30 greatest genetics/cytology discoveries/inventions, 1978-1996

Carlisle Landel landel at helios.medsci.udel.edu
Wed Oct 23 09:59:15 EST 1996

In article <54k9qh$fos at dfw-ixnews3.ix.netcom.com>,
Davin G. Bartell <bartell1 at ix.netcom.com> wrote:
>I'm searching for a brief listing of the most important developments
>and discoveries in the past 18 years (for a school project).I coulnd't
>find any website.If someone knows a website or could list the e.g. 30
>most important inventions and discoveries (concerning genetics and
>cytology) it would be great.

Let me preface this reply by pointing out to you that although the
web is a convenient place to search for information, it is not the
best.  You really ought to visit your library.

Nonetheless, this is good topic for discussion, because there is no
"Official List of Important Genetics and Cytology Inventions".  
Everybody is going to have their own favorites.

One hint would be to look up the Nobel Prize winners for the last 18
years, but you have to be careful on 2 counts:  1) not all the prizes
will be for work in genetics and cytology, and 2) prizes 
awarded in the time frame you are looking at might be for work *before*

So, here are a couple of inventions/discoveries that might be
worthy of inclusion in your list.  I won't explain what they are; you
should go to the library and find out about them and why they are
important.  THese are in no particular order.

Polymerase Chain Reaction (also known as PCR)  (hint:  this should
  show up in your examination of the Nobel Prize)

Transgenic mice

Gene therapy

In situ hybridization, or fluorescent in situ hybridization

Large-scale DNA sequencing (though the technique was introduced in 1977)

Interrupted genes, ie, the organization of eucaryotic genes into
  introns and exons, mRNA splicing, etc.

The chemistry of oligonucleotide synthesis (I *think* this is post-1978)

One final hint on where to get this info:  Get yourself a modern
gentics or cell biology text, one that lists primary sources in its
bibliography.  You can see when the important discoveries were made.

Good luck!


Carlisle Landel

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