Timeline Biotech

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1889        John Alexander MacWilliam, Scottish physiologist, discovered that he could restore heart rhythms in cats using a metronome and a needle electrode. His work went unrecognized until his paper on the subject resurfaced in 1972.
    (Econ, 3/7/09, TQ p.25)

1896        F. Hoffman-La Roche & Co. was founded in Switzerland.
    (SFC, 3/13/09, p.A10)

1912        Merck chemists in Germany introduced methylene-dioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA), a euphoria-producing psychedelic. Documents from the time showed that MDMA emerged during the company's efforts to develop a potentially life-saving medicine that would help blood to clot. It later became known as "ecstasy."
    (SFC, 6/16/10, p.A10)(www.mdma.net/merck/history-ecstasy.html)

1939        Harry Hind (1915-2012) and a classmate, seniors at the UC School of Pharmacy, developed the first device to read the pH of chemical solutions. Hind and Clifford Barnes went on the found Barnes-Hind Prescription Pharmacy and Barnes-Hind Pharmaceutical Laboratories, which was acquired by Revlon in 1976.
    (SFC, 5/2/12, p.C5)

1956        Dr. John Jay Osborn (d.2014) and cardiac surgeon Frank Gerbode used their heart-lung machine to keep a man alive during surgery to repair a ventricular septal defect.
    (SFC, 5/1/14, p.D6)

1958        Jun 23, Dr. John Jay Osborn (d.2014) and cardiac surgeon Frank Gerbode used their heart-lung machine to operate on a boy (8) at Stanford Hospital before a Bay Area televisioon audience of some 1.2 million.
    (SFC, 5/1/14, p.D6)

1958        Oct 8, Dr. Ake Senning installed the 1st fully implantable pacemaker in Stockholm. Arne Larsson (43) received the pacemaker, which was built Dr. Rune Elmqvist. Larsson died in 2001 after receiving 26 different pacemakers.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_cardiac_pacemaker)(Econ, 3/7/09, TQ p.25)

1958        Dr. Aaron Lerner (1920-2007) led a Yale team in the discovery of melatonin, a hormone from the pineal gland in the brain. It was later found to regulate human sleep-wake cycles.
    (SFC, 2/19/07, p.B4)
1958        Colombian Dr. Alberto Vejarano Laverde and engineer Jorge Reynolds Pombo developed the first artificial pacemaker with internal electrodes and external electronic unit and implanted it into Gerardo Florez (70), a priest from Ecuador, who then lived another 18 years.
    (Econ, 3/9/13, TQ p.6)(http://tinyurl.com/3rgfcqq)

1961        M.S. Swaminathan, adviser to India’s minister of agriculture, invited Norman Borlaug, a plant geneticist who had improved the yield on Mexican wheat, to visit India.
    (Econ, 12/24/05, p.29)
1961        Otto Wichterle, Czech chemist, introduced the world’s 1st soft plastic contact lenses.
    (Econ, 3/12/05, TQ p.12)

1963        Mar, Norman Borlaug, plant breeder, arrived in India and began testing new varieties of Mexican wheat, whose yields were shown to be 4-5 times better than Indian varieties. In 1970 he won the Nobel Prize for his development of high-yield wheat varieties for which he was dubbed father of the "Green Revolution."
    (SFC, 10/15/97, p.A15)(WSJ, 12/3/02, p.A1)(Econ, 12/24/05, p.30)

1968        Dr. Alejandro Zaffaroni (b.1923), native of Montevideo, Uruguay, founded ALZA Corp. The SF Bay Area company has grown to be one of the largest medical device companies in the US specializing in drug delivery technologies. He later helped to launch Affymax, a drug discovery company, and Affymetrix, which did DNA research on semiconductor chips.
    (BJSJ, 10/30/95, p.8)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejandro_Zaffaroni)

1969        Nov 22, Jonathan Beckwith and others of Harvard Univ. announced the isolation of a single gene of E. coli.
    (http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/extract/359/18/1970)

1970        Jun 2, Har Gobind Khorana (1922-1993), Indian-American chemist at the Univ. of Wisconsin, announced the synthesis of the 1st artificial gene.
    (www.super70s.com/Super70s/Timeline/1970/)(www.answers.com/topic/har-gobind-khorana)

1970        The first radioactive pacemaker was put into a patient in France.
    (Econ, 3/7/09, TQ p.26)

1973        The first Magnetic Resonance Image was published and the first study performed on a human took place on July 3, 1977. Lawrence E. Crooks and Jerome Singer, professors at UC in SF and Berkeley, invented Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technology along with about 20 other univ. employees.
    (SFC, 12/2/97, p.A18)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_Resonance_Imaging)

1976        Jan, In SF Robert Swanson (1947-1999), a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, first met with Herb Boyer, a molecular biologist and co-discoverer of recombinant DNA. The 10 minute appointment extended to a few hours and the 2 men proceeded to found Genentech. Genentech was founded with $10,000 per month funding for R&D with Kleiner Perkins as the largest investor.
    (SFC, 5/28/96, p.B1)(SFC, 1/19/98, p.A10)(SFC, 12/7/99, p.D4)(WSJ, 12/14/99, p.A22)

