3 AD: Ancient artificial insemination
Third-century AD records show that Jewish thinkers discussed the possibility of human insemination by artificial means.
1624: First English patent law
The first English patent law is enacted.
1663: Cells first described
Hooke first describes cells.
1677: Sperm first viewed
Sperm is first viewed under a microscope.
1777: Artificial insemination in reptiles
An Italian priest conducts experiments with artificial insemination in reptiles.
1790: First birth by artificial insemination
First birth of a child conceived through artificial insemination (where sperm is injected into a female, not during sex).
1790: First U.S. patent issued
The United States Patent and Trademark Office issues the first U.S. patent for a method of making potash, an ingredient used in fertilizer.
1802: "Biology" coined
The term "biology" appears.
1817: Patents must meet "moral utility"
Lowell v. Lewis raises the "moral utility" of subject matter for the purposes of patenting, in this case, the patentability of a water pump. In Lowell, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office claims there are "public policy and morality aspects" of the utility requirement. (Although courts have relied on Lowell in recent years, it is usually in relation to inventions of specious utility, rather than questions of moral utility. In fact, courts have not raised moral utility as a bar to patentability even for inventions that are illegal.)
1859: Darwin publishes Origin of Species
Charles Darwin publishes The Origin of Species.
1866: Mendel publishes the Theory of Heredity
Gregor Mendel publishes the Theory of Heredity, which states that physical traits are passed from parents to their offspring. The theory is not proved until 1910.
1869: DNA first isolated
DNA is first isolated in the sperm of trout by a Swiss scientist.
1873: Contraception labeled obscene
The U.S. Comstock Law says that all contraceptive devices, or information about them (including abortion), are obscene.
1879: Mitosis observed
Walther Flemming witnesses mitosis, or cell division. (Flemming discovers chromatin, the rod-like structures inside the cell nucleus that later come to be called "chromosomes.")
1883: The word "eugenics" coined
Francis Galton, Darwin's cousin, coins the word "eugenics" and pioneers the mathematical treatment of heredity. "Eugenics" is derived from Greek, meaning "good in birth" or "noble in heredity."
1884: First known use of sperm donor in U.S.
The first known U.S. sperm donor enables a couple to have a child.
1900 (circa): Artificial insemination for animals
The Russian Czar commissions Russian scientist Ilya Ivanonovich Ivanov to develop artificial insemination for animals. By 1933, Ivanov develops methods for collecting semen and inseminating horses, cows, sheep and pigs. In 1926, he carries out hybrid experiments, in which he tries to artificially inseminate human and ape females with the other species' sperm.
1901: Cloning theorized after successful twinning
Hans Spemann splits a 2-celled newt embryo into two parts, successfully producing two larvae. (Later, in 1938, Spemann theorizes that animals could be cloned by fusing an embryo with an egg cell.)
1902: Chromosome theory of heredity published
The chromosome theory of heredity is published by Walter Sutton, based on observations that during meiosis, each sperm or egg receives only one chromosome of each type.
1902: First kidney transplant in a dog
Researchers perform the first successful kidney transplant in a dog.
1906: "Genetics" coined
The term "genetics" is coined.
1907: Indiana passes first sterilization law in US
Indiana passes a landmark statute allowing the sterilization of those "unfit to breed." As part of the eugenics movement, over 35 states will pass sterilization laws allowing individuals in state institutions to be forcibly sterilized if judged to be genetically defective. Over 60,000 people are sterilized by the 1960s.
1909: Term "gene" coined
Danish botanist Johannsen coins the word "gene" to describe the Mendelian unit of heredity. "Gene" is derived from the Greek word meaning "birth."
1909: California passes sterilization law
California is the second state to pass a eugenics law.
1910: U.S. Eugenics Record Office established
The U.S. Eugenics Record Office is established to collect information on family histories and encourage the breeding of "good" families.
1919: "Biotechnology" coined
The term "biotechnology" is coined by a Hungarian agricultural engineer.
1924: Eugenic immigration controls in U.S.
The U.S. tightens immigration as part of the eugenics movement. By 1952 the Immigration and Naturalization Act explicitly states that aliens can be excluded from immigration due to mental or physical defects.
1925: Scopes Trial: the right to teach evolution
Tennessee v. John Scopes is the first trial to address the teaching of the theory of evolution in U.S. public schools (an issue still very much in debate in 2003). In March of 1925, Tennessee is the first state to outlaw non-Biblical stories of creation, and John Scopes is arrested for teaching the theory of evolution. Decades later (1968), the Supreme Court rules that creationism should not be taught because it is a religious belief, but evolution may be because it is a science.
1927: U.S. Supreme Court authorizes forced sterilization
The case of Buck v. Bell results in the forced sterilization of Carrie Buck on the grounds that she is feebleminded. Justice Oliver Holmes writes: "Three generations of imbeciles is enough."
1930: First time patents on plants allowed
Congress passes the Plant Patent Act, which allows patents on newly invented or discovered plants for the first time (though limited to certain asexually reproducing plants).
1933: Germany passes sterilization law
Germany passes a sterilization law leading to the sterilization of over 400,000 people during the Nazi rule of Germany.
1937: In vitro fertilization proposed
The idea of in vitro (Latin for "in dish," as opposed to "in vivo," or "in body") fertilization (IVF) is proposed in the editorial "Conception in a Watch Glass" in the New England Journal of Medicine. IVF is fertilization of an egg outside the body where the resulting embryo is typically transferred to a woman's womb for gestation.
1938: Freezing sperm works for first time
Freezing sperm is successful for the first time.
1941: "Genetic engineering" coined
The term "genetic engineering" is coined by a Danish microbiologist.
1942: Supreme Court stops some sterilization, establishes reproductive right
In Skinner v. Oklahoma, the Supreme Court rules that a 1935 law allowing for the forced sterilization of certain kinds of criminals is unconstitutional. (However, Buck v. Bell (1927) remains in force so that the involuntary sterilization of the "feebleminded" is still allowed under the constitution.)
1943: DNA = genes
Avery demonstrates that DNA is the material of genes.
1945: Reports of donor insemination
The British Medical Journal publishes early reports of artificial insemination using donor sperm, raising concerns in both in the press and in Parliament. In 1948, a report from the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury recommends criminalizing artificial insemination that uses donor sperm. Concerned that such action would drive it underground, the government discourages but does not criminalize sperm donation.
1947: Nuremberg Code sets rules for human experimentation
The Nuremberg Code delineates the ethical rules for human experimentation, stating, "The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential."
