1866: Gregor Mendel identifies inheritance "factors" in pea plants.
1910: Thomas Hunt Morgan proposed a theory of sex-linked inheritance for the first mutation discovered in the fruit fly, Drosophila, white eye.
1913: Morgan and Alfred Sturtevant propose principle of gene linkage leading to the first genetic map.
1927: Hermann J. Muller Used x-rays to cause artificial gene mutations in Drosophila.
1929: Phoebus Levene describes building blocks of DNA, including four types of base A,C, T, and G.
1953: Francis Crick and James Watson deduce the three-dimensional structure of the DNA molecule using a combination of experimental data and model building.
1972: Paul Berg creates the first recombinant DNA molecules, using restriction enzymes. This technology will be the beginning of the biotechnology industry.
1976: Herbert Boyer cofounds Genentech, the first firm founded in the United States to apply recombinant DNA technology
1981: Three independent research teams announced the discovery of human oncogenes (cancer genes).
1985: Kary Mullis published a paper describing the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) a technique to amplify specific DNA sequences from minutes quantities of starting material.
- Alec Jeffreys devised a technique that uses DNA polymorphisms to distinguish between different individuals. He later coined the term DNA fingerprinting and this is now impotant for many paternity, immigration, and murder cases.
1990: BLAST algorithm developed to align DNA sequences and is the key to comparative genomics.
- The first occurrence of gene replacement therapy to repair a defective ADA gene in a four year old girls T-cells.
1993: FlavrSavr tomatoes are the first genetically modified organisms to be marketed. They were engineered to ripen more slowly for longer shelf life.
1999: First human chromosome sequence published.
2000: Fruit fly genome sequenced using Celera’s whole-genome shotgun method.
2001: Science and Nature publish annotations and analyses of human genome.
2005: HapMap published giving a huge resource of SNP's and information relating to human variation.