1977        Dr. Frederick Sangar and his lab mapped the entire 5,000 letter genome of a virus called phiX174. Sangar had developed one of the first methods of DNA sequencing. This work led to his 2nd Nobel Prize in 1980.
    (Econ, 11/23/13, p.78)

1977-1979    Genentech developed genetic engineering techniques to create micro-organisms that can produce insulin and growth hormone.
    (SFC, 3/13/09, p.A10)

1978        Sep 6, Genentech of South San Francisco, Ca., announced the successful laboratory production of human insulin using recombinant DNA technology.
    (www.gene.com/gene/news/press-releases/display.do?method=detail&id=4160)

1980        Feb, The first implantable cardioconverter defibrillator (ICD) was implanted at John Hopkins Hospital by Dr. Levi Watkins.
    (Econ, 3/7/09, TQ p.26)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Implantable_cardioverter-defibrillator)

1980        Jul, UCLA physician Martin J. Cline inserted recombinant DNA into two patients with the blood disease thalassemia, one in Israel and one in Italy. In doing so, he violated the US recombinant DNA guidelines and human subjects regulations.
    (http://tinyurl.com/2svhm5)

1980        Oct 14, Hambrecht & Quist took Genentech Corp. public at $35 per share which soared to close at $89 per share. 
    (SFC, 6/22/96, p.D1)(http://tinyurl.com/3y3m9r)

1980        The US Supreme Court ruled that "live human-made microorganism is patentable matter." This led to a rush by Genentech, Biogen and others to commercialize biotechnology.
    (WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R14)

1980        Dr. George B. Rathmann (1927-2012) became the first chief executive officer and co-founder of a startup in Thousand Oaks, Ca., called Applied Molecular Genetics. The company, which later changed its name to Amgen, developed Epogen and Neupogen under his watch.
    (SFC, 4/26/12, p.C3)

1983        Jul 25, The first nonhuman primate, a baboon, was conceived in a lab dish in San Antonio, Tx.
    (http://tinyurl.com/34c8hm)

1983        Genetic modification (GM) of agricultural cereals was invented as a more predictable alternative to mutation breeding. By this time biotechnology had reached the point where it was possible to insert genes of interest into A. tumefaciens and transfer those genes into plants.
    (Econ, 12/24/05, p.30)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_Modified_Organism)

1984        Jun 4, DNA was successfully cloned from a quagga, an animal extinct since 1883.
    (www.tecsoc.org/pubs/history/2003/jun4.htm)

1984        Sep 5, Robert S. Laurent (1933-2004) received a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) and was kept alive for 8 days by the electric heart assist pump until a new heart became available. Dr. Peer M. Portner (d.2009 at 69) of Stanford Univ. pioneered the device.
    (http://sanjose.bizjournals.com/sanjose/stories/2009/02/09/daily110.html)(SFC, 2/25/09, p.B6)

1985        Nov, The US FDA approved imipenem, a penicillin-like drug.
    (SSFC, 1/20/08, p.A10)(http://tinyurl.com/2px4jy)

1985        Genentech received FDA approval for its growth hormone Protropin, the first recombinant drug marketed by a biotechnology company.
    (SFC, 3/13/09, p.A10)
1985        Dr. Alec Jeffries, geneticist at Leicester Univ., used DNA fingerprinting for the 1st time to prove a maternity and paternity case.
    (Econ, 3/13/04, TQ p.33)
1985        Douglas Prasher and colleagues at Woods Hole in Massachusetts used cloning technology to replicate the photoprotein found inside Aequorea victoria, a glowing species of jellyfish. The cloning of luciferase from fireflies also took place this year.
    (Econ, 3/12/11, TQ p.17)

1991        Medarex, an American biotech company, went public.
    (Econ, 6/14/08, p.84)

1991        Swiss-based Roche Corp. paid Cetus Corp. of Emeryville, Ca., $300 million for its PCR gene amplification business, a DNA copying method that became the foundation for genetic diagnostics.
    (SFC, 3/13/09, p.A10)

1992        David Bottstein and Nina Fedoroff co-authored of "The Dynamic Genome."
    (SFC, 8/18/96, Z1 p.3)(http://tinyurl.com/2ecg55n)

1994        May 19, The US FDA approved of the first genetically engineered tomato. Flavr Savr tomatoes supermarkets this year.
    (www.bioline.org.br/request?nl94033)(Econ, 5/10/14, p.25)

1994        Rudolph L. Leibel and Jeffrey M. Friedman announced that they had identified and sequenced the gene for the hormone leptin, which is produced by fat cells.
    (NH, 2/05, p.35)

1997        Jul 25, An FDA drug panel endorsed Rituximab, a drug designed to treat B-cell lymphoma. It was made by Genentech and IDEC Pharmaceuticals. In November Genentech and Idec (later Biogen Idec), received FDA approval for Rituxan for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
    (SFC, 7/26/97, p.A1)(www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/53059.php)

