Table of Contents  
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 222-226  

Chronological development avenues in biotechnology across the world

1 Department of Pharmacology, Radharaman College of Pharmacy, Ratibad, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India
2 Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Pharmacy, Nirma University, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Date of Web Publication18-Feb-2012

Correspondence Address:
Prashant Y Mali
Department of Pharmacology, Radharaman College of Pharmacy, Ratibad, Bhopal - 462 044, Madhya Pradesh
Login to access the Email id

DOI: 10.4103/2229-5186.93030

Get Permissions


Biotechnology is expected to be a great technological revolution followed by information technology. It is an application of scientific and engineering principles to the processing of material by biological agents to provide better goods and services to mankind. Commercially its techniques are applied long back in 6 th century in the art of brewing, wine making and baking. It has progressed there after crossing different land marks. Modern biotechnology has developed significantly in the late 19 th century with groundbreaking discoveries applicable in medicine, food, agriculture, chemistry, environmental protection and many more industries. It is widely used in the development of high-yielding, disease-resistant, better quality varieties by applying tissue culture and recombinant DNA techniques. It has wide application in animal breeding using techniques such as artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer. Specific enzymes used in laundry, fuel and leather industries for better quality, economically feasible and environmental friendly production. Biotechnology in healthcare system uses body's own tools and weapons to fight against diseases, manufacturing of targeted therapeutic proteins, gene therapy and so on. Novel approaches such as proteomics and structural biology are contributing to understanding the chemistry of life and diseases. Malfunctioning gene replaced with correctly functioning gene by using gene therapy. Tissue engineering has opened up the use of in vitro developed tissue or organ in repairing wounded tissue and system biology which is a computer-based approach to understand cell functions. Although every new discovery related to biology and its implications is significant and has taken the technology ahead. This includes applications, commercialization, controversies, media exposure and so on. Hence, we have enlisted some of the chronological development avenues in biotechnology across the world.

Keywords: Avenues, biotechnology, chronological

How to cite this article:
Mali PY, Panchal SJ. Chronological development avenues in biotechnology across the world. Chron Young Sci 2011;2:222-6

How to cite this URL:
Mali PY, Panchal SJ. Chronological development avenues in biotechnology across the world. Chron Young Sci [serial online] 2011 [cited 2014 Dec 18];2:222-6. Available from:

   Introduction Top

The field of biotechnology has moved very fast all over the world in the last decades. Biotechnological applications have great potential for developing countries for creating jobs through value-added products and for generation of nonpolluting environment friendly technologies. Biotechnology has the technical breadth and depth to change the industrial community because of its potentials such as to give products, which were never available before, to give products those are currently in short supply, to give new methods that will reduce costs substantially, to give safer, better quality products, to give products that will use cheap raw materials, which are plentily available but not used. [1] As we move into the 21 st century, biotechnology has become thrust to the centre of public conciseness by many groundbreaking spectacular discoveries and development in the field through biochemists, geneticists and cell biologists for providing better health care to humanity. Disease itself is now being understood, diagnosed, prevented, and treated without considering its symptoms, made possible by higher order of genetic information. Recombinant therapeutic proteins, diagnostics, monoclonal antibodies, recombinant vaccines, gene therapy in the sphere of healthcare system have improved human health and atmosphere. Biotechnology is a collection of technologies that capitalize on the attributes of cells such as their manufacturing capabilities and put biological molecules such as DNA and proteins to work for us. There are some newer approaches and achievements of biotechnology in the field of medicine such as novel and more powerful antibiotics, cheaper steroid drugs and hormones, improved more effective and safer vaccines for disease prevention and so on. Therefore, we have highlighted some chronological development avenues in biotechnology across the world, which will help to all persons relates too life science. They are as follows:

2010 : Researchers at the J. Craig Venter Institute created the first synthetic cell. [2]

2009 : Master gene switches on disease fighting cell that is, the master gene that causes blood stem cells to turn into disease fighting "Natural Killer" (NK) immune cells was identified by scientists, in a study published in Nature Immunology today. The discovery could one day help scientists boost the body's production of these frontline tumor killing cells, creating new ways to treat cancer. [3]

