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Historical Landmarks in Molecular Diagnostics

Molecular diagnostics as we know it today had its origins approximately 150 years ago with the initial concept of genetics. The first landmark discovery regarding units of inheritance contained in genes and alleles was published by Mendel in 1866. Below are some of the landmarks of gentic discovery and testing.
YearIndividualContribution
1866 Gregor Mendel Concept of genes and alleles
1910 Thomas Morgan Units of heredity in chromosomes
1928 Frederick Griffith Experimentation with mice enables others to point out DNA as the molecule of inheritance
1944 Oswald Avery, Colin MacLeod, Maclyn McCarty Landmark paper on the transforming ability of DNA
1951-1953 Rosalind Franklin Crystallographic portraits of DNA, showing its helical structure
1953 James Watson and Francis Crick Using Franklin's DNA portraits, suggest the DNA molecule is made up of two chains of nucleotides, each in a helix, with one going up and the other going down. Further suggest that during cell division, the two strands separate and on each half, a new half is built, identical to the separated half so that the structure is maintained.
1957 Meselson and Stahl Confirm that DNA is replicated semi-conservatively, ie, each strand of DNA serves as a template to make a new, complementary strand.
1975 Jeremy Nathans Restriction enzymes, Southern blot, detection of DNA sequences
1977Walter Gilbert and Frederick Sanger Determination of base sequences in nucleic acids
1985 Kary Mullis, et al Introduction of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method
1996 Patrick Brown, Mark Schena, et al DNA microarray
2003 International scientific researchers Completion of Human Genome Project