1998        Nov 6, Scientists reported the successful culture of human stem cells in research financed by Geron Corp. James Thomson of the Univ. of Wisconsin first isolated stem cells from human embryos. Science published this research in an article titled "Embryonic Stem Cell Lines Derived from Human Blastocysts."
    (SFC, 11/6/98, p.A1,A18)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Thomson_%28cell_biologist%29) (Econ, 1/28/12, p.77)

1999        Jonathan Weiner authored “Time, Love, Memory: A Great Biologist and His Quest for the Origins of Behavior," a biography of Caltech biologist Seymour Benzer (1921-2007). Benzer’s work paved the way for scientists to uncover links between genes and human behavior.
    (SSFC, 12/2/07, p.C7)
1999        Fluidigm Corporation (originally Mycometrix) was founded to commercialize integrated fluidic circuits (IFC) technology developed in the laboratory of biophysicist Stephen Quake, PhD, who invented a microscopic valve while he was teaching at Caltech in 1998.
    (www.fluidigm.com/company-overview.html)(SFC, 1/18/11, p.D2)

2000        Jun 26, Public and private gene researchers, Celera Genomics and the National Human Genome Research Institute, announced at the White House that they had roughly mapped the human genome. Craig Venter, head of Celera, acquired private funding in 1998 and began decoding in September 1999. In 2007 Venter authored “A Life Decoded: My Genome: My Life." A truly complete sequence was not published until 2003.
    (SFC, 6/27/00, p.A1)(AP, 6/26/01)(WSJ, 10/27/07, p.W6)(Econ, 6/19/10, SR p.3)

2000        Xiangzhong “Jerry" Yang (d.2009 at 49), persudaded Connecticut to establish a $20 million Center for Regenerative Biology at Storrs. In 1999 Yang helped clone a calf named Amy, the first farm animal cloned in the US.
    (SFC, 2/12/09, p.B4)

2000        Genmab, a biotech company based in Denmark, went public with Dr. Lisa Drakeman of the US as CEO. Drakeman, with a doctorate in the history of religion, had gained biotech experience in Medarex, a firm created by her husband. In 2006 GlaxoSmithKline paid $357 million for a 10% stake in the company.
    (Econ, 6/14/08, p.84)

2003        Jan 4, Clonaid, the company that claims to have produced the first human clone, said a second child was born to a Dutch lesbian Jan 3.
    (AP, 1/5/03)(SSFC, 1/5/03, p.A22)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clonaid)

2003        The Methuselah Mouse Prize was created offering cash to teams that breed longer living rodents.
    (Econ, 5/16/15, p.72)
2003        MIT introduced the Int’l. Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition.
    (Econ, 9/5/09, TQ p.30)
2003        In Chinese researchers at the State Key Laboratory of Agrobiotechnology of the China Agricultural University introduced human genetic coding into the DNA of Holstein dairy cow embryos, then transferred the embryos into cow surrogates. This followed years of testing on mice. By June, 2011, over 300 cloned cattle lived on an experimental farm in suburban Beijing, with new calves delivered every week.
    (Reuters, 6/16/11)

2004        Aug 23, Researchers presented results on genetically engineered mice capable of running farther and longer than those bred naturally.
    (SFC, 8/24/04, p.A2)

2005        Aug 11, A team of scientists from 10 countries reported that they had deciphered the genetic code of rice. This was the first cereal crop to be sequenced.
    (SFC, 8/11/05, p.A6)(Econ, 5/10/14, p.14)

2006        Sep 17, Elizabeth Blackburn (57), a biochemist at UCSF, was named winner of the Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research. She shared $100,000 the award with Carol W. Greider, a former graduate student, and Jack W. Szostak (53), a Harvard geneticist and longtime collaborator. Their discoveries included proteins called telomeres that cap the ends of chromosomes and regulate the longevity and death of human and animal cells.
    (SSFC, 9/17/06, p.B1)

2006        Dec 30, Maria del Carmen Bousada (67) of Spain became the world's oldest mother after she gave birth to twins in the northern city of Barcelona. She had previously undergone in vitro fertilization in Los Angeles. Bousada (69) died on July 11, 2009, leaving behind her twin toddlers.
    (AP, 12/30/06)(AP, 7/15/09)

2006        In North Carolina Anthony Atala and colleagues at Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine made new bladders for 7 patients. Patient tissue cells were used to grow the bladders on scaffolds. As of 2010 the bladders were still working.
    (Econ, 2/20/10, p.77)

2007        May 3, A US federal judge barred planting of alfalfa engineered by Monsanto to resist Roundup, a popular weed killer made by Monsanto, pending further study.
    (WSJ, 5/4/07, p.A1)

2007        Sep 14, It was reported that researchers at Tokyo Univ. had developed a method, dubbed surrogate broodstocking, whereby they inject newly hatched, sterile Asian masu salmon with sperm-growing cells from rainbow trout. The grown salmon then produce trout.
    (SFC, 9/14/07, p.A14)

