Thursday, September 25, 2008

History of Genetic Engineering

History of Genetic Engineering
The origins of biotechnology culminated with the birth of genetic engineering. Genetic engineering based on genetics, a science started from the early 1900’s based on experiments by the Austrian monk, Gregor Mendel.

In 1944, DNA is identified as the carrier of genetic information by Oswald Avery Colin McLeod and Maclyn McCarty.

Later two important key events happened. One was the 1953 discovery of the structure of DNA, by Watson and Crick, and the other was the 1973 discovery by Cohen and Boyer of a recombinant DNA technique by which a section of DNA was cut from the plasmid of an E. coli bacterium and transferred into the DNA of another.

During the late 1970’s, researchers used recombinant DNA to engineer bacteria to produce small quantities of insulin and interferon.

One of the key scientific figures that attempted to highlight the promising aspects of genetic engineering was Joshua Lederberg, a Stanford professor and Nobel laureate.

In 1980, green genetic engineering was born. Genetic material is introduced into cell cultures for the first time ever with the aid of Agrobacterium tumefaciens.

In 1982, The U.S Food and Drug Administration approve the first genetically engineered drug, Genentech’s Humulin, a form of human insulin produced by bacteria.

In 1987, the first field tests of genetically engineered crops (tobacco and tomato) are conducted in the United States. Committee of the national Academy of Sciences concluded that transferring genes between species of organisms posed no serious environmental hazards.

In year 2000, International Biosafety Protocol is approved by 130 countries at the Convention on Biological Diversity in Montreal, Canada. The protocol agrees upon labeling of genetically engineered crops.
History of Genetic Engineering
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