 Sep 1853Hans Christian Joachim Gram was born in Copenhagen, DenmarkGramUniversity of CopenhagenBacteriology
16 Sep 1853Albrecht Kossel was born in Rostock, Mecklenburg (now Germany)KosselUniversity of HeidelbergGenetics
14 Mar 1854Paul Ehrlich, winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1908 born in Strehlen (now Strzelin), Prussia (now Poland) Goettingen University 
14 Mar 1854Paul Ehrlich was born in Strehlen, PrussiaEhrlichStrehlen, Prussia 
15 Mar 1854Emil Adolf von Behring was born in Hansdorf, Prussia (now Poland)von BehringHansdorf, Prussia (now Poland)Antibodies
24 Mar 1854Paul Ehrlich, winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1908 born in Strehlen (now Strzelin), Prussia (now Poland)EhrlichGoettingen UniversityAntibodies, Immunology
3 Nov 1854Jokichi Takamine was born in Takaoka, Toyama Prefecture, JapanTakamineTakaoka, Toyama Prefecture, JapanBiochemistry
1855Escherichia coli bacterium first discoveredEscherich  
13 May 1857Ronald Ross was born in Almora, IndiaRossUniversity College LiverpoolInfectious diseases
27 Nov 1857Charles S Sherrington was born in London, United KingdomSherringtonLondon, United KingdomNeuroscience
11 Aug 1858Christiaan Eijkman was born in Nijkerk, the NetherlandsEijkmanUtrecht University 
1859Darwin publishes 'On the Origin of Species'Darwin Evolution
7 Apr 1859Jacques Loeb was born in Mayen, Germany LoebRockefeller UniversityReproduction
31 Jul 1859Theobald Smith was born in Albany, New York, USASmithAlbany, New YorkInfectious diseases, Bacteriology
2 May 1860William Maddock Bayliss was born in Wednesbury, Staffordshire, UKBaylissUniversity College LondonEndocrinology
20 May 1860Eduard Buchner was born in Munich, GermanyBuchnerMunich, Germany 

26 Aug 1850

Charles Robert Richet was born in Paris, France

1 May 1852

Santiago Ramon y Cajal was born in Petilla de Arago, Spain

31 May 1852

Richard Julius Petri was born

9 Oct 1852

Hermann Emil Fischer was born in Euskirchen, Prussia (now Germany)

13 Sep 1853

Hans Christian Joachim Gram was born in Copenhagen, Denmark

16 Sep 1853

Albrecht Kossel was born in Rostock, Mecklenburg (now Germany)

14 Mar 1854

Paul Ehrlich, winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1908 born in Strehlen (now Strzelin), Prussia (now Poland)

14 Mar 1854

Paul Ehrlich was born in Strehlen, Prussia

15 Mar 1854

Emil Adolf von Behring was born in Hansdorf, Prussia (now Poland)

24 Mar 1854

Paul Ehrlich, winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1908 born in Strehlen (now Strzelin), Prussia (now Poland)

3 Nov 1854

Jokichi Takamine was born in Takaoka, Toyama Prefecture, Japan

1855

Escherichia coli bacterium first discovered

13 May 1857

Ronald Ross was born in Almora, India

27 Nov 1857

Charles S Sherrington was born in London, United Kingdom

11 Aug 1858

Christiaan Eijkman was born in Nijkerk, the Netherlands

1859

Darwin publishes 'On the Origin of Species'

7 Apr 1859

Jacques Loeb was born in Mayen, Germany

31 Jul 1859

Theobald Smith was born in Albany, New York, USA

2 May 1860

William Maddock Bayliss was born in Wednesbury, Staffordshire, UK

20 May 1860

Eduard Buchner was born in Munich, Germany