IGEM:Harvard/2010/Human Practices/history

From OpenWetWare

Page for Wiki: /wikihistory/


  • Encyclopedia Britannica - go to "Open my Workspace" workspace login: iGEM2010 password: synthbio (login and pw are case sensitive)

Scientific Developments

  • Discovery of Type I Restriction Enzymes (cut at random places)- Werner Arber (Swiss 1968) - [1]
  • Discovery of Type II Restriction Enzymes (cut at specific sites) - Hamilton O. Smith (American 1969) - [1]
  • "A key step in the development of genetic engineering was the discovery of restriction enzymes in 1968 by the Swiss microbiologist Werner Arber. However, type II restriction enzymes, which are essential to genetic engineering for their ability to cleave a specific site within the DNA (as opposed to type I restriction enzymes, which cleave DNA at random sites), were not identified until 1969, when the American molecular biologist Hamilton O. Smith purified this enzyme. Drawing on Smith's work, the American molecular biologist Daniel Nathans helped advance the technique of DNA recombination in 1970–71 and demonstrated that type II enzymes could be useful in genetic studies. Genetic engineering itself was pioneered in 1973 by the American biochemists Stanley N. Cohen and Herbert W. Boyer, who were among the first to cut DNA into fragments, rejoin different fragments, and insert the new genes into E. coli bacteria, which then reproduced." EB [1]

Policy Developments

  • "The “new” microorganisms created by recombinant DNA research were deemed patentable in 1980, and in 1986 the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved the sale of the first living genetically altered organism—a virus, used as a pseudorabies vaccine, from which a single gene had been cut. Since then several hundred patents have been awarded for genetically altered bacteria and plants." [1]

  • "1980

The U.S. Supreme Court in Diamond v. Chakrabarty rules that genetically altered life forms can be patented. The decision allows the Exxon Oil Company to patent an oil-eating microorganism. " Source

Current Policies Around the World