2007        Oct 21,     In Brazil activists trying to invade a 304-acre biotech seed farm, owned by the Swiss firm Syngenta AG,  clashed with guards and at least two people were shot dead.
    (AP, 10/22/07)

2007        Nov 14, A US-led team from Oregon said they had created the world's first cloned embryo from a monkey, in work that could spur cloning of human cells for use in medical research.
    (AFP, 11/14/07)(WSJ, 11/15/07, p.A1)

2007        Nov 16, Belgium researchers studying the collective behavior of insects said tiny robots programmed to act like roaches were able to blend into cockroach society. Cockroaches tend to self-organize into leaderless groups, seeming to reach consensus on where to rest together.
    (AP, 11/17/07)

2007        Nov 20, Scientists in Japan and the US reported that they have made ordinary human skin cells take on the chameleon-like powers of embryonic stem cells, a startling breakthrough that might someday deliver the medical payoffs of embryo cloning without the controversy.
    (AP, 11/20/07)

2007        Gabor Forgacs co-founded Organovo, a US company dedicated to building human tissues. In 2014 the company delivered samples for testing of its first product, slivers of human liver tissue.
    (Econ, 3/8/14, p.18)
2007        Malaysia’s Prince Naquiyuddin Jaafar founded the EntoGenex biotech company. It took a pre-existing protein called the Trypsin Modulating Oostatic Factor (TMOF) and by 2012 developed it into what he called a fatal "diet pill" for mosquitoes. The firm combined the TMOF with bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) bacteria, which eats holes in the guts of larvae but is non-toxic to people. He hoped it could potentially become a weapon in the even larger fight against malaria, which kills an estimated 650,000 people per year.
    (AFP, 6/6/12)

2008        Jan 24, Researchers at the J. Craig Venter Institute of Rockville, Md., reported that they have built from scratch a synthetic chromosome containing all the genetic material needed to produce the bacterium Mycoplasma genitalium, the tiniest bacteria ever found.
    (SFC, 1/25/08, p.A1)(Econ, 1/26/08, p.76)

2008        Feb 1, Scientists in Japan and New Zealand said they have created a "tear-free" onion using biotechnology to switch off the gene behind the enzyme that makes us cry.
    (AFP, 2/2/08)

2008        Feb 5, British scientists said they have created human embryos containing DNA from two women and a man in a procedure that researchers hope might be used one day to produce embryos free of inherited diseases.
    (AP, 2/5/08)

2008        Feb 9, The French government suspended the use of genetically modified corn crops in France while it awaits EU approval for a full ban.
    (AP, 2/9/08)

2008        Jun 16, Maryland’s Gov. Martin O’Malley unveiled the BIO 2020 Initiative, America’s largest per-capita investment in biotech.
    (www.choosemaryland.org/pressroom/pressreleases/BIO2020.html)

2008        Jun 17, Hewitt Crane (81), inventor and bioengineering pioneer, died in Portola Valley, Ca. His doctorate at Stanford described the neuristor, a hypothetical electronic device modeled on the neuron.
    (SFC, 6/26/08, p.B5)

2008        Jun 29, US researchers reported that a drug called lodamin, developed using nanotechnology and a fungus that contaminated a lab experiment, may be broadly effective against a range of cancers.
    (Reuters, 6/30/08)

2008        Aug 19, US scientists said they have devised a way to grow large quantities of blood in the laboratory using human embryonic stem cells.
    (SFC, 8/20/08, p.A7)

2008        Aug 22, Japanese scientists said they had derived stem cells from wisdom teeth, opening another way to study deadly diseases without the ethical controversy of using embryos.
    (AP, 8/22/08)

2008        Aug 27, US scientists said they have transformed ordinary pancreas cells in living mice into a rarer type of cell that churns out insulin opening possibilities for future treatment of disease.
    (WSJ, 8/28/08, p.D3)

2008        Aug 29, French neurosurgeons said they had successfully treated brain tumors through ultra-keyhole surgery, using a tiny fiber-optic laser to destroy cancerous cells.
    (AFP, 8/29/08)

2008        Nov 6, Japanese researchers said they had created functioning human brain tissues from stem cells, a world first that has raised new hopes for the treatment of disease.
    (AFP, 11/6/08)

2008        Nov 19, Spanish doctors reported the successful transplant to a woman of a new windpipe with tissue grown from her own stem cells, eliminating the need for anti-rejection drugs.
    (AP, 11/18/08)

2008        Nov 24, In Indonesia health workers and rights activists sharply criticized a plan by lawmakers in remote Papua province, who have thrown their support behind a controversial bill requiring some HIV/AIDS patients to be implanted with microchips, part of extreme efforts to monitor the disease.
    (AP, 11/24/08)

2008        Dec 12, The Vatican raised its opposition to embryonic stem cell research, the morning-after pill, in vitro fertilization and human cloning to a new level in a major new document on bioethics.
    (AP, 12/12/08)

2008        In Boston a biohacker movement began when Jason Bobe co-founded a 2-member group called DIYbio (do-it-yourself biology).
    (SSFC, 12/20/09, p.A18)