1949: First time disease linked to protein structure
Linus Pauling shows that sickle cell anemia is a molecular disease connected to a change in protein structure. (Later, in 1957, it is shown that the structural change, a mutation, is a change of a single amino acid.)
1953: Structure of DNA discovered
The structure of DNA as a double helix is discovered by James Watson with Francis Crick, and Rosalind Franklin. Watson and Crick are awarded the Nobel Prize in 1962.
1954: Donor sperm ruled adultery
In one of the first recorded U.S. legal cases involving artificial insemination, an Illinois court rules that inseminating a married woman with sperm not from her husband is adultery, even if her husband has consented.
1954: First human organ transplanted
The first successful human kidney transplant occurs in the U.S. between identical twin brothers. The kidney functions for 21 months.
1955: Number of human chromosomes discovered
Joe Hin Tjio discovers that there are exactly 23 pairs of human chromosomes.
1955: Pregnancies from frozen sperm
Four pregnancies succeed using previously frozen sperm.
1955: DNA polymerase isolated
Arthur Kornberg and colleagues isolate DNA polymerase, an enzyme critical to recombinant DNA techniques and sequencing.
1959: Chromosomal cause of Down's syndrome identified
Jerome Lejeune finds that Down's syndrome is caused by having three copies of chromosome 21 instead of two. Turner syndrome is also found to be caused by a deviation in chromosome number (sex chromosomes).
1960: Birth-control pill approved
The Food and Drug Administration approves the birth-control pill. An FDA official states "Approval was based on the question of safety.... When the data convinced our experts that the drug meets the requirements of the new drug provisions our own ideas of morality had nothing to do with the case."
1960s: Animal organs transplanted to humans
Scientists transplant animal organs into humans (called xenotransplantation from "xeno," the Greek word for foreign), 13 patients receive chimpanzee kidneys and 12 survive between 9 and 60 days; one patient lived on immunosuppressive drugs for nine months.
1961: First newborn genetic screening test
Robert Guthrie develops a method to test newborn babies for phenylketonuria (PKU), an inability to digest an amino acid. Mass screening for PKU begins in the U.S. in 1961 and by 1967, 37 states have laws requiring screening.
1963: Government involvement in reproductive science
Congress establishes the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to support and oversee research in reproductive science (and contraception).
1963: Term "clone" coined
J.B.S. Haldane uses "clone" in his speech "Biological Possibilities for the Human Species of the Next Ten-Thousand Years."
1963: First cloned fish
In China, embryologist Tong Dizhou produces the world's first cloned fish by inserting the DNA from a cell of a male carp into an egg from a female carp.
1965: Supreme Court grants right to reproductive privacy
In Griswold v. Connecticut, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that married couples have the right to privacy, including the right to use contraception to avoid pregnancy.
1966: Genetic code discovered
The genetic code is described as a 4-letter alphabet that determines the order of all amino acids in proteins.
1967: First human-human heart transplant
The first human heart transplant, from one human to another, is performed in South Africa by Dr. Christian Barnard.
1968: Donating organs legalized
The Uniform Anatomical Gift Act establishes the legality of donating a decreased individual's organs/tissues for transplantation, medical research or education for the first time. By 1972 it is adopted by every state.
1969: Enzyme synthesized in vitro for the first time
An enzyme is synthesized in vitro for the first time.
1969: Article published about artificially fertilizing human eggs
Robert Edwards, the English embryologist who will one day help create the first "test-tube" baby, publishes an article in Nature about artificially fertilizing human eggs.
1970: Rights to sexually reproduced plants
Congress passes the Plant Variety Protection Act, which provides legal intellectual property rights protection to developers of certain new varieties of plants. The PVPA is administered by the United States Department of Agriculture, and is amended in 1994.
1972: Humans 99%25 similar to chimps and apes
The DNA of humans and apes is found to be nearly 99%25 the same.
1972: First use of recombinant DNA
Stanley Cohen and Herbert Boyer discover recombinant DNA, the process of recombining genes by taking a piece from one DNA strand and inserting it into another. Their first successful experiment happens in 1973 and uses bacterial genes. Cohen and Boyer win patents for the process in 1980, issue more than 200 licenses and earn many millions of dollars.
1972: Egg fertilized in vitro in U.S.
A U.S. scientist fertilizes an egg in vitro.
1972: U.S. Supreme Court recognizes reproductive right to contraception
In Eisenstadt v. Baird, the Supreme Court rules that a Massachusetts law restricting the sale or distribution of contraceptives to married persons is unconstitutional. The court holds that the right of privacy established in Griswold v. Connecticut extends to all individuals.
1973: Roe v. Wade: Supreme Court protects abortion, expands reproductive rights
The Supreme Court awards the right to abortion in Roe v. Wade when it decides that the unborn are not constitutional "persons" and that the right to privacy includes the right of a woman to have an abortion without interference from the state.
1973: First in vitro fertilization in U.S.
A Florida couple is the first in the U.S. to try in vitro fertilization.
1973: First recombinant DNA experiments
Scientists perform the first recombinant DNA experiments on bacteria.
1973: First IVF pregnancy
The first IVF pregnancy in the world is reported in Australia, but it ends in early embryo death.
1974: Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee formed
In response to public anxieties about the safety and release of genetically manipulated organisms, the National Institutes of Health forms the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (RAC) to oversee research on recombinant genetics.
1975: Ban on federal funds for IVF and embryo research
The debate on the status of the human embryo ends government research on human embryos from IVF procedures and precipitates a moratorium on federal funding for IVF.
1975: Scientists debate safety of DNA technology
One hundred scientists gather at Asilomar in California to discuss the safety of recombinant DNA, where they agree to suspend research involving recombinant DNA technology until the potential risks are evaluated. In 1976, the NIH publishes "Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules.".
1975: Rapid DNA sequencing developed
Two slightly different rapid DNA-sequencing methods are developed independently by Sanger and his colleagues, and by Maxam and Gilbert.
1976: First major biotech company founded
Herbert Boyer, co-discoverer of recombinant DNA, founds Genentech. The next year, Genentech produces the first human protein in a bacterium and, by 1982, markets the first recombinant USDA-approved genetically engineered drug, a form of human insulin.
1976: First surrogate motherhood contract
Attorney Noel Keane arranges the first surrogate motherhood contract.
1977: Primate hearts in humans
Dr. Christian Barnard uses chimpanzee and baboon hearts as bridge organs in patients who undergo unsuccessful open-heart surgery. The recipients live from six hours to four days.
1977: Nobel prize awarded for DNA sequencing
Sanger and Gilbert develop methods for DNA sequencing and are awarded the Nobel prize.
