|1973: The first recombinant DNA
|In 1973, Stanley Cohen and Herbert Boyer created the first recombinant
DNA organism using recombinant
pioneered a year earlier by Paul Berg. Recombinant DNA,
also called gene
is a technique that allows scientists to manipulate the DNA of an organism. Cohen and
Boyers implementation of the technique laid the
foundations for today's modern genetic
Stanley Cohen had developed a means to extract plasmids from cells and implant them in other cells. Herbert Boyer had determined how to use restriction enzymes to cut certain sequences of nucleotides from a strand of DNA. In 1973 Cohen and Boyer combined their research to produce recombinant DNA organisms.
Cohen and Boyer removed plasmids, small rings of DNA located in a cell's cytoplasm, not the nucleus, from a cell. Then they used restriction enzymes to cut the DNA at precise locations and then recombined the DNA strands in the special configurations that they desired. Finally, Cohen and Boyer inserted the spliced DNA into E. Coli bacteria cells which reproduced the altered DNA. With altered DNA, the bacteria cells could be made to produce specific proteins. Today's biotechnology corporations implement recombinant DNA technology to get bacteria to act as biological manufacturers of proteins valuable in science, medicine and agriculture.