2009        Jan 23, Geron Corp., a Menlo Park, Ca., biotechnology company, announced that it had received a FDA clearance to mount a study of its stem cell treatment for spinal cord injuries in up to 10 patients.
    (WSJ, 1/23/09, p.A12)

2009        Jan 29, A South Korean biotech company claimed to have cloned dogs using a stem cell technology for the first time in the world.
    (AP, 1/29/09)

2009        Feb 6, The US FDA approved the first drug made with materials from genetically altered animals. Atryn, developed by GTX Biotherapeutics, was made from the milk of a genetically altered goat and would be used to treat a rare blood-clotting disorder known as hereditary antithrombin deficiency.
    (WSJ, 2/7/09, p.A4)

2009        Feb 15, French specialists unveiled a new weapon against cancer, a molecular "decoy" that mimics DNA damage and prompts cancerous cells to kill themselves.
    (AFP, 2/16/09)

2009        Mar 9, President Barack Obama signed an executive order reversing the US government’s ban on funding stem-cell research today and pledge to “use sound, scientific practice and evidence, instead of dogma" to guide federal policy.
    (AP, 3/9/09)
2009        Mar 9, California-based Genencor, a division of Danisco A/S, announced the first transfer of BioIsoprene™ product to The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. By December the world’s first concept demonstration tires made with BioIsoprene™ technology, a breakthrough alternative to replace a petrochemically produced ingredient in the manufacture of synthetic rubber with renewable biomass, made their debut in Copenhagen, Denmark.
    (http://tinyurl.com/27vewpy)(Econ, 4/24/10, p.79)

2009        Mar 12, Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche agreed to pay $46.8 billion to buy the 44 percent of biotech pioneer Genentech that it doesn't already own, ending a long corporate struggle with its US-based cancer drug partner.
    (AP, 3/12/09)

2009        Apr 15, Iranian scientists at the Royan Research Institute cloned a goat and planned future experiments they hope will lead to a treatment for stroke patients. The female goat, named Hana, was born in the city of Isfahan in central Iran.
    (AP, 4/16/09)

2009        Apr 16, Drug makers GlaxoSmithKline PLC and Pfizer Inc. said they plan to create a new company to invest in the research and development of HIV treatments.
    (AP, 4/16/09)

2009        Apr 24, It was reported that stem-cell scientists had reprogrammed mature cells into embryonic-like cells using proteins instead of genes.
    (WSJ, 4/22/09, p.A1)
2009        Apr 24, It was reported that scientists have created the first genetic blueprint of domestic cattle and found they share 80% of their genes with humans.
    (WSJ, 4/22/09, p.A1)

2009        Apr 28, South Korean scientists said they have engineered four beagles that glow red using cloning techniques that could help develop cures for human diseases.
    (AP, 4/28/09)

2009        Apr 29, A South Korean presidential advisory committee announced that South Korea will lift a three-year ban on human stem cell research.
    (AP, 4/29/09)

2009        May 28, It was reported that Japanese researchers have added genes to monkeys that cause the animals to glow under a fluorescent light, and that the new genetic attributes can pass to their offspring.
    (SFC, 5/28/09, p.A9)

2009        Jun 29, It was reported that Australian scientists have developed a "trojan horse" therapy to combat cancer, using a bacterially-derived nano cell to penetrate and disarm the cancer cell before a second nano cell kills it with chemotherapy drugs. Sydney scientists Dr Jennifer MacDiarmid and Dr Himanshu Brahmbhatt, who formed EnGenelC Pty Ltd in 2001, said they had achieved 100 percent survival in mice with human cancer cells by using the "trojan horse" therapy in the past two years.
    (Reuters, 6/29/09)

2009        Jul 8, British scientists claimed to have created human sperm from embryonic stem cells for the first time. Several critics said the sperm cells were clearly abnormal.
    (SFC, 7/9/09, p.A5)

2009        Jul 14, Exxon Mobil said it would put $300 million into an effort to create a new generation of biofuels, and to add $300 if plans with Synthetic Genomics, a San Diego firm under Craig Venter, proved successful.
    (Econ, 7/18/09, p.78)

2009        Oct, Ryan Lister, Mattia Pelizzola and their colleagues of the Salk Institute of California published their results on the US government Roadmap Epigenome Program, a look at how the activity of genes regulates the 220 of so different cells of the human body.
    (Econ, 10/17/09, p.93)

2009        Dec 14, Researchers from US Santa Barbara and the Univ. of Mich published a study describing their synthetic red blood cells, which are capable of delivering medicine, oxygen or MRI contrast agents throughout the body.
    (SFC, 12/18/09, p.A28)

2009        Swedish doctors created a virtual autopsy system using computed tomography.
    (Econ, 12/12/09, p.90)

2010        Jan 14, An int’l. team of scientists reported the sequencing of the genes of 3 species of the Nasonia wasp. 157 research groups in 6 nations spent over 4 years on the project, which was expected to help reduce the use of farm pesticides and help in the development of new drugs against human disease.
    (SFC, 1/15/10, p.C2)

