An Interactive Annotated World Bibliography of Printed and Digital Works in the History of Medicine and the Life Sciences from Circa 2000 BCE to 2022 by Fielding H. Garrison (1870-1935), Leslie T. Morton (1907-2004), and Jeremy M. Norman (1945- ) Traditionally Known as “Garrison-Morton”

15959 entries, 13943 authors and 1935 subjects. Updated: February 28, 2024

HELLING, Robert Bruce

1 entries
  • 257.5

Construction of biologically functional bacterial plasmids in vitro.

Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., 70, 3240-3244, 1973.

Cohen, Boyer and associates developed the first practical method for cloning genes, by the formation of recombinant plasmids which can be used to infect plasmid-free bacteria. The authors demonstrated that if DNA is fragmented with restriction endonucleases and combined with similarly restricted plasmid DNA, the resulting recombinant DNA molecules are biologically active and can replicate in host bacterial cells. Plasmids can thus act as vectors for the propagation of foreign cloned genes. This paper is available from the PNAS at this link.

The method that Cohen and Boyer invented eventually resulted in U.S. patent No. 4,237,224 granted to Cohen and Boyer on December 2, 1980. This patent, "Process for producing biologically functional molecular chimeras," was the foundation of the biotechnology industry. 

Cohen published a semi-popular account of this research as "The manipulation of genes," Scientific American, 233 (1975) 24-33.

Subjects: BIOLOGY › MOLECULAR BIOLOGY › Recombinant DNA, BIOLOGY › MOLECULAR BIOLOGY › Restriction Enzyme or Restriction Endonuclease, Biotechnology, LAW and Medicine & the Life Sciences › Patents, WOMEN in Medicine & the Life Sciences, Publications About