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Smithsonian Explores Beginnings of Biotechnology
Date:10/24/2013

ing cancer, HIV/AIDS and autoimmune disorders."

The case opening will coincide with a special panel discussion and webcast presented by Genentech on Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. EDT. "The DNA Effect" panel will examine the impact of biotechnology on medicine and science, and what can be expected from the industry in the years to come. Panelists include: Arthur D. Levinson, Ph.D., chairman of the board, Genentech and chairman of the board, Apple; Dr. Kimberley L. Blackwell, professor of medicine, Duke Cancer Institute; George M. Church, Ph.D., Robert Winthrop Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School; and Dr. Daniel Kraft, executive director, FutureMed. The panel discussion will be webcast live at: www.gene.com/biotech.

In the early 1970s, a research team led by Herbert Boyer of the University of California at San Francisco and Stanley Cohen of Stanford University successfully transferred a gene from one species into another. Known as recombinant DNA, this discovery gave scientists across the world a tool to study life and disease at the molecular level, and has gone on to be a foundation of modern medicine. Boyer then teamed with venture capitalist Robert Swanson to form Genentech.

"The recombinant DNA technique allowed biotechnologists to transform the bacteria E. coli into tiny factories to produce insulin and other therapeutic proteins," said Ann Seeger, deputy chair of the museum's Division of Medicine and Science. "Visitors will see how the emergence of biotechnology highlights an important aspect of the American experience illustrating a relationship between science, industry and enterprise that has often fueled our country's economic growth."

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SOURCE Smithsonian's National Museum of American History
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