2010        Feb 2, Australian researchers said they had discovered a gene associated with long-sightedness, a development they said could lead to drug treatments that will replace glasses.
    (AFP, 2/2/10)

2010        Feb 9, India halted the release of the world's first genetically modified eggplant, saying further study needed to be done to guarantee consumer safety before it could be cultivated in the country.
    (AP, 2/9/10)

2010        Feb 23, PM Kevin Rudd said Australia plans to fingerprint and face-scan visitors from about 10 high-risk countries in a bid to combat extremism, which is now a "permanent" threat. He added that Australia will spend 69 million dollars (62 million US) on new biometric facilities and will set up a national control centre to coordinate efforts to fight extremism.
    (AFP, 2/23/10)

2010        Mar 15, British and Italian doctors carried out groundbreaking surgery to rebuild the windpipe of a 10-year-old boy using stem cells developed within his own body. Doctors at London's Great Ormond Street children's hospital implanted the boy with a donor trachea, or windpipe, that had been stripped of its cells and injected with his own.
    (AFP, 3/20/10)

2010        Apr 22, Codexis, a Redwood City, Calif.-based developer of biocatalysts for drug and biofuel production, launched its initial public offering at $13 per share. Codexis was founded in 2002 as a spin-out from drug developer Maxygen, which now owns about 21.3%.
    (Econ, 10/30/10, p.85)(http://tinyurl.com/2ea3fxy)

2010        May 20, US researchers announced that they have produced a living cell powered by manmade DNA. They said the world's first synthetic cell, JCV1-syn1.0, is more a re-creation of existing life, changing one simple type of bacterium into another, than a built-from-scratch kind. Genome-mapping pioneer J. Craig Venter said his team's project paves the way for designing organisms that work differently from the way nature intended for a wide range of uses.
    (AP, 5/21/10)(Econ, 6/19/10, SR p.11)

2010        May 31, A Malaysian government official, Malacca Chief Minister Mohamad Ali Rustam, defended an Indian company's plans to build an animal testing medicine lab in his state, saying that God created monkeys and rats for experiments to benefit humans.
    (AP, 5/31/10)

2010        Jun 17, Dr. Shinya Yamanaka (47), UCSF stem cell researcher, learned that he was awarded the $550,000 Kyoto Prize by Japan’s Inamori Foundation. He had discovered a technique for transforming adult skin cells into “pluripotent" stem cells without resorting to human embryos.
    (SFC, 6/18/10, p.C2)

2010        Jul 11, Avid Radiopharmaceuticals presented a study that demonstrated a new brain scan to detect the brain plaques in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
    (SFC, 7/13/10, p.A7)

2010        Jul, US researchers, led by entomologist Michael Riehle at the Univ. of Arizona, reported that they have developed a genetically engineered breed of mosquito that cannot be infected by the malaria causing parasite.
    (SFC, 7/17/10, p.A6)

2010        Aug 24, Researchers in Japan reported the creation of a highly accurate sensor that can detect smells and gases using genetically engineered frog eggs.
    (Reuters, 8/24/10)

2010        Sep 16, Australian scientists said they had made a breakthrough in the fight to save the cancer-hit Tasmanian devil by mapping the species' genome for the first time.
    (AFP, 9/16/10)

2010        Sep 28, Amyris Biotechnologies (AMRS), an Emeryville, Ca., startup, went public on NASDAQ with 5.3 million shares. The IPO opened and closed at $16.50 per share. The company, founded by Prof. Jay Keasling, used genetically engineered organisms to turn plant sugars into a precursor of diesel.
    (SFC, 9/29/10, p.D1)(http://tinyurl.com/24uklyv)(Econ, 3/12/11, TQ p.22)(SFC, 9/13/12, p.C5)

2010        Sep 21, The Lasker Foundation announced its Lasker Award winners. Dr. Napoleone Ferrara (54) of Genentech won the clinical medical research award for his discovery of a protein that led to the development of a drug to halt vision loss in age-related macular degeneration. The award for basic medical research went to Douglas Coleman (78) and Jeffrey Friedman (56) for discovering the hormone leptin. David Weatherall (77) won for his work in genetic diseases and clinical care for children with the genetic blood disorder thalassemia.
    (SFC, 9/21/10, p.C3)

2010        Sep 28, Amyris Biotechnologies went public on NASDAQ with 5.3 million shares. The IPO opened and closed at $16.50 per share. The company used genetically modified yeast to produce biofuel.
    (SFC, 9/29/10, p.D1)

2010        Oct 1, Medicago, a Canadian company, broke ground at Durham, NC, on its first American facility. The company genetically manipulates tobacco plants to produce proteins used in making flu vaccines.
    (Econ, 10/23/10, p.36)

2010        Dec 6, British researchers said they may have found a way to reverse damage in the central nervous system caused by multiple sclerosis, in a study hailed by campaigners as a major breakthrough.
    (AFP, 12/6/10)

