A TIME­LINE OF GE­NETIC MOD­I­FI­CA­TION

Cosmos - - Feature -

1971–73

De­vel­op­ment of re­com­bi­nant DNA al­lows re­searchers to cut and paste genes in bac­te­ria.

1978

A team at Ge­nen­tech adds the hu­man in­sulin gene to bac­te­ria, launch­ing the biotech­nol­ogy in­dus­try.

1990

Doc­tors in Penn­syl­va­nia at­tempt gene ther­apy on a four-year- old girl. A gene is added to her body us­ing a virus.

1999

Teenager Jesse Gelsinger is the first per­son to die in a genether­apy ex­per­i­ment. Com­mer­cial in­ter­est slows dra­mat­i­cally.

2009

US biotech­nol­ogy firm Sang­amo Bio­sciences ini­ti­ates an ef­fort to cure HIV with blood cells from which it has, for the first time, deleted a hu­man gene.

2013

Sci­en­tists in the US and South Korea demon­strate CRISPR as a new, much eas­ier method of chang­ing hu­man genes. Edi­tas Medicine is founded in Bos­ton to de­velop CRISPR treat­ments.

2014

Adding CRISPR to mus­cle cells in a lab dish, a team at Duke Univer­sity elim­i­nates a mu­ta­tion that causes Duchenne mus­cu­lar dys­tro­phy.

2015

Chi­nese sci­en­tists edit the DNA of hu­man em­bryos. Within months, the world’s sci­en­tists con­demn as “ir­re­spon­si­ble” any at­tempt to make gene- edited ba­bies.

2016

First hu­man tests of CRISPR, as part of cancer treat­ments, win ini­tial ap­proval in the US and China.

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