EVOLUTION OF BIOTECHNOLOGY
Ann Murphy and Judi Perrella
1993 Woodrow Wilson Biology Institute
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.
TEACHER OUTLINE FOR PRESENTATION OF ACTIVITY:
Uses of timeline:
- Lecture or class discussion.
- Reading assignment or student reports. Students could research individual scientists or discoveries.
- Students could graph on adding machine tape or graph paper taped together.
- 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.
- Students could add significant historical events to timeline.
- Teacher could work with social studies teacher to develop lesson to help students understand how science, history and technology impact each other.
- Use videotapes, laser discs, books or periodicals, historical figures and events to support evidence given in timeline.
- A series of analysis questions could be given to students with one of the above assignments.
Sample questions are:
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.
Increased cultivation of leguminous crops and crop rotations to increase yield and land use.
Animal drawn machines
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.
Steam engine to drive combine harvesters
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)
Artificial "silks" developed
1910 Thomas H. Morgan
Proved that genes are carried on chromo-somes
"Biotechnology" term coined
Used acetone produced by plants to make bombs
Yeast grown in large quantities for animal and
Made activated sludge for sewage treatment
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
Proteins and DNA studied by x-ray
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
Cortisone made in large amounts
DNA is identified as the genetic material
1944 Oswald Avery
Performed transformation experiment with
1945 Max Delbruck
Organized course to study a type of bacterial
virus that consists of a protein coat containing
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
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
Sequenced insulin (protein) from pork
1957 Francis Crick/ George Gamov
Explained how DNA functions to make protein
Discovered DNA polymerase
Isolation of m-RNA
Classification of the plasmids
1966 Marshall Nirenberg/ Severo Ochoa
Determined that a sequence of three nucleotide
bases determine each of 20 amino acids
Isolation of reverse transcriptase
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
Moratorium on recombinant DNA techniques
National Institute of Health guidelines developed
for study of recombinant DNA
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
First biotech company on NY stock exchange
Stanford University First successful
transplantation of mammalian
Discoverers of restriction enzymes receive Nobel
Prize in medicine
1979 Genentech, Inc.
Produced human growth hormone and two kinds
DNA from malignant cells transformed a strain of
cultured mouse cells new tool for analyzing cancer
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
Plants can be patented
First field trials of DNA recombinant plants
resistant to insects, viruses, bacteria
First living mammal patented
Flavr savr tomatoes sold to public
- 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).
- NABT Sourcebook of Biotechnology.
- Bud, Robert, "Janus-faced Biotechnology - An
Historical Perspective", Trends in Biotechnology v.
7, 1989, p. 230-33.
- Torrey, John G., "The Development of Plant
Biotechnology", American Scientist, 1985, 73:354-363.
- Goodman, David C., From Farming to
Biotechnology: A Theory of
Agro-industrial Development Oxford: Blackwell,
- Seabrook, John, "Tremors in the Hothouse", The
New Yorker July 19, 1993 p. 32-41.