2010        Dec 8, US scientists published a study of stem cell technology used to create mice from two fathers, an advance that they say could help preserve endangered species and even help same-sex couples have their own genetic children one day.
    (AFP, 12/8/10)

2010        Organovo, a San Diego-based company founded in 2007, developed the first commercial 3D bio-printer. The $200,000 machine will initially produce simple tissues such as skin, muscle and short stretches of blood vessels.
    (Econ, 2/20/10, p.77)(Econ, 3/8/14, p.18)

2011        Jan 17, Japanese researchers said they will launch a project this year to resurrect the long-extinct mammoth by using cloning technology to bring the ancient pachyderm back to life in around five years time.
    (AP, 1/17/11)

2011        Feb 16, France-based Sanofi-Aventis agreed to buy Massachusetts-based Genzyme Corp., the world’s largest maker of medicines for rare genetic disorders, for at least 20.1 billion.
    (SFC, 2/17/11, p.D2)

2011        Feb 27, Joule Unlimited, a Massachusetts biotechnology company, said it has invented a genetically-engineered organism that it says simply secretes diesel fuel or ethanol wherever it finds sunlight, water and carbon dioxide.
    (AP, 2/28/11)

2011        Jun 17, It was reported that scientists at Wake Forest have designed a brain implant that restores lost memory function and strengthens recall of new information in laboratory rats.
    (SFC, 6/17/11, p.A17)

2011        Jun 21, Japanese researchers said they had developed a self-propelled remote controlled capsule endoscope that can "swim" through the digestive tract.
    (AFP, 6/21/11)

2011        Jul 4, Doctors said a test designed to spot chromosome abnormalities in eggs could be a "revolution" in fertility, helping older women determine their chances of having an in-vitro fertilization (IVF) baby.
    (AFP, 7/4/11)

2011        Jul 7, Swedish officials said a man (36) with tracheal cancer has received a new lab-made wind pipe seeded with his own stem cells in the first successful attempt of its kind.
    (SFC, 7/8/11, p.A2)

2011        Jul 27, South Korean scientists said they have created a glowing dog using a cloning technique that could help find cures for human diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
    (Reuters, 7/27/11)

2011        Jul 28, Australian farmer Steve Marsh launched legal action against neighbor Michael Baxter after genetically modified canola blew onto his farm, prompting authorities to strip him of his organic license.
    (AFP, 7/28/11)

2011        Aug 18, US researchers reported that the drug, SRT-1720, protects mice from the usual diseases of obesity. The drug is one of a set designed by Sirtris, a small pharmaceutical company in Cambridge, Mass.
    (SFC, 8/19/11, p.A13)

2011        Sep 14, Japanese researchers from Hitachi working with university scientists unveiled a headset they say can measure activity in the brain and could be used to improve performance in the classroom or on the sports field.
    (AFP, 9/14/11)

2011        Sep 18, The journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology reported that online gamers have deciphered the structure of an enzyme of an AIDS-like virus that had thwarted scientists for a decade. The gamers produced an accurate model of a monomeric protease enzyme in just three weeks.
    (AFP, 9/18/11)

2011        Sep 22, US biotech company Advanced Cell Technology said it will soon begin the first-ever European trials using human embryonic stem cells in an experimental treatment for people with a form of juvenile blindness. The clearance to begin the European trials came from the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and the Gene Therapy Advisory Committee. The same Massachusetts-based company became the first to launch a US trial of embryonic stem cells to treat Stargardt's disease in November 2010.
    (AP, 9/22/11)

2011        Oct 16, Scientists at the Vietnam-based Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Program and the Oxford University Clinical Research units in Kathmandu and Ho Chi Minh City announced they had combined cutting-edge gene sequencing technology with Google Earth to accurately map the spread of typhoid in Kathmandu for the first time.
    (AFP, 10/17/11)

2011        Oct 18, The EU’s top court ruled that scientists cannot patent stem cell techniques that use human embryos for research.
    (SFC, 10/19/11, p.A2)

2011        Oct 26, The X Prize Foundation offered a $10 million prize to the first team to sequence  the genomes of 100 centenarians. The contest will begin in January 2013 and last for 30 days.
    (Econ, 10/29/11, p.95)

2011        Nov 2, The US FDA said it has approved the Sapien heart valve made by Edwards Lifesciences, which can be threaded into place through a major artery from the leg to the heart. The study was soon halted after 5 of 34 patients getting Sapien died.
    (SFC, 11/3/11, p.A6)(SFC, 11/9/11, p.D4)

2011        Dec 5, Angela Zhang (17) of Cupertino, Ca, won a $100,000 scholarship, at the Siemens Foundation's annual high school science competition, for research that created a tiny particle she likened to a "Swiss army knife of cancer treatments" because of its precision in targeting cancer tumors.
    (AP, 12/6/11)

2012        Mar 13, Russian and South Korean scientists signed a deal on joint research intended to recreate a woolly mammoth, an animal which last walked the earth some 10,000 years ago.
    (AFP, 3/13/12)

