Pictorial Chronology of the Gene

350 BC

Aristotle - in his "Generation of Animals" he describes breaking open fertilized chicken eggs at intervals to observe when visible organs were generated and suggested hereditary information is passed as messages.
Aristotle 350 BC
Charles Robert Darwin - (1809-1882) - his Origin of Species proposed that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors and evolution resulted from natural selection.
Charles Darwin
Gregor Johann Mendel - (1822-1884) - his cross breeding experiments with peas established many of the rules of heredity, especially the distribution "particulate units" of heredity.
Gregor Mendel
              (1822-1884) friar scientist at St. Thomas abbey
Francis Galton - (1822-1911) coins term Eugenics - Nature vs. Nurture debate -.  Did 1st twins studies and proposed selective breeding of humans between   families of high rank would lead to an to improved humanity.          
Francis Galton - 1822-1911 Victorian eugenist
Wilhelm Johannsen - (1857-1927) coins term Gene...
William Bateson - (1861-1926) rediscovers Mendel's work.

              Johannse (l) and William bateson (r)
Thomas Hunt Morgan (1866-1945) - discovered genetic linkage and crossing over while mapping genes, predicting that a single chainlike molecule carries the genetic information. He won the 1933 Nobe Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries elucidating that genes reside on chromosomes and play a role in heredity.
1866-1945 Thomas
              Hunt Morgan won 1933 Nobe Proze in Physiology or Medicine              for role of chromosomes in heredity


Carrie Buck (1906-1983) - a plantiff in US Supreme Court (Bell v. Buck) who was compulsorily sterilized as part of a eugenics effort in U.S.  In 1920s women classified as "imbeciles" were routinely sterilized at institutions as the Virginia State Colony for the Feebleminded. From 1920s to 1940s eugenic sciences were to select healthier & more accomplished Humans. Carrie Buck

German State & Eugenics - Nazi doctrine of racial hygiene prompted  vast state sponsored effort to cleanse the Human race through sterilization, confinement and murder. Genetic twin studies were used to prove the power of heredity influences and men, women and children were exterminated based on the assumption they carries defective genes. The Nazis pursed their eugenics efforts in the Holocaust exterminating Jews, Gypsies, dissidents, and homosexuals.
Auschwits-Birkenau Concentration Extermination
Oswald T. Avery (1877-1955) along with co-workers Colin MacLeod & Maclyn McCarty establish that isolated DNA is the material of which genes and chromosomes are made.
Oswald T. Avery
              (1877-1955) Canadian born American at Rockerfeller              University Hospital in NYC


Rosalind (Rosie) Franklin  (1920-1958) an English chemistry and X-ray crystallographer whose X-ray diffraction, photo 51 (taken by tech Raymond Gosling under her supervision) was critical evidence that the structure of DNA has a helical nature of double strands. Watson and Crick's calculation from Franklin photo 51 provided crucial measurements for the size and structure of DNA. 
Rosaling Franklin
              (1920-1958) English chemist & X-ray crystallographer.

James D. Watson and Francis Crick publish the structure of DNA in Nature: 737-738 (1953). Using X-ray diffraction and mathematics of a helix transform, they establish that the structure of DNA holds the chemical instructions of hereditary instructions. "It has not escaped our notice that the specific pairing we have postulated immediately suggests a possible copying mechanism for the genetic material".  James D. Watson
              and Francis Crick
1945-1965 Ochoa - Khorana - Holley Central Dogma of Molecule Biology
details of transcription, translation,
& Genetic Code established by Ochoa, Khorana, & Holley...



Berg, Gilbert, and Sanger - sequencing &
                reconbinant DNA
 Berg, Gilbert & Sanger created 1st recombinant DNA molecules using restruiction enzymes
and established
DNA sequencing technology for Human Genome Project


Asilomar Conference - brings a "moritorium" on recombinat DNA... Creation of genetic hybrids along with gene cloning in bacterial cells could have risks which might release unwanted genetic anomolies?
recombinant cloning
1976 Genetech - Paul Berg & Robert Swanson (a venture capatlist) found company [Genentech] to produce medicines from genes. First product produced in bacteria by cloning was human gene for hormone somatostatin (growth hormone). Robert Swanson


SRY gene determines maleness - Peter Goodfellow discovers a transcription factor protein encoded by SRY gene on Y-chromosome that initiates male sex determination in humans. Swyer syndrome is a mutation in SRY gene in which genetic males (XY) are anatomically, physiologically, and psychologically female. Peter Goodfellow
Luigi Cavalli Sforza (Stanford) - in a massive genetic study establishes that there is greater genetic variation within a racial category than genetic diversity between different racial groups.
Luigi Cavalli -

James Thomson (U.Wisconsin) develops technique to isolate and grow human embryonic stem cells in culture.
James Alexander

 Gene Sequencing - 1995 Craig Venter sequenced Haemophilus influenzae; 1996 Saccharomyces cerevisiae sequenced; 1998 John Sulston publishes 1st genome of multicellular eukaryote, C. elegans.     Caenorhabditis

Gene Therapy - Jesse Gelsinger died after a gene therapy clinical trial. He has OTC deficiency, an X-linked liver enzyme deficiency due to a spontaneous mutation. Injected with a recombinant adenoviral vector, he died after 4 days from a massive immune response to the virus, causing cessation of gene therapy for many years. Jesse Gelsinger
J. Craig Venter & Francis Collins - a copy of Human Genome is published. A draft copy was released in 2001 and a finally declared complete copy in 20013 using the data from 20 sequencing labs around the world, the NIH and Celera Genomics (Venter's private company).
J. Craig Venter of
                  Celera Genomics and Francis Collins of NIH


The following whole genomes are fully sequenced:  (2004) brown Norway rat & chicken; (2005) Cancer Genome Atlas initiated and the Pan troglodytes (chimp) genome published; (2007) Wellcome Trust publishes genetic variants for 24 common human diseases; (2008) the Genetic Information Non-discrimination Bill signed into law and International Genome Consortium is formed to catalog genomic abnormalities in tumors of 50 types of cancer; (2010) draft genome of Homo neanderthalensis is obtained from 38,000 year old bones.
Homo neanderthalensis
2005-2016 Dubbed "Genome Mining" genome sequencing projects generate a tremendous amount of data, which are stored in databanks and freely available through the Internet. Using computers, scientists analyze these data to extract information of genetic value. A new field, Bioinformatics, integrates biology and computer sciences ­ providing the electronic equivalent of picks and shovels to prospect for sequences. bioinformatics
Jennifer Anne Doudna (Berkley) & Emmanuelle Marie Charpentier (Curie U. Paris) reengineer a Cas9 endonuclease along with a segment or bacterial guide RNA that could find and cut target DNA specified by the guide RNA that has potential for specific gene editing.
Jen Doudna & Emmanuelle Charpentier

Samarth Kilkarni, CEO of CRSIPR Theraputics in Cambridge Mass. has requested approval from the U.S. Food & Drug Admin. to begin clinical trials for sickle-cell disease in 1st half of 2018.