2008 : Chemical boosts blood flow to brain that is, a team at the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City reports that, the human brain contains its own store of a powerful enzyme called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), which appears to be a key regulator of blood flow to brain cells. [4]

2007 : In April, Henrik Clausen, a professor at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, published research in Nature describing a way to convert any kind of blood into Type O that is, the type that almost anyone can tolerate. [5]

2006 : Researchers develop biotech pigs that produce high levels of omega3 fatty acids. The biotech pigs were developed by inserting the "fat1" gene that comes from the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans. The biotech pigs were cloned and 6 of the 10 clones produced increased levels of omega3 fatty acids, which are believed to ward off heart disease.

2006 : The genetic test, Oncotype DXTM was developed by the biotech company Genomic Health and was already commercially available.

2005 : Researchers at the University of Georgia successfully produce a cow cloned from the cells of a carcass.

2005 : Scientists at Harvard University report success in converting skin cells into embryonic stem cells through fusion with existing embryonic stem cells.

2005 : The Energy Policy Act was passed and signed into law, authorizing numerous incentives for bioethanol development.

2004 : The FDA approves the first antiangiogenic drug for cancer, Avastin (bevacizumab).

2004 : The FDA clears a DNA microarray test system, the AmpliChip Cytochrome P450 Genotyping Test, to aid in selecting medications for a wide variety of common conditions.

2003 : Researchers find a vulnerability gene for depression and make strides in detecting genetic links to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

2003 : The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approves the first transgenic root wormresistant corn, which may save farmers $1 billion annually in crop losses and pesticide use.

2003 : Japanese researchers develop a biotech coffee bean that is naturally decaffeinated.

2003 : China's State Food and Drug Administration grants the world's first regulatory approval of a gene therapy product, Gendicine, developed by Shenzhen SiBiono GenTech. The product delivers the p53 gene as a therapy for squamous cell head and neck cancer.

2002 : Researchers announce successful results for a vaccine against cervical cancer, the first demonstration of a preventative vaccine for a type of cancer.

2002 : Japanese puffer fish genome was sequenced. The puffer fish sequence was the smallest known genome of any vertebrate.

2002 : The draft version of the complete map of the human genome was published and the first part of the Human Genome Project comes to an end ahead of schedule and under budget.

2001 : The sequence of the human genome was published in Science and Nature, making it possible for researchers all over the world to begin developing treatments.

2001 : Researchers with China's National Hybrid Rice Research Center report developing "super rice" that could produce double the yield of normal rice.

2000 : Golden Rice, modified to make vitamin A, promises to help third world countries alleviate blindness.

2000 : A rough draft of the human genome was completed by Celera Genomics and the Human Genome Project.

2000 : Pigs are the next animal cloned by researchers, hopefully to help produce organs for human transplant.

2000 : First biotech crop fieldtested in Kenya: virusresistant sweet potato.

1999 : The complete genetic code of the human chromosome was first deciphered.

1998 : University of Hawaii scientists clone three generations of mice from nuclei of adult ovarian cumulus cells.

1998 : Human skin was produced in vitro.

1998 : Embryonic stem cells are used to regenerate tissue and create disorders mimicking diseases.

1998 : The first complete animal genome for C. elegans worm was sequenced.

1998 : The Biotechnology Institute was founded by BIO as an independent national, 501(c)(3) education organization with an independent Board of Trustees.

1997 : Scottish scientists report cloning a sheep, using DNA from adult sheep cells that is, Dolly born.

1997 : A group of Oregon researchers claim to have cloned two Rhesus monkeys.

1997 : A new DNA technique combines PCR, DNA chips, and a computer program, providing a new tool in the search for disease causing genes.

1996 : Scottish scientists clone identical lambs from early embryonic sheep.

1996 : Discovery of gene associated with Parkinson's disease provides an important new avenue of research into the cause and potential treatment of the debilitating neurological ailment.