2012        Mar 15, Kashmir scientists at Sher-i-Kashmir University said they have cloned a rare Himalayan goat, hoping to help increase the number of animals famed for their silky soft undercoats used to make pashmina wool, or cashmere.
    (AP, 3/15/12)

2012        May 30, A consortium of geneticists reported that they have decoded the genome of the tomato and that is has 31,760 genes, about 7,000 times more than human beings. They sequenced both the Heinz 1706 variety, used for ketchup, and its closest wild relative, Solanum pimpinellifolium, from the highlands of Peru.
    (SFC, 5/31/12, p.A10)

2012        Sep 11, It was reported that Stanford Dr. James Spudich (70), UCSF Dr. Ronald Vale (53) and  NY’s Columbia Dr. Michael Sheetz (65) will receive this year’s Lasker Foundation’s $250,000 award for discovering how molecular motors work inside cells.
    (SFC, 9/11/12, p.C3)

2012        Sep 12, UC Berkeley chemical engineer Jay Keasling, founder of Amyris Biotechnology, won the prestigious Heinz Award of $250,000 for developing an inexpensive way to mass-produce artemisinin, a plant based drug to treat malaria. The Heinz Awards were established by Teresa Heinz in 1993 to honor the memory of her late husband, US Senator John Heinz.
    (http://chemistry.berkeley.edu/publications/news/2012/keasling-wins-heinz-award.php)

2012        Sep 19, An int’l. team of researchers published the full genome of the Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas, making it the first mollusk fully sequenced.
    (SFC, 9/20/12, p.A7)

2013        Feb 20, In San Francisco tech and investment luminaries announced the new $3 million Life Sciences Breakthrough Prize and named the effort’s first 11 winners.
    (SFC, 2/21/13, p.C1)

2013        Jun 13, The US Supreme Court ruled that companies cannot patent parts of naturally-occurring human genes, a decision with the potential to profoundly affect the emerging and lucrative medical and biotechnology industries. The court gave Myriad Genetics a partial victory, ruling that while naturally-occurring DNA was not patentable, synthetically-created DNA could be patented.
    (AP, 6/13/13)

2013        Nov 27, The first autopsies in Europe to take place without bodies being cut open are to take place after a new machine was unveiled in Sheffield. This will enable many post-mortem examinations to be carried out digitally, saving the body from being cut open with a scalpel.
    (AFP, 11/27/13)

2013        Dec 13, Europe's second-highest court said it has overturned a decision by the European Commission to allow the cultivation and sale of a genetically modified potato developed by German chemicals group BASF.
    (Reuters, 12/13/13)

2013        Austrian researchers announced that they had coaxed pluripotent stem cells made from skin cells into differentiating and growing into objects known as organoids.
    (Econ, 11/1/14, p.74)

2014        Jan 30, Nature published two papers by a team led by Haruko Obokata of the Riken Center for Developmental Biology in Japan. The team claimed to have found a simple way to reprogram ordinary mouse cells, persuading them to transform themselves into pluripotent cells.
    (Econ, 3/22/14, p.79)

2014        Mar 12, Stephen Power (29) from Cardiff in Wales was reported to be one of the first trauma patients in the world to have a procedure in which 3D printing was used at every stage.
    (AFP, 3/12/14)

2014        Apr 1, Japan’s government-funded Riken Center said data in a widely heralded stem-cell research paper was falsified. Haruko Obokata, the lead researcher accused of the malpractice, denied any wrongdoing.
    (AP, 4/1/14)

2014        Apr 30, Researchers reported the use of scaffolding-like material from pigs for use as implants into a few young men with disabling leg injuries. They said the treatment coaxed the men’s own stem cells to regrow new muscle.
    (SFC, 5/1/14, p.A16)

2014        Dec 19, Japanese researcher Haruko Obokata said in a statement that she was leaving the Riken Center for Developmental Biology after the lab concluded the stem cells she said she had created probably never existed. The center said it had stopped trying to match Obokata's results.
    (AP, 12/19/14)

2015        Jan 30, Carl Djerassi (b.1923), Standford chemist, died of complicatioons of cancer at his home in San Francisco. He was a key contributor to the invention of the birth control pill.
    (SSFC, 2/1/15, p.D1)(Econ, 2/7/15, p.86)

2015        Mar 6, US regulators gave a green light to sales of the country's first copied version of a biotechnology drug, or "biosimilar," with approval of Novartis' white blood cell-boosting Zarxio.
    (Reuters, 3/6/15)

2015        Apr 23, Global scientists renewed calls to halt controversial research to genetically edit human embryos after a Chinese team published details a day earlier of a stunted but breakthrough attempt in this new frontier in science.
    (AFP, 4/23/15)

2015        May 18, A team led by researchers at UC Berkeley reported the steps to make morphine in the lab with genetically engineered yeast.
    (SFC, 5/19/15, p.A7)

2015        May 28, In Spain biochemists Emmanuelle Charpentier from France and Jennifer Doudna from the United States were awarded the Princess of Asturias scientific research award for their work in biotechnology.
    (AP, 5/28/15)

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