3 Papers That Defined Biotechnology

June 26, 2010 at 8:03 pm 1 comment

Stanford’s Drew Endy is an engineer’s biologist identified 3 Papers that defined biotechnology at the recent Aspen Ideas Festival:

1973: “Construction of biologically functional bacterial plasmids in vitro” by Cohen et al. in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This was the paper that marked the beginning of the age of genetic engineering. Scientists were able to insert DNA into a living organism.

1985: “Cloning and expression of the human erythropoietin gene” by Lin et al. in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Here, researchers showed that they could use genetic engineering to produce human proteins, the biological machines that do work within the body. In this particular case, a protein needed by anemia patients was produced in hamster ovary cells. The paper represents the foundational work that made the company, Amgen.

2006: “Production of the antimalarial drug precursor artemisinic acid in engineered yeast” by Ro et al in Nature. Berkeley laboratory researchers took $25 million and created a vastly cheaper way to synthesize an antimalarial drug. The research led to the creation of Amyris, which has raised $383 million from investors, and recently filed to go public.

It would be intereresting to build a list of other important papers. Can you suggest some to be added to this list?

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Jen  |  July 28, 2010 at 11:23 am

    How about Nature 409:860-921 (2001): Initial sequencing and analysis of the human genome?


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