1995 : The first baboontohuman bone marrow transplant was performed on an AIDS patient.

1995 : The first full gene sequence of a living organism other than a virus was completed for the bacterium Hemophilus influenzae.

1995 : The threedimensional structure of a catalytically active fragment of murine RT was elucidated.

1994 : Genentech's Nutropin was approved for the treatment of growth hormone deficiency.

1994 : The first breast cancer gene was discovered.

1994 : Flavrsavr tomato the first genetically engineered whole food approved by the FDA was on the market.

1993 : Chiron's Betaseron was approved as the first treatment for multiple sclerosis in 20 years.

1993 : FDA approves bovine somatotropin (BST) for increased milk production in dairy cows.

1993 : The FDA declares that genetically engineered foods are "not inherently dangerous" and do not require special regulation.

1993 : The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) was created by merging two smaller trade associations.

1992 : The threedimensional structure of HIV reverse transcriptase was elucidated.

1992 : American and British scientists unveil a technique for testing embryos in vitro for genetic abnormalities such as cystic fibrosis and hemophilia.

1991 : Amgen develops Neupogen, the first of a new class of drugs called colony-stimulating factors, for the treatment of low white blood cells in chemotherapy patients.

1991 : Immunex's Leukine, used to replenish white blood cell counts after bone marrow transplants was approved.

1991 : Genzyme's Ceredase was approved for the treatment of Gaucher's disease.

1990 : The first federally approved gene therapy treatment was performed successfully on a 4 year-old girl suffering from an immune disorder.

1990 : Human Genome Project launched.

1990 : ChyMax™, an artificially produced form of chymosin, an enzyme for cheese making was introduced. It was the first product of recombinant DNA technology in the U.S. food supply.

1990 : First transgenic dairy cow used to produce human milk proteins for infant's formula was created.

1989 : First approval for field test of modified cotton: insectprotected (Bt) cotton.

1989 : Plant Genome Project begins.

1989 : Amgen's Epogen is approved for the treatment of renal disease anemia.

1989 : The gene responsible for cystic fibrosis is discovered.

1988 : Congress funds the Human Genome Project, a massive effort to map and sequence the human genetic code as well as the genomes of other species.

1988 : Harvard molecular geneticists are awarded the first U.S. patent for a genetically altered animal A transgenic mouse (first mammal patented in U.S.A.).

1988 : Fluorescence in situ hybridization by Lawrence et al.

1988 : A patent for a process to make bleachresistant protease enzymes to use in detergents was awarded.

1987 : Humatrope was developed for treating human growth hormone deficiency.

1987 : Advanced Genetic Sciences' Frostban, a genetically altered bacterium that inhibits frost formation on crop plants, was field tested on strawberry and potato plants in California, the first authorized outdoor tests of an engineered bacterium.

1987 : Genentech's tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), sold as Activase, was approved as a treatment for heart attacks.

1987 : Reverse transcription and PCR are combined to amplify mRNA sequences.

1987 : Cloned murine RT was engineered to maintain polymerase and eliminate Rnase H activity.

1986 : The first field tests of genetically engineered plants (tobacco) are conducted.

1986 : Ortho Biotech's Orthoclone OKT3, used to fight kidney transplant rejection, was approved as the first monoclonal antibody treatment.

1986 : The first biotechderived interferon drugs for the treatment of cancer, Biogen's Intron A and Genentech's Roferon A, are approved by the FDA. In 1988, the drugs are used to treat Kaposi's sarcoma, a complication of AIDS.

1986 : The first genetically engineered human vaccine, Chiron's Recombivax HB, was approved for the prevention of hepatitis B.

1985 : Fully active murine RT was cloned and over expressed in E. coli.

1985 : NIH approves guidelines for performing experiments in gene therapy on human.

1985 : Genetic markers found for kidney disease and cystic fibrosis.

1985 : Transgenic plants resistant to insects, viruses and bacteria are field tested for the first time.

1984 : The DNA fingerprinting technique was developed.

1984 : Discovery of pulsed field gel electrophoresis by Schwartz and Cantor.

