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EVOLUTION OF BIOTECHNOLOGY

Ann Murphy and Judi Perrella
1993 Woodrow Wilson Biology Institute


INTRODUCTION

In order to help teachers and students study how present biotechnology has evolved, a timeline is included referencing major scientists and major events in history which have led to our current understanding and use.

  • TARGET AGE/ABILITY GROUP:
    Grade 7 life science through Grade 12 AP biology

  • STUDENT/CLASS TIME REQUIRED:
    Minimum of one period

  • MATERIALS:
    Depends upon use of timeline

  • SAFETY PRECAUTIONS:
    None

  • Teacher Guide For Presentation Of Activity:
    Depends upon use of timeline

  • TEACHER OUTLINE FOR PRESENTATION OF ACTIVITY:

    Uses of timeline:

    1. Lecture or class discussion.

    2. Reading assignment or student reports. Students could research individual scientists or discoveries.

    3. Students could graph on adding machine tape or graph paper taped together.

    4. Students could use Timeliner computer software (90 Sherman St., Cambridge, MA 02140; 800-342-0236), designed by Thomas F.F. Snyder & David Kaemmer (1986). Tom Snyder Productions.

    5. Students could add significant historical events to timeline.

    6. Teacher could work with social studies teacher to develop lesson to help students understand how science, history and technology impact each other.

    7. Use videotapes, laser discs, books or periodicals, historical figures and events to support evidence given in timeline.

    8. A series of analysis questions could be given to students with one of the above assignments.

    Sample questions are:

  • Link the significance of one discovery to previous discoveries.What prior knowledge was needed to make the discovery?

  • How does "newness" of biotechnology compare to the age of the earth?

  • Which scientists were involved in explaining what genes do? What did each contribute?

  • Which diagnostic tools were needed for each of the discoveries?

  • EVOLUTION OF BIOTECHNOLOGY TIMELINE

    Prior to 1750

      Plants used for food. Animals used for food and to do work.
      Plants domesticated, selectively bred for desired characteristics.
      Microorganisms used to make cheese, beverages, and bread fermentation

    1797 Edward Jenner

      Used living microorganisms to protect people from disease.

    1750-1850

      Increased cultivation of leguminous crops and crop rotations to increase yield and land use.

    1820

      Animal drawn machines

    1850's

      Horse drawn harrows, seed drills, corn planters, horse hoes, 2-row cultivators, hay mowers, and rakes.
      Industrially processed animal feed and inorganic fertilizer

    1859 Charles Darwin

      Hypothesized that animal and plant populations adapt over time to best fit the environment.

    1864 Louis Pasteur

      Proved existence of microorganisms
      Showed that all living things are produced by other living things.

    1865 Gregor Mendel

      Investigated how traits are passed from generation to generation: called them factors.

    1869 Johann Meischer

      Isolated DNA from the nuclei of white blood cells.

    1880

      Steam engine to drive combine harvesters

    1890

      Ammonia synthesis

    1892

      Self-propelled tractor

    1893 Koch, Pasteur, Lister Institutes

      Fermentation process patented
      Diphtheria antitoxin isolated

    1902 Walter Sutton

      Coined the term "gene"
      Proposed that chromosomes carry genes (factors which Mendel
      said that could be passed from generation to generation)

    1904

      Artificial "silks" developed

    1910 Thomas H. Morgan

      Proved that genes are carried on chromo-somes "Biotechnology" term coined

    1918 Germans

      Used acetone produced by plants to make bombs
      Yeast grown in large quantities for animal and glycerol
      Made activated sludge for sewage treatment process

    1920

      Boom of rayon industry

    1927 Herman Mueller

      Increased mutation rate in fruit flies by exposing them to x-rays

    1928 Frederick Griffiths

      Noticed that a rough kind of bacterium changed to a smooth type when unknown "transforming principle" from smooth type was present.

