Genetics: Timeline of key events

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.

Evans shared the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine for discovering the 'principles for introducing specific gene modifications in mice by the use of embryonic stem cells.'1941-01-01T00:00:00+0000C.H. Waddington, 'The Epigenotype', Endeavour, 1 (1942), 18-20.1942-01-01T00:00:00+0000Sulston shared the 2002 Nobel Prize for identifying how genes regulate the life cycle of cells through apoptosis. 1942-03-27T00:00:00+0000Nusslein-Volhard shared the 1958 Nobel Prize for Medicine for discoveries relating to genetic control of early embryonic development.1942-10-20T00:00:00+0000MClung was an American biologist who discovered chromosomes determine the sex of a species1946-01-17T00:00:00+0000Kornberg won the 2006 Nobel Prize for working out the protein pathway that a cell's genetic information takes when transferred to a new cell. 1947-04-24T00:00:00+0000Horvitz shared the 2002 Nobel Prize for Medicine for discoveries into how genes regulate organ development and cell death. 1947-05-08T00:00:00+0000Wieschaus shared the 1995 Nobel Prize for Medicine for research into genetic controls during early embryonic development.1947-06-08T00:00:00+0000R.D. Hotchkiss, 'The quantative separation of purines, pyrimidines, and nucleosides by paper chromatography', J Biol Chem, 175/1 (1948), 315-32. 1948-03-10T00:00:00+0000Jeffreys, a British geneticist, pioneered the process for DNA fingerprinting, a technique that helps identify individuals based on their genetic makeup. 1950-01-09T00:00:00+0000G.R. Wyatt, 'Recognition and estimation of 5-methylcytosine in nucleic acids', Biochem J, 48/5 (1951), 581-4.1951-05-01T00:00:00+0000Szotak helped discover how chromosomes are protected by telomeres, a section of DNA at the end of a chromosome. 1952-11-09T00:00:00+0000An American physician, Herrick discovered the blood disease sickle-cell anemia, the first disease found to have a genetic cause. 1954-03-07T00:00:00+0000The observation was made by Lazarus Astrachan and Elliot Voilin in an experiment to understand ho hereditary information encoded in DNA is used by living cells to synthesise proteins.1957-01-01T00:00:00+0000C.H. Waddington, The Strategy of the Genes: A Discussion of Some Aspects of Theoretical Biology (London, 1957).1957-01-01T00:00:00+0000The phenomenon was named the 'Hayflick Limit' after Leonard Hayflick who discovered it. It is now known to relate to genetic instability in aging cells and the development of cancer.1961-01-01T00:00:00+0000Experiment conducted by Sydney Brenner, Francois Jacob and Matt Meselson1961-03-31T00:00:00+0000Greider shared the 2009 Nobel Prize for Medicine for 'the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase.'1961-04-15T00:00:00+0000M.F. Lyon, 'Gene action in the X-chromosome of the mouse', Nature, 190 (1961), 372–73.1961-04-22T00:00:00+0000Werner Arber, Swiss microbiologist and geneticist, and his doctoral student Daisy Dussoix propose bacteria produce restriction and modification enzymes to counter invading viruses. 1962-01-01T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
1 Jan 1941Martin J Evans was born in Stroud, United KingdomEvansCardiff UniversityGenetics
1942'Epigenetics' coined as a term to describe how genes interact with the environment to produce the physical traits of an organism WaddngtonCambridge UniversityEpigenetics
Mar 1942John E Sulston, winner of 2002 Nobel Prize for Medicine, born in Cambridge, United KingdomSulstonLaboratory of Molecular BiologyCell, Genetics
20 Oct 1942Christiane Nusslein-Volhard was born in Magdeburg, GermanyNusslein-VolhardMax-Planck-Institute for Developmental BiologyEmbyology, Genetics
17 Jan 1946Clarence E McClung diedMcClungUniversity of KansasGenetics
24 Apr 1947Roger D Kornberg, winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2006 born in St. Louis MO, USAKornbergStanford UniversityGenetics, RNA
8 May 1947H Robert Horvitz was born in Chicago IL, USAHorvitzMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyGenetics
8 Jun 1947Eric F Wieschaus was born in South Bend, Indiana, USAWieschausSouth Bend, IndianaGenetics
Mar 1948Hotchkiss discovered the first naturally modifed DNA nucleotide, cytosine, in a chromatography of calf thymus DNAHotchkissRockefeller InstituteEpigenetics
9 Jan 1950Alec Jeffreys was born in Oxford, United KingdomJeffreysUniversity of LeicesterGenetics
May 19515-methcytosine isolated in nucleic acids for the first timeWyatt Epigenetics
9 Nov 1952Jack Szostak was born in London, United KingdomSzotakHarvard UniversityGenetics
7 Mar 1954James Bryan Herrick diedHerrick Rush Medical CollegeGenetics
1957First observation of messenger RNAAstrachan, VolkinOak Ridge National LaboratoryDNA, RNA, genetics
1957Conrad Waddington develops model of epigenetic landscape to show the process of cellular decision-making during biological developmentWaddngtonCambridge UniversityEpigenetics, Embryology
1961Normal cell population discovered to only be able to divide a limited number of times before it stopsHayflickWistar InstituteCell, Genetics, Oncology
31 Mar 1961Experiments reveal a type of RNA (messenger RNA) transports genetic information from the nucleus to the protein-making machinery in a cellBrenner, Crick, Jacob DNA, RNA, genetics
15 Apr 1961Carol W Greider was born in San Diego CA, USAGreiderJohns Hopkins University Genetics
22 Apr 1961Genes linked to X-chromosome inactivation in female mice embyosLyonCambridge UniversityEpigenetics, Embyology
1962Concept of restriction and modification enzymes bornArber, DussoixUniversity of GenevaRestriction enzymes, Recombinant DNA, DNA Sequencing, Epigenetics

1 Jan 1941

Martin J Evans was born in Stroud, United Kingdom

1942

'Epigenetics' coined as a term to describe how genes interact with the environment to produce the physical traits of an organism

1942

John E Sulston, winner of 2002 Nobel Prize for Medicine, born in Cambridge, United Kingdom

20 Oct 1942

Christiane Nusslein-Volhard was born in Magdeburg, Germany

17 Jan 1946

Clarence E McClung died

24 Apr 1947

Roger D Kornberg, winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2006 born in St. Louis MO, USA

8 May 1947

H Robert Horvitz was born in Chicago IL, USA

8 Jun 1947

Eric F Wieschaus was born in South Bend, Indiana, USA

Mar 1948

Hotchkiss discovered the first naturally modifed DNA nucleotide, cytosine, in a chromatography of calf thymus DNA

9 Jan 1950

Alec Jeffreys was born in Oxford, United Kingdom

May 1951

5-methcytosine isolated in nucleic acids for the first time

9 Nov 1952

Jack Szostak was born in London, United Kingdom

7 Mar 1954

James Bryan Herrick died

1957

First observation of messenger RNA

1957

Conrad Waddington develops model of epigenetic landscape to show the process of cellular decision-making during biological development

1961

Normal cell population discovered to only be able to divide a limited number of times before it stops

31 Mar 1961

Experiments reveal a type of RNA (messenger RNA) transports genetic information from the nucleus to the protein-making machinery in a cell

15 Apr 1961

Carol W Greider was born in San Diego CA, USA

22 Apr 1961

Genes linked to X-chromosome inactivation in female mice embyos

1962

Concept of restriction and modification enzymes born