Biotech Evolution


We all learn about historical events in school and why they happened. We read about famous scientists who made discoveries and changes to our modern world today. But did you know that these discoveries were quite controversial when they were first introduced in society?

Biotech history has been quite an enthralling journey. Let’s start from the beginning.

First Transgenic Mice

Alfred Johnson sitting at a table in a restaurant

The first transgenic mice were created in 1974. The first genetically modified animals were mouse embryos that were injected with foreign DNA. Hitting the headlines of many major newspapers, these scientists opened up a whole new world of possibilities about how organisms altered to produce desired traits. While the technology was crude at this time, it laid the foundations for all the amazing discoveries to come.

1975- First Recombinant DNA

A kitchen with a blue background

In 1975, recombinant DNA technology was born when scientists Stanley Cohen and Herbert Boyer managed to create the first recombinant DNA molecule. It was the utmost step in biotech history as it allowed scientists to start manipulating genes and DNA sequences. The possibilities were endless, and the potential for discoveries was huge.

1986 – First GM Plant

First created in 1986. The Flavr Savr tomato was developed by Calgene Inc. and was the world’s first commercially available GM food crop. This tomato was designed to have a longer shelf life and was able to resist rotting. While it did not achieve commercial success, it was still a milestone in biotech history.

Genetically Modified Crops

The first GM crop was created by Monsanto in the early 1990s. It was a herbicide-resistant soybean to make cooking oil. While this product wasn’t commercially successful, it marked the beginning of biotechnology’s foray into agriculture.

Today, many countries are now growing GM crops for both commercial and research purposes. GM crops are now a staple in many people’s diets and they are widely accepted by the general public.

The 1990s – The Biotech Boom

The 1990s were a time of growth and expansion for the biotech industry. It was largely due to the development of new technologies, such as recombinant DNA and PCR, which made genetic engineering much more efficient.

In addition, the public’s attitude towards biotechnology was starting to change. They were beginning to see the potential benefits that biotechnology could offer society. As a result, there was a lot of investment and interest in the biotech industry from both the private sector and the government.

The 2000s – The Golden Age of Biotech

The 2000s were a time of growth and advancement for the biotech industry. It was largely due to the development of new technologies, such as genome sequencing and CRISPR-Cas9, which made genetic engineering much more efficient.

Biotech History: The Future

So, what does the future hold for biotechnology? Well, we will have to wait and see! While there are many new technologies under development and in use within biotech labs around the world. It is hard to predict just how they may alter the industry. Regardless of this, it is evident that biotech history has been quite a roller coaster ride, with many exciting and groundbreaking discoveries along the way.

As you can see, biotechnology has come a long way since its inception. While it has faced its share of controversy, it has also made some amazing discoveries that have changed the world we live in today. The future looks bright for biotech, and we can only imagine the amazing things that it will achieve in the years to come.

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