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.

Bayliss 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+0000Hopkins shared the 1929 Nobel Prize for discovering vitamins. 1861-06-20T00:00:00+0000Stevens was an American biologist who was one of the first scientists to describe the importance of the Y chromosome for determining the sex of some species, and to recognise that females have two X chromosomes.1861-07-07T00:00:00+0000An American physician, Herrick discovered the blood disease sickle-cell anemia, the first disease found to have a genetic cause. 1861-08-11T00:00:00+0000Bragg shared the 1915 Nobel Prize in Physics with his son, William Lawrence Bragg, for the development of x-ray crystallography.1862-07-02T00:00:00+0000Oscar Hertwig, Albrecht von Kolliker, Eduard Strasburger, and August Weismann independently show the cell's nucleus contains the basis for inheritance.1864-01-01T00:00:00+0000Ivanovsky was a microbiologist who was one the first scientists to discover viruses.1864-11-09T00:00:00+0000Conducting experiments breeding peas, Gregor Mendel, Austrian scientist, demonstrates that the inheritance of certain traits in pea plants follows particular patterns. This lays the foundation for what was to become known as the laws of Mendelian inheritance. Athough Mendel's theory was not recognised until the early 20th century, Mendel's work established the general principles for modern genetics. 1865-01-01T00:00:00+0000Harden shared the 1929 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for investigations into the process of fermentation and the actions of enzymes during fermentation1865-10-12T00:00:00+0000Ernst Haeckel, German biologist and philosopher, proposes the cell nucleus contains factors responsible for the transmission of hereditary traits.1866-01-01T00:00:00+0000A French bacteriologist, Nicolle determined that lice were the transmission vector of epidemic typhus and worked out the transmission method of tick fever. He developed a vaccine for Malta fever.1866-09-21T00:00:00+0000An American geneticist, Morgan discovered the role chromosomes play in heredity based on investigations into Drosophilia, the fruit fly.1866-09-25T00:00:00+0000Fibiger won the 1926 Nobel Prize for Medicine for discovering a parasite that caused cancer in laboratory mice and rats. It was the first time outside stimuli were shown to cause cancerous tumours. 1867-04-23T00:00:00+0000Curie won two Nobel Prizes, one in 1903 and another in 1911 for pioneering the study of radioactivity.1867-11-07T00:00:00+0000Landsteiner won the 1930 Nobel Prize for Medicine for his discovery of blood types. He also helped identify the Rh factor and the poliovirus. 1868-06-14T00:00:00+0000Freidrich Miescher, Swiss physician and biologist, performing experiments on the chemical composition of white blood cells (leucocytes) isolates phosphate-rich chemicals from the nuclei of cells. Originally calling this substance nuclein, Miescher's discovery paved the way for the identification of what we today call nucleic acids and the understanding of DNA as the carrier of inheritance. 1869-01-01T00:00:00+0000A Russian-American biochemist, Levene discovered nucleic acids came in two forms: DNA and RNA. He also idenfitied the components of DNA: adenine, guanine, thymine, cytosine, deoxyribose and a phosphate group and showed that these components were linked together by nucleotides, phosphate-sugar base units. 1869-02-25T00:00:00+0000Spemann won the 1935 Nobel Prize for Medicine for discovering embryonic induction, the process that directs parts of an embryo to develop groups of cells into particular tissues and organs.1869-06-27T00:00:00+0000McClung discovered chromosomes determine the sex of a species.1870-04-05T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
2 May 1860William Maddock Bayliss was born in Wednesbury, Staffordshire, UKBaylissUniversity College LondonEndocrinology
20 May 1860Eduard Buchner was born in Munich, GermanyBuchnerMunich, Germany 
20 Jun 1861Frederick Gowland Hopkins was born in Eastbourne, United KingdomHopkinsCambridge UniversityBiochemistry
7 Jul 1861Nettie Maria Stevens was born in Cavendish, Vermon, USAStevensBryn Mawr CollegeGenetics
11 Aug 1861James Bryan Herrick was bornHerrick Rush Medical CollegeGenetics
2 Jul 1862William Henry Bragg was born in Wigton, United KingdomBraggWigton, United KingdomX ray crystallography
1864 - 1865Nucleus shown to contain genetic substanceHertwig, von Kolliker, Strasburger, Weismann University of Munich, University of Wurzburg, University of FreiburgGenetics, DNA
9 Nov 1864Dmitry Iosifovich Ivanovsky was bornIvanovskyUniversity of St PetersburgVirology
1865Laws of inheritance establishedMendelAbbey of St Thomas, Brno, Austro-Hungarian EmpireGenetics
12 Oct 1865Arthur Harden was born in Manchester, United KingdomHardenManchester, United KingdomBiochemistry
1866Theory that cell's nucleus contains genetic substanceHaeckelUniversity of JenaCell, Genetics
21 Sep 1866Charles J H Nicolle was born  Vaccine
25 Sep 1866Thomas Hunt Morgan was born in Lexington KY, USAMorganCalifornia Institute of Technology 
23 Apr 1867Johannes A G Fibiger was born in Silkeborg, DenmarkFibigerSilkeborg, Denmark 
7 Nov 1867Marie Curie, nee Sklodowska, who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1911, was born in Warsaw, Russian Empire (now Poland)CurieWarsaw 
14 Jun 1868Karl Landsteiner was born in Vienna, AustriaLandsteinerVienna, AustriaImmunology
1869Discovery of DNAMiescher University of TubingenDNA
25 Feb 1869Phoebus Levene was bornLevene DNA
27 Jun 1869Hans Spemann born in Stuttgart, Württemberg (now Germany)Spemann Embryology
5 Apr 1870Clarence E McClung was born in Clayton, California, USAMcClungUniversity of KansasGenetics

2 May 1860

William Maddock Bayliss was born in Wednesbury, Staffordshire, UK

20 May 1860

Eduard Buchner was born in Munich, Germany

20 Jun 1861

Frederick Gowland Hopkins was born in Eastbourne, United Kingdom

7 Jul 1861

Nettie Maria Stevens was born in Cavendish, Vermon, USA

11 Aug 1861

James Bryan Herrick was born

2 Jul 1862

William Henry Bragg was born in Wigton, United Kingdom

1864 - 1865

Nucleus shown to contain genetic substance

9 Nov 1864

Dmitry Iosifovich Ivanovsky was born

1865

Laws of inheritance established

12 Oct 1865

Arthur Harden was born in Manchester, United Kingdom

1866

Theory that cell's nucleus contains genetic substance

21 Sep 1866

Charles J H Nicolle was born

25 Sep 1866

Thomas Hunt Morgan was born in Lexington KY, USA

23 Apr 1867

Johannes A G Fibiger was born in Silkeborg, Denmark

7 Nov 1867

Marie Curie, nee Sklodowska, who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1911, was born in Warsaw, Russian Empire (now Poland)

14 Jun 1868

Karl Landsteiner was born in Vienna, Austria

1869

Discovery of DNA

25 Feb 1869

Phoebus Levene was born

27 Jun 1869

Hans Spemann born in Stuttgart, Württemberg (now Germany)

5 Apr 1870

Clarence E McClung was born in Clayton, California, USA