    1928 Alexander Fleming

      Discovered antibiotic properties of certain molds

    1920-1930

      Plant hybridization

    1938

      Proteins and DNA studied by x-ray crystallography
      Term 'molecular biology" coined

    1941 George Beadle/ Edward Tatum

      Proposed "one gene, one enzyme" hypothesis

    1943-1953 Linus Pauling

      Described sickle cell anemia, calling it a molecular disease
      Cortisone made in large amounts
      DNA is identified as the genetic material

    1944 Oswald Avery

      Performed transformation experiment with Griffith's bacterium

    1945 Max Delbruck

      Organized course to study a type of bacterial virus that consists of a protein coat containing DNA

    Mid-1940's

      Penicillin produced
      Transition from animal power to mechanical power on farms

    1950 Erwin Chargaff

      Determined that there is always a ratio of 1:1 adenine to thymine in DNA of many different organisms
      Artificial insemination of livestock

    1952 Alfred Hershey/ Margaret Chase

      Used radioactive labeling to determine that it is the DNA not protein which carries the instructions for assembling new phages

    1953.James Watson/ Francis Crick

      Determined the double helix structure of DNA

    1956 Dangr

      Sequenced insulin (protein) from pork

    1957 Francis Crick/ George Gamov

      Explained how DNA functions to make protein

    1958 Coenberg

      Discovered DNA polymerase
    1960

      Isolation of m-RNA

    1965

      Classification of the plasmids

    1966 Marshall Nirenberg/ Severo Ochoa

      Determined that a sequence of three nucleotide bases determine each of 20 amino acids

    1970

      Isolation of reverse transcriptase

    1971

      Discovery of restriction enzymes

    1972 Paul Berg

      Cut sections of viral DNA and bacterial DNA with same restriction enzyme
      Spliced viral DNA to the bacterial DNA

    1973 Stanley Cohen/ Herbert Boyer

      Produced first recombinant DNA organism
      Beginning of genetic engineering

    1975

      Moratorium on recombinant DNA techniques

    1976

      National Institute of Health guidelines developed for study of recombinant DNA

    1977

      First practical application of genetic engineering human growth hormone produced by bacterial cells

    1978 Genentech, Inc.

      Genetic engineering techniques used to produce human insulin in E. coli
      First biotech company on NY stock exchange
      Stanford University First successful transplantation of mammalian gene
      Discoverers of restriction enzymes receive Nobel Prize in medicine

    1979 Genentech, Inc.

      Produced human growth hormone and two kinds of interferon
      DNA from malignant cells transformed a strain of cultured mouse cells new tool for analyzing cancer genes

    1980

      US. Supreme Court decided that manmade microbes could be patented

    1983 Genentech, Inc.

      Licensed Eli Lilly to make insulin
      First transfer of foreign gene in plants

    1985

      Plants can be patented

    1986

      First field trials of DNA recombinant plants resistant to insects, viruses, bacteria

    1988

      First living mammal patented

    1993

      Flavr savr tomatoes sold to public


    REFERENCES

    1. Micklos, D.A. & Freyer, G. A., DNA Science: A First Course in Recombinant DNA Technology. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory & Carolina Biological Supply Company. 477 pp. Available from: Cabisco Biotechnology, 2700 York R., Burlington, NC 27215; 800-334-5551 or 800-632-1231 (NC only).

    2. NABT Sourcebook of Biotechnology.

    3. Bud, Robert, "Janus-faced Biotechnology - An Historical Perspective", Trends in Biotechnology v. 7, 1989, p. 230-33.

    4. Torrey, John G., "The Development of Plant Biotechnology", American Scientist, 1985, 73:354-363.

    5. Goodman, David C., From Farming to Biotechnology: A Theory of Agro-industrial Development Oxford: Blackwell, 1987.

    6. Seabrook, John, "Tremors in the Hothouse", The New Yorker July 19, 1993 p. 32-41.


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