1984 : The entire genome of the human immunodeficiency virus was cloned and sequenced.

1984 : The first genetically engineered vaccine was developed.

1984 : Chiron clones and sequences the entire genome of the HIV virus.

1983 : The Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technique was conceived. PCR, which uses heat and enzymes to make unlimited copies of genes and gene fragments, later becomes a major tool in biotech research and product development worldwide.

1983 : The first genetic transformation of plant cells by TI plasmids was performed.

1983 : The first artificial chromosome was synthesized.

1983 : The first genetic markers for specific inherited diseases were found.

1983 : Efficient methods were developed to synthesize doublestranded DNA from firststrand cDNA involving minimal loss of sequence information.

1982 : Humulin, Genentech's human insulin drug produced by genetically engineered bacteria for the treatment of diabetes, was the first biotech drug to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

1982 : Applied Biosystems, Inc. introduced the first commercial gas phase protein sequencer, dramatically reducing the amount of protein sample needed for sequencing.

1982 : Establishment of Gene Bank.

1982 : First recombinant DNA vaccine for livestock developed.

1982 : First biotech drug approved by FDA: human insulin produced in genetically modified bacteria.

1981 : Scientists at Ohio University produce the first transgenic animals by transferring genes from other animals into mice.

1981 : Chinese scientist cloned a fish (A golden carp).

1981 : The first genesynthesizing machines are developed.

1981 : The first genetically engineered plant was reported.

1981 : Mice were successfully cloned.

1980 : US patent for gene cloning was awarded to Cohen and Boyer.

1978 : North Carolina scientists Hutchinson and Edgell showed that it is possible to introduce specific mutations at specific sites in a DNA molecule.

1978 : Recombinant insulin first produced using recombinant DNA technology.

1977 : Genetically engineered bacteria were used to synthesize human growth protein.

1977 : Methods for reading DNA sequence using electrophoresis are discovered.

1977 : First expression of human gene in bacteria.

1976 : The tools of recombinant DNA are first applied to a human inherited disorder.

1976 : Molecular hybridization was used for the prenatal diagnosis of alpha thalassemia.

1976 : Yeast genes are expressed in E. coli bacteria.

1976 : First guidelines for recombinant DNA experiments released: National Institutes of HealthRecombinant DNA Advisory Committee.

1975 : First monoclonal antibodies produced.

1975 : Discovery of Southern analysis by Southern.

1974 : The National Institute of Health formed a Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee to oversee recombinant genetic research.

1973 : Cohen and Boyer performed the first successful recombinant DNA experiment, using bacterial genes.

1972 : DNA compositions of humans were discovered to be 99% similar to that of chimpanzees and gorillas.

1971 : Reverse transcriptase was shown to have ribonuclease H (Rnase H) activity.

1971 : First complete synthesis of a gene.

1970 : Specific restriction nucleases were identified, opening the way for gene cloning.

1969 : Enzyme synthesized in vitro for the first time.

1967 : First automatic protein sequencer perfected.

1966 : Genetic code was cracked, demonstrating that a sequence of three nucleotide bases (codon) determines each of 20 amino acids.

1965 : Harris and Watkins successfully fused mouse and human cells.

1964 : The existence of reverse transcriptase (RT) was predicted.

1963 : New wheat varieties developed by Norman Borlaug increase yields by 70%.

1961 : The genetic code understood for the first time.

1960 : Messenger RNA discovered.

1960 : Exploiting base pairing, hybrid DNARNA molecules are created.

1959 : Discovery of interferons.

1958 : Sickle cell anemia was shown to occur due to a change of a single amino acid.

1958 : DNA was made in a test tube for the first time.

1957 : Sickle cell anemia was shown to occur due to a change of a single amino acid.

1956 : Kornberg discovered the enzyme DNA polymerase I leading to an understanding of how DNA is replicated.

1955 : Enzyme involved in the synthesis of nucleic acid was isolated for the first time.

1954 : Cell culturing technique was developed.

1953 : Watson and Crick revealed the threedimensional structure of DNA.

