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Improving lives and livelihoods

Since 1843, when Rothamsted Research was founded, the National Institutes of Bioscience have contributed to major research successes including the discovery and development of key herbicides and insecticides; the creation of plant and livestock transgenics to improve crop yields and livestock breeding; the understanding of infectious diseases and the development of diagnostic tests and vaccines to control them. Further global challenges being tackled at the Institutes today include: ensuring food security and safety; tackling climate change and our dependence on fossil fuels; antimicrobial resistance and ageing ­to ensure lifelong health and wellbeing. The National Institutes of Bioscience’s collaborations with industry are accelerating the discovery and development of new therapeutics, biofuels, and food and drink products.

1843

timeline-rothamsted-research

Rothamsted Research is founded

1910

john-innes-centre

John Innes Horticultural Institution established

1939

timeline-rothamsted

Herbicide 2,4-D was discovered at Rothamsted Research

1953

timeline-welsh-plant

Welsh Plant Breeding Station, the predecessor of IBERS was opened

1958

timeline-pirbright

Pirbright recognised as the World Reference Laboratory for foot-and-mouth disease

1960s

timeline-pyrethoid

The first pyrethroid insecticides developed at Rothamsted Research

1983

1983

Researchers at John Innes Centre inserted new genes into a plant genome, using a soil bacterium. Plant transformation technology is born!

1984

1984

Researchers at John Innes Centre made the first hybrid antibiotic by combining the antibiotic gene clusters of different strains of Streptomyces bacteria.

1995

1995

Researchers at the John Innes Centre discover that the order of genes in cereal crops is remarkably similar, which has important implications for crop improvement.

1996

prof-dolly

Researchers at The Roslin Institute create Dolly the sheep, the first mammal to be cloned from an adult body cell using somatic cell nuclear transfer.

1996

1996_IFR

As part of an international consortium, scientists from IFR contributed to sequence the genome of baker’s yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

1997

1997_IFR

Researchers at IFR provide evidence for the first food-specific health claim by showing that oat beta glucan is heart-healthy.

1997

ifr-bse

The Pirbright Institute provided evidence linking bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle and the human disease ‘new variant’ Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (vCJD).

1998

1998

‘Green Revolution’ gene discovered. Scientists at the John Innes Centre create of Dwarfed wheat varieties that result in huge increases in yield

2002

2002

Stay-green grass developed by IBERS and British Seed Houses Ltd. is launched commercially.

2003

novacta

Novacta Biosystems is the first spin-out company from JIC. It focuses on developing treatments against drug-resistant bacteria.

2004

2004

Scientists at Babraham uncover mechanisms through which the environment affects gene activity (epigenetics) and their importance for health and disease.

May 2005

2005

Scientists at Rothamsted Research provided evidence that the waggle dance directs bees to food sources.

August 2005

2005_IFR

Researchers at IFR developed a computer-controlled model that predicts the digestion of real foods and medicines within the human gut.

October 2005

creating-transgenic-chickens

The Roslin Institute pioneer the use of transgenic hens to produce low-cost protein drugs.

2007

2007

The Pirbright Institute prevents an outbreak of Bluetongue

April 2008

2013_PIR

Scientists at the Pirbright Institute develop a rapid on-farm test for foot-and-mouth disease virus.

October 2008

2008_JIC

Scientists at the John Innes Centre produce GM purple tomatoes with raised levels of the anti-cancer compound: anthocyanin.

2009

arial

TGAC, a new national centre to analyse plant, animal and microbial genomes, was opened.

2010

2010

Scientists at Pirbright contributed to the Global Rinderpest Eradication Programme, which achieved its objective in 2010.

2011

2011

Scientists at JIC and IFR develop and launch nutritionally-enhanced broccoli: Beneforté®

2012

2012_TGAC

Scientists from TGAC kickstart a crowdsourcing effort which mobilised researchers to sequence and analyse DNA from the E. Coli strain at the source of a deadly epidemic.

2013

2013_JIC

Scientists at JIC launch the OpenAshDieBack project Fraxinus – an ‘open source’ platform for scientists to share their data and publish results more quickly.

2013

2013_PIR

Scientists from the Pirbright Institute contribute to the development of a synthetic vaccine for foot-and-mouth disease virus.

2014

2014

First European field trial of a GM crop making omega-3 fish oils at Rothamsted Research