Timeline of genetic engineering in humans
This is a timeline of genetic engineering in humans.
There are some evidence that humans might have self-domesticated, which could be seen as a form of genetic engineering.
However, actual genetic engineering started in the 20th century. The timeline below details related milestones.
For a full history of the biotechnologial context in which that happened, see the Genetic Literacy Project's timeline, Biotechnology timeline: Humans have manipulated genes since the ‘dawn of civilization’. For a timeline of the CRISPR technology, see Timeline of CRISPR. For a timeline on genetics engineering in general, see Timeline of genetic engineering.
|Year||Month and date||Details|
|1978||July 25||For the first time, a human is born through in vitro fertilization.|
|1983||For the first time, a human gets a pregnancy derived from a cryopreserved human embryo (but was aborted naturally at ten weeks of gestation).|
|1984||The first human derived from a cryopreserved human embryo is born.|
|1990s||China starts to do widespread prenatal testing for birth defects with ultrasound.|
|1990||The first human that had received a preimplantation genetic diagnosis is born.|
|1990||Sept. 14||For the first time, a human receives a gene therapy. They get white blood cells extracted from them, injected with normal genes for making adenosine deaminase, and then inserted again into them.|
|1990||Oct. 1||The Human Genome Project to map the entire human genome is officially launched.|
|1997||June||The world's first genetically modified human is born. They receive a ooplasmic transfer, which consist in taking the contents of a donor egg from a fertile female and injecting it into the egg of an infertile female along with the fertilizing sperm from their mate.|
|1998||November||The first hybrid human clone is created in November 1998, by Advanced Cell Technology. It is created using Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) - a nucleus is taken from a cell of a male's leg and inserted into a cow's egg from which the nucleus is removed, and the hybrid cell is cultured, and developed into an embryo. The embryo is destroyed after 12 days.|
|2000||June 26||The Human Genome Project and Celera Genomics announce the completion of the first draft of the human genome.|
|2003||BGI Shenzhen, in China, collects DNA samples from 2,000 of the world's smartest people. The screening includes sending a CV, a list of publications, standardized-test scores, where one went to college, etc. They sequence the entire genomes and attempt to identify the alleles which correlate with intelligence. This could lead to embryo screening increasing intelligence by 5 to 15 IQ points.|
|2008||January||Researchers at the company Stemagen announce that they successfully created the first five mature human embryos using SCNT. Each embryo was created by taking a nucleus from a skin cell (donated by Wood and a colleague) and inserting it into a human egg from which the nucleus had been removed. The embryos would develop only to the blastocyst stage.|
|2013||Embryonic stem cells are created using SCNT for the first time. Four embryonic stem cell lines from human fetal somatic cells are derived from those blastocysts. All four lines are derived using oocytes from the same donor, ensuring that all mitochondrial DNA inherited are identical. A year later, a team led by Robert Lanza at Advanced Cell Technology reported that they had replicated Mitalipov's results and further demonstrated the effectiveness by cloning adult cells using SCNT.|
|2015||April 18||Researchers at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou publish a paper on their attempt to use the CRISPR/Cas-9 system to edit the hemoglobin-B gene (HBB) in 86 non-viable human embryos.  Two days later, 54 embryos would survive, only 4 would have the desired genetic changes, and all 4 would be mosaic (meaning only some cells would have the desired changes), and they would contain a lot of unintended mutations.|
|2016||Nov. 15||For the first time, CRISPR gene-editing is tested in a human.|
|2017||For the first time in the United States, there's an attempt of using CRISPR to genetically modify human embryos.|
|2018||Nov. 25|| A Chinese researcher of Shenzhen claims that he helped make the first genetically edited humans.  The humans are twins named Lulu and Nana. . They are claimed to have been born a few weeks before he announced it. The researcher's stated goal is to make sure the humans would have the ability to resist an HIV infection, a trait few people naturally have. He gave official notice of his work on November 8, 2018 on a Chinese registry of clinical trials.
One-off target edit was found before implementing the embryo, but wasn’t confirmed when the humans were sequenced after birth. Only some of the cells of the early-stage embryo were successfully edited, and one edit resulted in a CCR5 protein missing five amino acids, so it’s unclear whether they will actually be resistant to HIV.
China’s vice minister of science and technology, Xu Nanping, said the effort “crossed the line of morality and ethics and was shocking and unacceptable.” The researcher is currently in prison.
Meta information on the timeline
How the timeline was built
The initial version of the timeline was written by Mati.
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