The New Genetics
before 8000 BC Collecting of seeds for replanting. Evidence that Mesopotamian people used selective breeding (artificial selection) practices to improve livestock.
around 7000 BC Brewing beer, fermenting wine, baking bread with help of yeast.
8000 BC - 3000 BC Yogurt and cheese made with lactic-acid-producing bacteria by various cultures.
1590 The microscope is invented by Zacharias Janssen.
1675 Microorganisms discovered by Anton van Leeuwenhoek.
1856 Gregor Mendel discovered the laws of inheritance.
1862 Louis Pasteur discovered the bacterial origin of fermentation.
1919 Karl Ereky, a Hungarian agricultural engineer, first used the word biotechnology.
1928 Alexander Fleming noticed that a certain mold could stop the duplication of bacteria, leading to the first antibiotic: penicillin.
1953 James D. Watson and Francis Crick describe the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid, called DNA for short.
History of Biotechnology
1972 The DNA composition of chimpanzees and gorillas is discovered to be 99% similar to that of humans.
1975 Method for producing monoclonal antibody developed by Kohler and Milstein.
Modern biotech is characterized by recombinant DNA technology. The prokaryote model, E. coli, is used to produce synthetic insulin and other medicine, in human form. (It is estimated that only 5% of diabetics were allergic to animal insulins available before, while new evidence suggests that type 1 diabetes mellitus is caused by an allergy to human insulin).
A viable brewing yeast strain, Saccharomyces cerevisiae 1026, acts as a modifier of the microflora in the rumen of cows and digestive tract of horses).
The United States Supreme Court, in 447 U.S. 303 (1980), rules in favor of microbiologist Ananda Chakrabarty in the case of a USPTO request for a first patent granted to a genetically modified living organism (GMO) in history.
1984 Nutrigenomics as applied science in animal nutrition.
1994 U.S. FDA approves of the first GM food: the "Flavr Savr" tomato.
1997 British scientists, led by Ian Wilmut, from the Roslin Institute report cloning a sheep called Dolly the sheep using DNA from two adult sheep cells.
2000 Completion of a "rough draft" of the human genome in the Human Genome Project.
2002 Researchers sequence the DNA of rice, the main food source for two-thirds of the world's population. Rice is the first crop to have its genome decoded.