1978: First "test-tube" baby born
Louise Brown, the first "test-tube" (in vitro fertilization) baby is born in England (it was the 104th attempt by doctors Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards). The first IVF baby is conceived in the U.S. in 1981.
1978: An Illinois law says custody laws apply to fertilized eggs
An Illinois law is passed that gives doctors legal custody of embryos they create through IVF.
1978: First time dead man's sperm used to conceive
The earliest recorded example of harvesting a dead man's sperm.
1979: First in vitro fertilization with baboons
The first in vitro fertilization is performed on baboons.
1979: Sperm count down in US
The sperm count for U.S. men averages 60 million sperm per cubic centimeter, down from 90 million sperm/cc in 1929.
1979: Body is profitable
United States v. Garber involves the taxability of rare blood sales and the status of the body as property. On learning that her blood contained an extremely rare antibody, Garber sold it to various medical firms for large sums of money, but did not report the sales on her tax returns, for which she was prosecuted. She maintained the right to sell her body.
1980s: Commercial development of federally funded research
Three laws are passed, the Patent and Trademark Amendment Act (commonly known as the Bayh-Doyle Act, 1980), the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act (1980), and the Federal Technology Transfer Act (1986), that advance industry/government relations (and expand patent law) by encouraging government agencies and other educational and nonprofit institutions to interact, and to apply for patents on inventions that had federal funding. In addition, the Bayh-Dole act offers tax incentives to companies investing in academic research. The Stevenson-Wydler Act promotes technology transfer by encouraging joint projects. With the Technology Transfer Act, researchers at government facilities, such as the National Institute of Health, can patent their inventions and keep up to $150,000 in annual royalties.
1980: First patent on a living organism
In the Diamond v. Chakrabarty case, the U.S. Supreme Court rules for the first time that living organisms can be patented. In a close and hotly contested decision, the court rules that a bacterium that was genetically engineered to break down oil spills is a "'manufacture' or 'composition of matter'" that met the criteria for patenting. The majority opinion states that the court was "without competence" to judge the merits of arguments that warned of dire consequences if life was ruled patentable. The court's decision opens the door to claims on other living organisms not explicitly included in the Plant Patent Act. Over the last 15 years, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted more than 400 U.S. patents on higher animals, including pigs, cows and sheep, many genetically modified with human genes. Human-cow embryos have been patented, and in 2001, the University of Missouri was granted a patent on a cloning technique that does not rule out the creation of human embryos. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) now allows genes to be patented. Over 20,000 genes, 7,810 of them human genes, have been patented in the U.S.
1980: First international meeting on in vitro fertilization
The first international meeting on IVF is held in Germany.
1981: First child of in vitro fertilization born in U.S.
Elizabeth Carr, the first U.S. child of in vitro fertilization, is born.
1983: First genetic test for a disease
The first genetic test for a disease, Huntington's disease, is developed.
1981: First transgenic animals
p>1981: Research regulation on humans
Scientists create the first transgenic animals by inserting genes from other animals into the genomes of mice, where they are incorporated into the germ line.
The National Research Act of 1974 is revised by the Department of Health and Human Services Services, creating the Common Rule, which requires that institutions adhere to rules of ethical treatment of human research subjects.
The rules are adopted in response to the Tuskagee Syphilis Study (a study in which, from 1932 to 1977, 399 African-Americans were denied treatment for syphilis in order to study the disease's effects), a blatant case of unethical human-subject research. The National Research Act also "led to the establishment of the OPRR [now the Office of Human Research Protections] and the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects."
1982: Sperm bank for lesbians and single moms founded
The Sperm Bank of California is founded to make sperm donations available to unmarried heterosexual and lesbian women.
1982: First proposal for human gene transfer
The first human gene transfer experiments, in which new DNA is incorporated into an organism's cells, are proposed. Intended as therapy to cure disease, the new genes are inserted into the nonreproductive (somatic) cells of human patients. (The first approved gene therapy procedure happens eight years later, in 1990, when researchers at the National Institutes of Health perform a procedure on a child with severe combined immune deficiency.)
1982: Public gene database formed
The National Institutes of Health forms GenBank, a genetic sequence database available to scientists.
1982: First biotech drug approved
The Food and Drug Administration approves the first biotech drug, a human insulin drug made by Genentech.
1983: First frozen embryo baby
The world's first baby is born from frozen human embryos.
1983: First disease gene mapped
Huntington's disease is the first genetic disease to be mapped, to chromosome four. (The gene is isolated 10 years later in 1993.)
1983: PCR discovered
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) revolutionizes genetic research by allowing scientists to make billions of copies of a specific stretch of DNA rapidly.
1983: Religious leaders oppose germline engineering
Fifty-eight religious leaders present the "Theological Letter Concerning the Moral Arguments" to Congress opposing genetic engineering of the human germline, the process of inserting genes into germ cells or fertilized eggs. The changes can be passed on to future generations.
1984: First cloned mammal
A scientist in England claims to clone a live lamb from immature sheep embryo cells through the process of nuclear transfer, in which the nucleus from one cell is removed and placed into another egg that has had its own nucleus removed.
1984: First genetically modified animal breed, later patented
The oncomouse, a mouse genetically engineered to get cancer, is created by Philip Leder and Timothy Stewart. The USPTO issues a patent on the oncomouse, its progeny and the method for making it in 1988.
1984: "Geep," goat/sheep chimera, created
British scientists create the "geep" chimera by combining the embryos of a sheep and goat. "Chimera" is the Greek word for goat, in a reference to the Greek mythological creature that had a lion's head, goat's body and serpent's tail.
1984: World's first donor egg baby
The first baby conceived through egg donation is born in Australia. The first U.S. child conceived from a donated egg is born four years later in 1988. The donor is paid $250.
1984: First U.S. birth from a frozen embryo
Zoe Leyland is the first U.S. birth from a frozen embryo.
1984: Baby receives baboon heart
A newborn, "Baby Fae," receives a baboon heart transplant. Treated with immunosuppressive drugs, she lives for 20 days before the heart is rejected.
1984: Organ Transplant Act outlaws organ sale
Congress passes the National Organ Transplant Act which prohibits the buying and selling of organs for transplantation, and establishes the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network.
1984: DNA fingerprinting
DNA "fingerprinting" for identification is developed.
1984: HIV virus cloned and sequenced
Biotech leader Chiron clones and sequences the genome of the HIV virus.
1985: Ethics Committee approves human gene transfer
The Recombinant DNA Committee (RAC), created to advise the NIH on DNA technology, says "no germlines at this time." (Germline genetic modifications can be passed on to offspring.) RAC approves somatic gene transfer experiments (inserting genes into cells that do not pass on changes to offspring).
1985: First IVF twins born
First IVF twins born from frozen embryos in Australia.
1986: First human disease gene positionally cloned
The gene that causes chronic granulomatous disease is cloned without any knowledge of the protein it encodes, proving the method of positional cloning.
1986: First genetically engineered human vaccine
The FDA approves the first genetically engineered human vaccine (for the prevention of hepatitis B).
1986: Doctors required to ask for organ donation
Congress passes legislation requiring hospital personnel to approach family members with requests for organ donation. (Most states pass so-called "required request" laws by the early 1990s.)
1986: The first known birth from frozen eggs
The first known birth from frozen eggs takes place in Australia.
1987: Altered animals patentable
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences holds that a genetically engineered oyster is patentable subject matter in Ex parte Allen. Relying on the case, the USPTO issues a notice saying that altered multicellular animals are patentable subject matter within the scope of the Patent Act.
1987: Human Genome Project proposed
The Human Genome Project is proposed to identify all human genes, with $3 billion in federal funding.
1987: Patent Office disallows patents on humans
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office says that patents are not allowed on human beings because of "conflicts" with the 13th Amendment prohibition of slavery.
1987: Embryo transfer procedure is patented
The embryo transfer procedure is patented, starting a trend among fertility specialists (and later geneticists) of patenting the processes and products of human tissue manipulation.
1988: First animal patent for an altered mouse
The USPTO grants the first animal patent for the oncomouse, a mouse genetically modified to get cancer. The patent covers future generations of the mouse.
1988: Animal patent bill passes
The federal Animal Patent Bill passes, providing immunity from liability for patent infringement to farmers who purchase patented farm animals and want to reproduce them. It also clarifies the USPTO's authority to require biological material from patented animals and excludes human beings from "patentable subject matter."
1988: Embryo research ethics committee formed
Congress forms the Biomedical Ethics Advisory Committee to make recommendations regarding embryo research.
1988: Biology wins in surrogacy court case
The surrogacy case of "Baby M" is one of the first to come before the courts when surrogate mother Mary Beth Whitehead refuses to surrender custody of the child she carried for another couple. (Whitehead was inseminated with the semen of the intended father; the intended mother was unable to conceive or carry a child.) The New Jersey Supreme Court awards Mr. Stern, the baby's genetic father, and his wife permanent custody, but allows Whitehead to retain some parental and visitation rights because of her biological relationship (genetic and gestational) to the child.
1988/89: New reproductive technology introduced
Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT), a procedure that places unfertilized eggs and sperm into the woman's Fallopian tube, is introduced, and the technique's first successful pregnancies are achieved.
1988: Laboratory oversight passed
The Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act passes, regulating lab tests, including those used in the diagnosis of infertility (semen and blood analysis) and, later, those used in genetic testing.
1989: Drug tests mandated
In Skinner v. Railway Labor Executives' Association, the U.S. Supreme Court upholds regulations of the Federal Railway Administration that mandated blanket drug and alcohol testing for railroad employees after certain kinds of crashes. The Court said that the "special need" of public safety meant it did not violate the Fourth Amendment. As a federal agency, the Federal Railway Administration falls under the provisions of the U.S. Constitution.
1989: Criminal DNA database created
Virginia is the first state to pass a law requiring convicted sex offenders, all convicted felons (1990) and convicted juveniles (1996) to provide samples for a DNA database. By 1998, all fifty states required certain offenders to provide DNA.
1989: Supreme Court allows criminal DNA banking
In Landry v. Attorney General, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that a Massachusetts law requiring convicted felons (and others) to provide DNA samples does not violate the Fourth Amendment and is legal.
1989: Cystic fibrosis gene located
The cystic fibrosis gene is located and patented.
1989: Supreme Court rules biology does not equal paternity R
The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Michael H. v. Gerald D. that a man who has fathered the child of a married woman does not have a constitutional right to paternity. The ruling upheld the 1872 California law of presumptive paternity, which said that regardless of biology, the husband of a woman is the father of that woman's child.
1990: First transgenic dairy cow
GenPharm International creates the first transgenic dairy cow, to produce human milk proteins.
1990: Military begins mandatory DNA testing
The Department of Defense is funded to begin mandatory DNA testing of all military personnel. Implemented in 1992, the program creates the largest DNA repository in the world.
1990: Court rules patient does not own body
Moore v. Regents of the University of California is the first case in the United States to address the issue of who owns the rights to an individual's cells. Diagnosed with leukemia, John Moore has blood and bone marrow withdrawn for medical tests. Suspicious of repeated requests to give samples because he had already been cured, Moore discovers that his doctors have patented a cell line derived from his cells and sues. The California Supreme Court finds that Moore's doctor did not obtain proper informed consent, but that Moore cannot claim property rights over his body.
1990: Reproductive Technology in the UK regulated
The Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority is created in the United Kingdom to act as a licensing authority regulating reproductive technology.
1990: Reproductive right to IVF protected
In Lifchez v. Hartigan, a federal court struck down an Illinois Abortion Law as being an impermissible infringement on a woman's fundamental right to privacy and reproductive freedom. The court found the law vague because it failed to distinguish between prohibited "experimental" and permissible "therapeutic" medical procedures, thereby infringing on a woman's right to use medically assisted reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization, embryo donation or embryo freezing. Additionally, the court held that the use of these and other technologies were encompassed within a woman's fundamental right to privacy and reproductive freedom.
1990: Human Genome Project proposed
The Human Genome Project, and effort to identify all human genes with $3 billion in federal funding, is launched by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Energy.
1990: Americans with Disabilities Act passes
The Americans with Disabilities Act is enacted, outlawing discrimination in the workplace on the basis of disability and requiring that reasonable accommodations be made in the workplace for disabled employees. The ADA limits the use of medical—including genetic—tests in the workplace.
1990: First gene therapy approved
The first federally approved gene therapy treatment is performed on a child with an immune disorder.
1991: Woman becomes "mother" of her grandchild
A 42-year-old woman becomes the "mother" of her own grandchild. Arlette Schweitzer serves as a gestational surrogate for her daughter and becomes pregnant with an egg donated by her daughter and sperm donated by her daughter's husband.
1991: Woman sues donor of HIV-infected sperm
A Canadian woman wins the first lawsuit alleging HIV infection from donated semen.
1991: Court refuses lesbian's petition for visitation
In Nancy S. v. Michele G., a California court sides with Nancy S., the legal parent of two children, who refuses to allow her lesbian partner visitation rights to the children they had co-parented since birth.
1991: Challenge to patentability of organisms denied
In Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Quigg, the Federal Circuit Court denies standing to a group of organizations trying to challenge the USPTO's policy of patenting genetically engineered organisms, stating that an organism "given a new form, quality, properties, or combination not present in the original article existing in nature" could be patented.
1991: National Organ Transplant Act
Congress bans the purchase or sale of human organs for transplantation.
1991: First somatic gene transfer experiments
W. French Anderson begins the first human somatic gene transfer experiments, in which genes that cannot be passed on to offspring are inserted into the cells of a person with a genetic disease.
1991: Genetically modified organisms guidelines
The USDA's Agricultural Biotechnology Research Advisory Committee (ABRAC) publishes guidelines for field trials that introduce genetically modified organisms into the environment.
1992: Fertility doctor secretly fathers IVF kids
Prosecutors use DNA testing to prove through that fertility doctor Cecil Jacobson secretly used his own sperm to "help" his infertile patients conceive 15 to 75 children.
1992: Roe v. Wade upheld in court
In Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, the U.S. Supreme Court upholds Roe, but also allows notification and consent requirements as a prerequisite for obtaining an abortion. The court restates that the protection for individuals using artificial reproductive technology begins with the federal constitutional right of privacy and reproductive choice.
1992: Congress passes reprotech regulation
Congress passes the Fertility Clinic Rate and Certification Act requiring fertility clinics to report individual success rates. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention administers the Act and publishes individual as well as cumulative success rates.
1992: First transgenic pig is created
Scientists at Imutran create the first transgenic pig by inserting human DNA into a fertilized pig egg in an attempt to create pigs as a source of organs that will not be rejected by humans.
1992: Court rules embryos are part property
In Davis v. Davis, the first embryo disposition case, the Tennessee Supreme Court prevents a divorcing wife from donating frozen embryos she and her ex-husband created to a childless couple, holding that the Tennessee constitution's right to privacy included a right not to procreate and that there were limited property interests in frozen embryos.
1993: Semen as property
Hecht v. Superior Court rules that a man can will his frozen sperm to his girlfriend and that a decedent's interest in his frozen sperm is "property" over which the California Probate Court had jurisdiction.
1993: Huntington's disease gene is located
Huntington's disease gene is located and patented.
1993: Intention = legal parents
An infertile couple contracts with a surrogate to bear them a child from the couple's sperm and egg. The surrogate threatens to keep the child, and the couple sues. The surrogate appeals to the California Supreme Court, which rules in Calvert v. Johnson that in cases where there is a conflict between a birth, or gestational, mother and a genetic mother, "intention" determines parentage.
1993: First pregnancy from new sperm injection technique
The first U.S. birth from intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) (in which a single sperm in injected into an egg with a needle) is reported, allowing men with low sperm counts to father children.
1993: NIH sponsors research in IVF
President Clinton signs the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act, which sponsors research in in vitro fertilization and related techniques.
1993: British organization allow limited gender selection
The British Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (formed in 1990) confirms its policy that sex selection should be used only to avoid serious genetic disorders.
1993: FDA regulates tissue banking
The FDA publishes the "Interim Rule for Human Tissue for Transplantation," regulating tissue banking practices. The regulation does not cover semen and other reproductive tissue. (The Interim Rule is made final in 1997.)
1993: Biotech Industry organization formed
The Biotechnology Industry Organization is formed.
1994: Cloned calves grow to 120 cells
Neal First of the University of Wisconsin clones calves from embryos and grows them to at least 120 cells.
1994: UK outlaws harvesting fetus eggs for IVF
The UK outlaws harvesting the eggs or ovaries of fetuses for use in fertility treatments.
1994: Human Embryo Research Panel created
The Human Embryo Research Panel is created to recommend guidelines for the use of federal funds for human embryo research. In September, it endorses human embryo research and the NIH accepts its recommendations.
1994: Clinton limits federal funding for human embryo research
In December of 1994, President Clinton announces that federal funds will not be used to create human embryos solely for research purposes, but can be used to fund research on excess embryos created through IVF.
1994: FDA approves first genetically modified food
The FDA approves the sale of the first genetically modified food, the FLAVR SAVR tomato.
1994: Major federal funding of DNA databank
The Crime Control Act provides $20 million for an FBI-run national DNA testing and DNA banking program called CODIS, and an additional $40 million for states to develop DNA testing programs.
1994: The oldest woman to give birth is 62
Rosanna Della Corte, 62, becomes the oldest woman to give birth; a year later a 63-year-old woman gives birth after lying to her fertility doctor about her age.
1994: First breast cancer gene identified
The first breast cancer gene, BRCA1, is cloned, after being located in 1990. The second breast cancer gene, BRCA2, is localized in 1994, and isolated in 1995.
1995: Marines bring first major challenge to DNA banks
Two marines stationed in Hawaii refuse to have their blood taken for mandatory DNA testing. They lose their suit and are discharged (honorably). They never give samples of their DNA, and by the time the case reaches the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the military has added privacy safeguards.
1995: Fetal pig neurons treat Parkinson's disease
The Food and Drug Administration gives permission to treat patients with Parkinson's disease with fetal pig neurons. Early testing was found safe, but later trials were cancelled due to uncertain results.
1995: Physician's duty to warn
Pate v. Threlkel, the Florida Supreme Court rules that a physician is only required to inform a patient—not his family—that a disease is genetically transferable.
1995: Transgenic pig hearts made
Scientists develop transgenic pig hearts that survive up to 30 hours when transplanted to baboons (vs. 60 to 90 minutes survival with regular pig hearts). The Food and Drug Administration approves the use of transgenic pig livers as bridge organs for transplant candidates awaiting organs.
1995: Patent for all ex vivo human gene manipulation
A U.S. patent is granted to W. French Anderson and colleagues for all procedures where human cells are removed, genetically altered outside the body, and replaced.
1995: Feds patent gene for Tay-Sachs disease
The federal Department of Health and Human Services patents the gene for Tay-Sachs disease.
1995: First legal test of genetics in the workplace
Workers sue the federally run Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory for testing them without their knowledge for sickle cell anemia, syphilis and pregnancy, alleging that the tests violate their constitutional right to privacy, the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ultimately agrees in 1998, saying that an employee may not be tested for such highly private and sensitive medical information without his knowledge and that the testing violated Civil Rights Act because black and female—and not white male—employees were subjected to tests (for sickle cell anemia and pregnancy, respectively). However, the court dismissed the ADA claim, saying that the scope of pre-placement exams may be "unlimited" under the ADA.
1996: Federal law outlaws some genetic discrimination
Congress passes the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) to expand insurance coverage for Americans. It also outlaws genetic discrimination in group health insurance plans, but does not cover individuals in other kinds of plans or prohibit insurers from requiring prospective workers to take genetic tests.
1996: Duty to warn immediate family
In Safer v. Estate of Pack, the Superior Court of New Jersey rules that a physician has the duty to warn not only his patient of the genetic nature of a disease, but also members of that patient's immediate family who might be harmed by a failure to warn. Significantly, the court concluded that the threat of harm of not disclosing a genetic disease was not significantly different from the threat of infection from contagious disease.
1996: First animal-human cloning
In the first animal-human cloning case, scientist Jose Cibelli inserts DNA from his own cells into a cow egg from which the nucleus is removed. The embryo grows for 12 days.
1996: Twins born of dead man's sperm win rights
In Woodward v. Commissioner of Social Security, Lauren Woodward sues for social security for her twin daughters conceived with her dead husband's frozen sperm, and wins.
1996: First cloned mammal from adult cells
Dolly the sheep is the first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell by Ian Wilmut at the Roslin Institute in Scotland. As a result of public concern, President Clinton issues a moratorium on the use of federal funds for human cloning research. Dolly was put to sleep in 2003.
1997: World's first cytoplasmic transfer birth
The first child is born using a new assisted reproduction procedure,cytoplasmic transfer,at the Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science of Saint Barnabas Medical Center in N.J. In cytoplasmic transfer, cytoplasm from a donor egg is injected into the egg of a woman who is considered unable to sustain a pregnancy, but would like to have a genetic connection to a child. Because cytoplasm has mitochondrial DNA, the resulting embryo has been shown to carry genetic material (DNA) from the sperm and from both women, the egg donor and the infertile woman. Commentators call cytoplasmic transfer the first inroad into germline genetic manipulation (manipulation that affects future generations.) The FDA has since claimed jurisdiction over the procedure, calling it a kind of gene manipulation.
1997: Embryo-adoption program founded
The first embryo-adoption program in the country, Snowflakes, is founded by a Christian adoption agency and begins matching donor embryos to infertile women.
1997: Polly, the transgenic sheep clone, created
Scientists create "Polly," a transgenic sheep clone produced by nuclear transfer; Polly's cells contain the human gene encoding Factor IX, a protein involved in preventing hemophilia.
1997: Stealing eggs and embryos made illegal
California makes it illegal to steal eggs or embryos, in response to the 1996 scandal involving Dr. Ricardo Asch. Asch used sperm and eggs without consent from one couple he was helping to get pregnant to impregnate another woman.
1997: Cow is cloned
Infigen announces "Gene," a healthy six-month-old cloned cow.
1997: First U.S. birth from frozen egg
The first U.S. woman gives birth to a baby conceived from a frozen egg.
1997: First birth of septuplets
Bobbi McCaughey becomes the first known mother of septuplets as a result of fertility procedures.
1997: Pig virus can infect humans
The pig virus PERV, porcine endogenous retrovirus, is found able to jump species. The FDA bans xenotransplantation in October until researchers can prove they have developed procedures to detect low levels of PERV virus infection. The moratorium is lifted in January 1998.
1997: World opposition to germline and cloning work
The adoption of the Council of Europe Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine, which prohibits human germline intervention (modifications that get passed on to future generations). UNESCO also adopts Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights, against germline interventions.
1997: Drug testing of political candidates stopped
The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down a Georgia law mandating political candidates do a drug test before running for public office. The Court reiterated its stance that blanket suspicionless searches can be required where the risk to public safety is significant, such as at airports, but that a compelling "special need" was not demonstrated here. The Courts' 8-1 decision departs from three previous rulings which permitted suspicionless drug testing among railway employees, U.S. Custom Service employees and high-school athletes.
1998: First embryonic stem cells isolated
A scientist at the University of Wisconsin isolates and grows embryonic stem cells for the first time. Embryonic stem cells are considered pluripotent, which means that they can give rise to almost any cell type in the human body, and may be used to regenerate tissue and treat disease.
1998: FDA to regulate human cloning
The Food and Drug Administration is declared the authority on regulating human cloning.
1998: Environmental Genome Project begins
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) begins the Environmental Genome Project (EGP) in an attempt to improve understanding of human genetic susceptibility to environmental exposures. "The EGP supports the mission of NIEHS, which includes the goal of understanding how individuals differ in their susceptibility to environmental agents and how these susceptibilities change over time."
1998: Chimera patent application rejected
Developmental biologist Stuart Newman applies for a patent on a creature that would be part human and part animal. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) rejects his application in June of 1999 on the grounds that the invention embraces a human. Newman—who applied for the patent to spark public discussion on the patenting of life and has no intention of actually creating the creature—is appealing the patent office's decision and plans to continue to do so, up to the Supreme Court if necessary.
1998: First mouse cloned
The first cloned mouse, is announced.
1998: Clinton calls for ban on human cloning
In response to Dolly, President Clinton calls for ban on human cloning.
1998: Biotech industry lobbies for cloning
Legislation to ban cloning dies in the U.S. Senate.
1998: Research on germline modification proposed
W. French Anderson submits to the NIH the first proposal involving germline modification.
1998: Infertility regulation passed
Congress passes the Fertility Clinic Success Rate and Certification Act, one of the few laws explicitly regulating ART. Implemented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this law requires clinics to collect and make public the outcome of their treatments. The CDC publishes an annual report with data detailing and summarizing infertility procedures and their success rates.
1998: Court rules child of IVF has no legal parents
A California court awards custody to Luanne Buzzanca in the case of "Jaycee B." The child is conceived with an egg donated by one woman, fertilized by sperm from an anonymous donor, and implanted in a third woman, who was carrying the child to term for John and Luanne Buzzanca, an infertile couple living in California. John files for divorce a month before the baby is born and refuses to pay child support, saying there are no children of the marriage. The trial judge rules that the child has no legal parents, but the Appeals Court reverses the ruling, saying the "intention" of the parties involved is the measure of legal parenthood. Both John and Luanne are named legal parents and John is required to pay child support.
1998: Posthumous reproduction
In what may be the first instance of this procedure, a woman uses sperm collected after a man's death to get pregnant.
1998: Genetic testing advisory group established
The Secretary of Health and Human Service's Advisory Committee on Genetic Testing is formed to aid the public with understanding genetic knowledge and genetic testing.
1998: Fifty mice cloned in three generations
Fifty mice are cloned in three generations (from one mouse).
1998: Eight cows cloned from one
Eight calves are cloned from one cow by scientists at Japan's Kinki University, but only four live a year.
1998: First embryonic stem cells cultured
Human embryonic stem cells are isolated and cultured for the first time by James Thomson of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
1998: First cloned part-human embryo
Advanced Cell Technology creates the first cloned part-human embryo with a cow egg and the nucleus from a human cell, with the goal of making disabled embryos to produce stem cells for research.
1999: First sequence of a human chromosome
The first full-length sequence of a human chromosome (number 22) is finished.
1999: First in vitro fertilization grandchild born
The first IVF grandchild is born.
1999: First commercially viable transgenic cow
Pharming and Infigen create the first commercially viable transgenic cow containing a human gene, intended to produce valuable pharmaceutical proteins in milk.
1999: Government advised to fund stem-cell research
The National Bioethics Advisory Commission, a presidentially appointed bioethics commission, recommends loosening the ban on federal funds for stem-cell research. The National Institutes of Health publishes a similar report the same year, and President Clinton finalizes the NIH guidelines in 2000.
1998: First genetic privacy ruling
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (the highest level of court below the U.S. Supreme Court) is the first to address genetic privacy. Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, a federal laboratory at the University of California, for years conducted genetic tests on all employees without their explicit permission. Blood and urine samples that were taken were tested for syphilis; some were also tested for sickle cell anemia (a genetic disease) and pregnancy. In 1995, workers sued, alleging that the tests violated their federal constitutional right to privacy, and their right to privacy under the California Constitution, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Court ultimately agreed in 1998, saying that an employee may not be tested for such highly private and sensitive medical information without his knowledge. However, the court dismissed the ADA claim, saying that the scope of pre-placement exams may be "unlimited" under the ADA.
1999: Human cell cloned and terminated
Researchers in Seoul succeed in cloning a human cell from an infertile woman, creating a four-celled embryo, but stop the experiment due to ethical and legal concerns.
1999: Goats engineered to contain special protein in milk
Geneticists at Tufts University clone goats, modifying them to produce a protein in their milk to treat disease.
1999: Pig virus poses threat?
A study by Imutran and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 160 patients who received pig tissues are free of PERV, a known pig virus. In 2000 scientists report the first cross-species transmission PERV during a transplant of pig cells into a mouse.First cloned primate
2000: Government employees protected from genetic discrimination
President Clinton signs an Executive Order prohibiting genetic discrimination in the workplace. The order prohibits federal government agencies from obtaining genetic information from employees or job applicants or using genetic information in hiring and promotion decisions.
2000: First pigs cloned
PPL Therapeutics clones the first pigs, designed to help produce organs for human transplant.
2000: Stem cells can convert into bone, fat
Biologists at Osiris Technologies discover human mesenchymal stem cells can be converted into bone, cartilage, fat and bone marrow cells.
2000: Sperm donor anonymity challenged in genetics case
In Johnson v. Superior Court, parents Diane and Ronald Johnson sue Cryobank, Inc., to depose an anonymous sperm donor after their child becomes diagnosed with an inherited kidney disease. Cryobank invokes the donor's right to privacy and confidentiality, but the court rules for the Johnsons.
2000: First transgenic pigs cloned
Infigen clones the first transgenic pigs, as a possible source for organs and tissues for transplant for humans.
2000: Transgenic pigs free of pig virus
Biotransplant announces creation of transgenic pigs that do not transmit PERV virus.
2000: Embryo selection for second child used to save first
Molly, the six-year-old daughter of Linda and Jack Nash, has Fanconi anemia, a disease that leads to bone marrow failure. The Nashes decide to have a child who can donate bone marrow to Molly, and use preimplantation genetic diagnosis to find the right donor match. Doctors transfuse cells from the second child's umbilical cord to Molly, and as of 2001, Molly was recovering from her illness better than doctors expected.
2000: First transgenic primate created
Scientists in Oregon announce ANDi, the first transgenic primate, a rhesus monkey engineered with jellyfish genes.
2000: Glowing transgenic bunny made for "art"
Artist Eduardo Kac publicizes the creation of Alba, a rabbit genetically engineered to be fluorescent as a work of art.
2000: Right not to be born
A French court established the "right not to be born" by ruling that a family with a child with a birth defect could sue a doctor if the doctor did not detect the defect with prenatal scans. In January of 2002, following an outcry, the French parliament overturned the decision. In its vote, France's National Assembly declared that "nobody can claim to have been harmed simply by being born."
2000: The Raelians intend to clone human
The Raelian sect makes claims it will clone a human being within the year.
2000: Pig heart survives in primate 39 days
The longest-measured survival of a pig heart in a non-human primate is 39 days. In the 1990s, Imutran's experiments with pig hearts transplanted into non-human primates had an average survival time of 13 days.
2001: First draft of human genome published
First draft of human genome is published and contains 30,000 genes.
2001: Animal cloning found seriously flawed
Several research groups examining problems in animal cloning conclude that a failure in a genetic reprogramming process may doom the development of the embryo.
2001: More human cloning promises
Fertility researchers Severino Antinori and Panos Zavos announce their intention to clone a human being within a year.
2001: Secret genetic tests in workplace
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) brings suit against the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) for doing secret genetic testing on its employees. The employees had filed claims for work-related injuries based on carpal tunnel syndrome. The EEOC argues that the test is illegal because it did not meet the ADA's requirement that it be work-related and of business necessity, and that certain employees are being illegally retaliated against for refusing to submit to the test. Burlington Northern Santa Fe agrees to pay $2.2 million to settle charges with legal issues still unresolved. (Note: There is no known gene responsible for carpal tunnel syndrome. BNSF used an inappropriate test for their stated goal.)
2001: Hearing on human cloning ban
Reacting to the announcements of CLONAID and Antinori & Zavos that they were going forward with human reproductive cloning, U.S. congressional hearings begin on a human cloning ban.
2001: Patent granted that covers human reproductive cloning
A patent is granted to the University of Missouri on a technique for cloning mammals; the University then licenses the patent to the Massachusetts company, Biotransplant. Critics are alarmed because the patent application does not exclude humans, and it specifically mentions human eggs. Others contend that the patent is for just the process and not the product, even though the patent says it covers "cloned products."
2001: Stem Cell Research Act
The Stem Cell Research Act is introduced in the Senate to amend the Public Health Service Act, which provides for human embryonic stem cell creation and research.
2001: Exception to federal ban on stem cells
President Bush authorizes federal funds for work with a limited number of human embryonic stem-cell lines already in existence.
2001: Human Coning Protection act passed by House
The Human Cloning Protection Act banning human cloning is passed by the House of Representatives.
2001: Fight over frozen embryos
The New Jersey Supreme Court upholds a woman's right to prevent her ex-husband from using (with someone else) embryos they created through IVF during their marriage.
2001: Sex selection approved by ethics chair
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the main professional group for reproductive technology, supports parents' freedom to select the sex of their children for non-medical reasons, including "family balancing" or "the different meaning and companionship experiences that they expect to have." After a huge uproar, the ASRM revises its opinion, and "discourages" such uses of IVF and PGD.
2001: Designer sperm available
Scientists say they can create designer sperm.
2001: First human cell cloned divides six times
Advanced Cell Technology clones a human cell. It divides six times before expiring.
2001: Stem Cell Registry
The NIH establishes the "Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry."
2001: Gene therapy approved, germline possible
Avigen Inc., gets approval from the NIH to conduct a gene transfer trial to insert a corrective gene into patients with hemophilia B, despite the possibility that it could enter the germline cells. The FDA requires the patient to wear a condom to prevent fathering a genetically altered child.
2001: Embryos can be screened for tissue matching
The U.K.'s Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority approves prenatal screening for tissue matching in some cases.
2001: Human clones prohibited in England
The Human Reproductive Cloning Act is approved by Queen Elizabeth II, prohibiting the implanting of cloned embryos in a womb.
2002: Bush names bioethics council
President Bush creates the Council on Bioethics to advise him on issues like stem-cell research and cloning.
2002: First frozen organ transplant
Researchers successfully transplant ovaries that had been frozen from one female rat to another.
2002: Cloning to make body parts
Advanced Cell Technology announces that cells from cloned cow embryos were used to grow kidney-like organs.
2002: Red Cross rejects grant for studying stem cell
The American Red Cross turns down what would have been the first federal grant (for at least $1 million) devoted to research using stem cells from human embryos.
2002: Woman conceives again with dead husband's sperm
In the U.K., Diane Blood announces that she is pregnant a second time after winning a court battle she fought to conceive with her late husband's sperm.
2002: Committee explores paying for transplants
The Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs at the American Medical Association tests the effects of paying for organ donations from cadavers.
2002: First prenatal test used for Alzheimer's
A child genetically preselected not to carry a gene for Alzheimer's disease is born to a 30-year-old woman who carries the genetic mutation causing the disease.
2002: U.S. asks U.N. to ban cloning
A U.S. delegate to the United Nations proposes a global ban on all human cloning research.
2002: First house pet cloned
Scientists at Texas A&M University clone a domestic cat for the first time.
2002: Drug testing of public school kids legal
The U.S. Supreme Court broadens the scope of allowable drug testing in schools (beyond athletes) when it rules (Board of Education of Independent School District No. 92 of Pottawatomie County v. Earls) that random, suspicionless drug testing of any student participating in extracurricular, competitive activities is legal. The Supreme Court rules that the policy "is a reasonable means of furthering the School District's important interest in preventing and deterring drug use among its school children and does not violate the Fourth Amendment."
2002: California passes stem-cell bill
The California governor signs a bill authorizing research that involves the creation and use of human embryonic stem cells, human embryonic germ cells and human adult stem cells from any source. The bill allows for people in fertility treatments to donate human embryos under specific requirements and prohibits the purchase or sale of embryonic or cadaveric fetal tissue for research purposes.
2002: Clonaid claims to have cloned a baby
The Raelian sect's company, Clonaid, claims to have produced a cloned baby born to a U.S. woman. The claim is never substantiated.
2002: Pigs engineered to lack immune rejection
A miniature pig is cloned that lacks both copies of a gene involved in immune rejection, raising the prospects of xenotransplantation of organs from pigs to humans.
2002: Supreme Court allows medical screening of employee
In Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. Echazabal, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upholds an employer's right to withdraw an offer of employment to a worker who would constitute "a direct threat" to himself in the workplace. Echazabal, who has been an independent contractor for Chevron for more than 20 years without health problems, is found in a pre-placement medical exam to have hepatitis C. Chevron denies him employment on the grounds that exposure to toxic chemicals at the refinery would damage his liver.
2002: Uniform Parentage Act modernized
The Uniform Parentage Act, a federal effort to create a non-binding model law to determine parentage, is updated. Despite the importance of determining parentage for the enforcement of child support, social security, veteran's benefits, inheritance rights and establishing paternity, the UPA has been adopted, in some part, by fewer than half the states.
2003: Cloning supported for research purposes
The Kentucky House Judiciary Committee passes by a vote of 12 to 5 a measure (HB 265) that would ban reproductive cloning but would allow cloning for research purposes. The bill would make the transportation or use of cloned embryos for reproductive purposes a felony punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison, as well as require those conducting cloning research to register with the state Cabinet of Health Services 30 days prior to beginning research. C (Kaiser health report)[Delete this info]
2003: California considers law on egg donation
California considers one of the few laws explicitly recognizing egg donation. It requires that donors provide explicit informed consent, as well as specify how they want unused donated material to be handled. Penalties for failure to obtain proper consent can be assessed up to $5,000. The law does not provide for any determination of parentage.
2003: Intention key in surrogacy bills
Minnesota introduces two bills that use the idea that "intention" equals parenthood in all donor and surrogacy conceptions.
2003: Lesbian woman sues for denial of fertility treatment
A San Diego woman sues her physician for being denied artificial insemination because she is a lesbian. A trial court in San Diego dismisses the case, but the suit is now before the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth District in San Diego.
2003: Stem cell success
In one of the first human trials of stem-cell therapies, doctors at William Beaumont Hospital in Michigan attempt to heal a teenage patient's heart by infusing it with the boy's own blood stem cells.
2003: Endangered species cloned
A banteng, an endangered, cattle-like species, is cloned in Iowa from frozen cells of an animal that died 20 years before, as a test of the potential for cloning to help save endangered species.
2003: Discovery sheds light on primate cloning difficulties
Scientists explore why all attempts to clone monkeys have failed despite success in other mammals, and suggest all primates will be hard to clone.
2003: Strict privacy rules enacted
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) National Standards to Protect Patients' Personal Medical Records becomes law, protecting "medical records and other personal health information maintained by health care providers, hospitals, health plans and health insurers, and health care clearinghouses." The regulation is mandated when Congress fails to pass comprehensive privacy legislation (as required by the original HIPAA, passed in 1996). The new HIPPA privacy regulations cover all personally identifiable health information for those protected.
2003: Stem cells may cure multiple sclerosis in mice
Italian researchers report that injections of adult stem cells appear to cure paralysis in mice affected by a form of multiple sclerosis. The researchers injected adult brain stem cells into the bloodstream of 15 mice with paralyzed back legs. Four of the mice were cured of their paralysis, and the other eleven regained some movement.
2003: Human Genome Project completed
The entire human genome sequence is finished, two years ahead of time.