visit history of genetics

   History of Genetics Timeline

   Jo Ann Lane
   1994 Woodrow Wilson Collection

   As scientists sought to understand more about the nature of
   inheritance of traits, hereditary processes were explained in ever
   increasing detail beginning at the populational level and going toward
   the molecular level. Keeping this fact in mind will help in
   understanding the timeline which follows.

     Year         Scientist(s)                    Discovery
                                    Joint announcement of the theory of
                                    natural selection-that members of a
   1858     Charles Darwin Alfred   population who are better adapted to
            Russel Wallace
                                    the environment survive and pass on
                                    their traits.
   1859     Charles Darwin          Published The Origin of Species.
                                    Published the results of his
   1866     Gregor Mendel           investigations of the inheritance of
                                    "factors" in pea plants.

            Carl Correns Hugo de    Mendel's principles were
   1900     Vries Erich von         independently discovered and
            Tschermak               verified, marking the beginning of
                                    modern genetics.
                                    Pointed out the interrelationships
   1902     Walter Sutton           between cytology and Mendelism,
                                    closing the gap between cell
                                    morphology and heredity.
                                    Independently described the behavior
   1905     Nettie Stevens Edmund   of sex chromosomes-XX determines
                                    female; XY determines male.
                                    Proposed that some human diseases
   1908     Archibald Garrod        are due to "inborn errors of
                                    metabolism" that result from the
                                    lack of a specific enzyme.
                                    Proposed a theory of sex-linked
                                    inheritance for the first mutation
   1910     Thomas Hunt Morgan      discovered in the fruit fly,
                                    Drosophila, white eye. This was
                                    followed by the gene theory,
                                    including the principle of linkage.

   1927     Hermann J. Muller       Used x-rays to cause artificial gene
                                    mutations in Drosophila.
                                    Proposed that some unknown
   1928     Fred Griffith           "principle" had transformed the
                                    harmless R strain of Diplococcus to
                                    the virulent S strain.

   1931     Harriet B. Creighton    Demonstrated the cytological proof
            Barbara McClintock      for crossing-over in maize.
                                    Irradiated the red bread mold,
   1941     George Beadle           Neurospora, and proved that the gene
            Edward Tatum            produces its effect by regulating
                                    particular enzymes.
            Oswald Avery            Reported that they had purified the
   1944     Colin MacLeod           transforming principle in Griffith's
            Maclyn McCarty          experiment and that it was DNA.
                                    Organized a phage course at Cold
                                    Spring Harbor Laboratory which was
   1945     Max Delbruck            taught for 26 consecutive years.
                                    This course was the training ground
                                    of the first two generations of
                                    molecular biologists

   late                             Developed the hypothesis of
   1940s    Barbara McClintock      transposable elements to explain
                                    color variations in corn.
                                    Discovered a one-to-one ratio of
   1950     Erwin Chargaff          adenine to thymine and guanine to
                                    cytosine in DNA samples from a
                                    variety of organisms.

   1951     Rosalind Franklin       Obtained sharp X-ray diffraction
                                    photographs of DNA.
                                    Used phages in which the protein was
   1952     Martha Chase            labeled with 35S and the DNA with
            Alfred Hershey          32P for the final proof that DNA is
                                    the molecule of heredity.

   1953     Francis Crick           Solved the three-dimensional
            James Watson            structure of the DNA molecule.
                                    Used isotopes of nitrogen to prove
   1958     Matthew Meselson        the semiconservative replication of
            Frank Stahl
                                    Purified DNA polymerase I from E.
   1958     Arthur Kornberg         coli, the first enzyme that made DNA
                                    in a test tube.
                                    Led teams that cracked the genetic
   1966     Marshall Nirenberg      code- that triplet mRNA codons
            H. Gobind Khorana       specify each of the twenty amino
                                    Isolated the first restriction
   1970     Hamilton Smith          enzyme, HindII, that could cut DNA
            Kent Wilcox             molecules within specific
                                    recognition sites.

   1972     Paul Berg               Produced the first recombinant DNA
            Herb Boyer              molecules.
                                    Led the team at Cold Spring Harbor
   1973     Joseph Sambrook         Laboratory that refined DNA
                                    electrophoresis by using agarose gel
                                    and staining with ethidium bromide.
                                    Showed that a recombinant DNA
   1973     Annie Chang             molecule can be maintained and
            Stanley Cohen
                                    replicated in E. coli.
                                    International meeting at Asilomar,
   1975                             California urged the adoption of
                                    guidelines regulating recombinant
                                    DNA experimentation.

   1977     Fred Sanger             Developed the chain termination
                                    (dideoxy) method for sequencing DNA.
                                    The first genetic engineering
   1977                             company (Genentech) is founded,
                                    using recombinant DNA methods to
                                    make medically important drugs.
                                    Somatostatin became the first human
   1978                             hormone produced using recombinant
                                    DNA technology.
                                    Three independent research teams
   1981                             announced the discovery of human
                                    oncogenes (cancer genes).
                                    Used blood samples collected by
   1983     James Gusella           Nancy Wexler and her co-workers to
                                    demonstrate that the Huntington's
                                    disease gene is on chromosome 4.
                                    Published a paper describing the
   1985     Kary B. Mullis          polymerase chain reaction (PCR), the
                                    most sensitive assay for DNA yet
                                    The Human Genome Project began with
   1988                             the goal of determining the entire
                                    sequence of DNA composing human
                                    Coined the term DNA fingerprinting
   1989     Alec Jeffreys           and was the first to use DNA
                                    polymorphisms in paternity,
                                    immigration, and murder cases.
                                    Identified the gene coding for the
                                    cystic fibrosis transmembrane
   1989     Francis Collins         conductance regulator protein (CFTR)
            Lap-Chee Tsui
                                    on chromosome 7 that, when mutant,
                                    causes cystic fibrosis.
                                    First gene replacement therapy-T
                                    cells of a four-year old girl were
                                    exposed outside of her body to
   1990                             retroviruses containing an RNA copy
                                    of a normal ADA gene. This allowed
                                    her immune system to begin
                                    FlavrSavr tomatoes, genetically
   1993                             engineered for longer shelf life,
                                    were marketed.