1951 : McClintock discovers transposable elements or "jumping genes" in corn.

1951 : Artificial insemination of livestock using frozen semen was accomplished.

1949 : Pauling shows that sickle cell anemia was a "molecular disease" resulting from a mutation.

1946 : Discovery that genetic material from different viruses can be combined to form a new type of virus, an example of genetic recombination.

1944 : Waksman isolates streptomycin as an effective antibiotic for tuberculosis

1944 : DNA was shown to be the material substance of the gene.

1943 : Discovery of streptomycin by Selman Waksman.

1943 : Avery demonstrated that DNA is the "transforming factor" and is the material of genes.

1942 : The electron microscope was used to identify and characterize a bacteriophagea virus that infects bacteria.

1941 : The term genetic engineering was first used by a Danish microbiologist.

1938 : The term Molecular Biology was coined.

1930 : The U.S. Congress passed the Plant Patent Act, enabling the products of plant breeding to be patented.

1928 : Fleming discovers penicillin, the first antibiotic.

1927 : Muller discovers that X-rays cause mutation.

1920 : Human growth hormone was discovered by Evans and Long.

1919 : The word Biotechnology was first used by Hungarian agriculture engineer.

1916 : Development of fermentation process for acetone and nbutanol by Chain Weizmann.

1915 : Phages, or bacterial viruses, are discovered.

1914 : Bacteria are used to treat sewage for the first time in Manchester, England.

1911 : The first cancer-causing virus was discovered by Rous.

1909 : Genes are linked with hereditary disorders.

1907 : The first in vivo culture of animal cells was reported.

1906 : The term Genetics was first introduced.

1902 : The term Immunology first appeared.

1900 : Drosophila (fruit flies) were used in early studies of genes.

1888 : The chromosome was discovered by Waldyer.

1883 : The first rabies vaccine was developed.

1883 : Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, coined the term eugenics.

1879 : Fleming discovered chromatin.

1878 : First centrifuge developed by Laval.

1877 : A technique for staining and identifying bacteria was developed by Koch.

1869 : Discovered DNA in sperm of trout.

1863 : Mendel, in his study of peas, discovers that traits were transmitted from parents to progeny by discrete, independent units, later called genes. His observations lay the groundwork for the field of genetics.

1855 : E. coli bacteria discovered.

1856 : Separation of brewer's yeast from lactic acid bacteria by Louis Pasteur.

1833 : The cell nucleus was discovered as well as first enzymes were isolated.

1830 : Proteins were discovered.

1824 : Dutrochet discovers that tissue is composed of living cells.

1802 : The word biology first appeared.

1797 : Jenner inoculated a child with viral vaccine to protect him from smallpox.

1675 : Leeuwenhoek discovered protozoa and bacteria.

1663 : Cells were described first by Hooke.

1650 : Preparation of vinegar from ethanol.

1590 : Janssen invents the microscope.

1322 : Arab chieftain first uses artificial insemination to produce superior horses.

100 A. D. Powdered Chrysanthemum was used in China as an insecticide.

250 B.C. The Greeks practice crop rotation to maximize soil fertility.

500 B.C. The Chinese use moldy soybean curds as an antibiotic to treat boils.

40002000 B.C. Biotechnology first used to leaven bread and ferment beer, using yeast (Egypt) and production of cheese and fermentation of wine (Sumeria, China and Egypt).

8000 B.C. Potatoes were first cultivated for food. [2],[6]

   References Top

1.Jogdand SN. Advances in biotechnology. 5 th ed. Mumbai: Himalaya Publishing House; 2005. p 611, 251.  Back to cited text no. 1
2. [Last accessed on 2011 Mar 19].  Back to cited text no. 2
3. [Last accessed on 2011 Mar 20].  Back to cited text no. 3
4. [Last accessed on 2011 Mar 20].  Back to cited text no. 4
5. [Last accessed on 2011 Mar 2].  Back to cited text no. 5
6. [Last accessed on 2011 Mar 20].  Back to cited text no. 6


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded188    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal