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Electron Microscope Grids and Case

view Electron Microscope Grids and Case digital asset: Electron Microscope Grids and Case
User:
Cohen, Stanley N.
Physical Description:
plastic (overall material)
copper (overall material)
Measurements:
average spatial: .3 cm; x 1/8 in
Object Name:
grid, electron microscope
Associated place:
United States: California, Stanford, Stanford
Description (Brief):
This case held electron microscope (EM) grids used in the lab of Stanley Cohen at Stanford University. Made from tiny circles of copper mesh, EM grids are analogous to the glass slides used to mount samples for viewing under a light microscope. These grids were used to support recombinant bacteria and recombinant plasmids for study and analysis under the electron microscope. One of the grids contains a sample of Cohen and Boyer’s first recombinant plasmid. Photographic images of the first recombinant plasmids used in publications on Cohen and Boyer’s research were made from these grids.
For more information on the Cohen/Boyer experiments with recombinant DNA, see object 1987.0757.01
Sources:
Accession File
“EM Grid Preparation.” Purdue University. Accessed December 2012. http://bilbo.bio.purdue.edu/~baker/documentation/sample_and_prep/b2.htm
Location:
Currently not on view
Subject:
Microscopy
Biotechnology and Genetics
Science & Mathematics
ID Number:
1987.0757.07.02
Catalog number:
1987.0757.07.02
Accession number:
1987.0757
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Biotechnology and Genetics
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Vertical Chamber for Gel Electrophoresis

view Vertical Chamber for Gel Electrophoresis digital asset: Vertical Chamber for Gel Electrophoresis
User:
Cohen, Stanley N.
Physical Description:
plastic (overall material)
wire (overall material)
red (overall color)
black (overall color)
Measurements:
overall: 21 cm x 19 cm x 17.5 cm; 8 9/32 in x 7 15/32 in x 6 7/8 in
Object Name:
vertical chamber
vertical chamber for gel electrophoresis
Associated place:
United States: California, Stanford, Stanford
Description (Brief):
This vertical chamber for gel electrophoresis was made in 1974 for the Stanley Cohen lab at Stanford University. Gel electrophoresis was one of the most important tools Cohen and Boyer used to analyze the effects of restriction enzymes on plasmids. The technique allows a way to visualize and isolate molecules by separating them out according to their length using an electrical current (for power supply see object 1987.0757.27).
For more information on the Cohen/Boyer experiments with recombinant DNA see object 1987.0757.01
Sources:
Accession file
Location:
Currently not on view
Subject:
Biotechnology and Genetics
Science & Mathematics
ID Number:
1987.0757.14
Catalog number:
1987.0757.14
Accession number:
1987.0757
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Biotechnology and Genetics
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Duostat power supply

view Duostat power supply digital asset: Duostat power supply
User:
Cohen, Stanley N.
Maker:
Beckman Instruments
Physical Description:
metal (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
Measurements:
average spatial: 19 cm x 20.3 cm x 26 cm; 7 15/32 in x 8 in x 10 1/4 in
Object Name:
power supply
Associated place:
United States: California, Stanford, Stanford
Description (Brief):
This power supply was used in the Stanley Cohen lab at Stanford University to run an electrical current through a vertical chamber for gel electrophoresis (see object 1987.0757.14). Gel electrophoresis was one of the most important tools Cohen and Boyer used to analyze the effects of restriction enzymes on plasmids. The technique allows a way to visualize molecules by separating them out according to their length using an electrical current.
For more information on the Cohen/Boyer experiments with recombinant DNA see object 1987.0757.01
Sources:
Accession File
Location:
Currently not on view
Subject:
Biotechnology and Genetics
Science & Mathematics
ID Number:
1987.0757.27
Catalog number:
1987.0757.27
Accession number:
1987.0757
Serial number:
8933
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Biotechnology and Genetics
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Zeiss Opton Refractometer

view Zeiss Opton Refractometer digital asset: Zeiss Opton Refractometer
User:
Cohen, Stanley N.
Maker:
Zeiss
Physical Description:
metal (overall material)
glass (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
Measurements:
average spatial: 21.7 cm x 33 cm x 16.7 cm; 8 17/32 in x 13 in x 6 9/16 in
overall: 12 in x 14 in x 6 in; 30.48 cm x 35.56 cm x 15.24 cm
Object Name:
refractometer
Place made:
Deutschland
Associated place:
United States: California, Stanford, Stanford
Date made:
1946-1953
Description (Brief):
This refractometer was used in Stanley Cohen’s lab at Stanford University in his research on recombinant DNA. Refractometers measure how light changes velocity as it passes through a substance. This change is known as the refractive index and it is dependent on the composition of the substance being measured. In the Cohen lab, this refractometer was one of several techniques used to provide evidence that he and his research team had created a recombinant DNA molecule containing DNA from both a bacterium and a frog.
To conduct the analysis, Cohen separated out the molecule he assumed to be recombinant DNA and measured its refractive index. The index for the molecule fell between the known values for frog DNA and bacterial DNA, suggesting that the unknown DNA molecule was a mixture of the two.
For more information on the Cohen/Boyer experiments with recombinant DNA see object 1987.0757.01
Sources:
“Section 9.4.2: Buoyant Density Centrifugation.” Smith, H., ed. The Molecular Biology of Plant Cells. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977. http://ark.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/ft796nb4n2/
“Louisiana State University Macromolecular Studies Group How-To Guide: ABBE Zeiss Refractometer.” Pitot, Cécile. Accessed December 2012. http://macro.lsu.edu/howto/Abbe_refractometer.pdf
“Construction of Biologically Functional Bacterial Plasmids In Vitro.” Cohen, Stanley N., Annie C.Y. Chang, Herbert W. Boyer, Robert B. Helling. Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences. Vol. 70, No. 11. pp.3240–3244. November 1973.
“Replication and Transcription of Eukaryotic DNA in Escherichia coli.” Morrow, John F., Stanley N. Cohen, Annie C.Y. Chang, Herbert W. Boyer, Howard M. Goodman, Robert B. Helling. Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences. Vol. 71, No. 5. pp.1743–1747. May 1974.
Accession File
Location:
Currently not on view
Subject:
Biotechnology and Genetics
Science & Mathematics
ID Number:
1987.0757.28
Catalog number:
1987.0757.28
Accession number:
1987.0757
Serial number:
128646
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Biotechnology and Genetics
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Light Box

view Light Box digital asset: UV light box used by Stanley Cohen for DNA research
User:
Cohen, Stanley N.
Physical Description:
plastic (overall material)
metal (overall material)
black (overall color)
white (overall color)
Measurements:
overall: 7.7 cm x 18.5 cm x 25.7 cm; 3 1/32 in x 7 9/32 in x 10 1/8 in
Object Name:
light box
Associated place:
United States: California, Stanford, Stanford
Description (Brief):
This UV light box was used in the lab of Stanley Cohen at Stanford University in his research on recombinant DNA. UV light boxes are used to help visualize results from of DNA and RNA analysis through gel electrophoresis. Molecules subjected to gel electrophoresis create a pattern of bands on a gel medium as they move. Scientists can interpret the pattern to obtain the results of the analysis. However, because the bands of molecules are naturally colorless, they must be dyed to be made visible. Dyes that fluoresce under UV radiation are commonly used. This UV light box was used to provide illumination behind the dyed bands, causing them to fluoresce so that they could be photographed and interpreted.
For more information on the Cohen/Boyer experiments with recombinant DNA see object 1987.0757.01
Source:
Accession File
Location:
Currently not on view
Subject:
Biotechnology and Genetics
Science & Mathematics
ID Number:
1987.0757.39
Catalog number:
1987.0757.39
Accession number:
1987.0757
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Biotechnology and Genetics
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Name Tag, Dr. French Anderson

view Name Tag, Dr. French Anderson digital asset: Name tag, Dr. French Anderson
Physical Description:
plastic (overall material)
metal (overall material)
white (overall color)
black (overall color)
Measurements:
average spatial: 2.7 cm x 7.7 cm x .6 cm; 1 1/16 in x 3 1/32 in x 1/4 in
Object Name:
name tag
Description (Brief):
Dr. W. French Anderson wore this name tag during his time as a member of the team conducting the first NIH-approved human gene therapy treatment in September 1990. To learn more, see object 1999.0008.01, the blood cell separator.
Source:
Accession File
Location:
Currently not on view
Subject:
Science & Mathematics
Health & Medicine
Biotechnology and Genetics
ID Number:
1993.0445.02
Catalog number:
1993.0445.02
Accession number:
1993.0445
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Biotechnology and Genetics
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Name Tag, R. Michael Blaese M.D.

view Name Tag, R. Michael Blaese M.D. digital asset: Name tag, R. Michael Blaese M.D.
Physical Description:
plastic (overall material)
metal (overall material)
white (overall color)
black (overall color)
Measurements:
average spatial: 2.7 cm x 7.7 cm x .6 cm; 1 1/16 in x 3 1/32 in x 1/4 in
Object Name:
name tag
Description (Brief):
Dr. R. Michael Blaese wore this name tag during his time as a member of the team conducting the first NIH-approved human gene therapy treatment in September 1990. To learn more, see object 1999.0008.01, the blood cell separator.
Source:
Accession File
Location:
Currently not on view
Subject:
Science & Mathematics
Health & Medicine
Biotechnology and Genetics
ID Number:
1993.0445.03
Catalog number:
1993.0445.03
Accession number:
1993.0445
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Biotechnology and Genetics
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Name Tag, Kenneth Culver M.D.

view Name Tag, Kenneth Culver M.D. digital asset: Name tag, Kenneth Culver M.D.
Physical Description:
plastic (overall material)
metal (overall material)
white (overall color)
black (overall color)
Measurements:
average spatial: 2.7 cm x 7.7 cm x .6 cm; 1 1/16 in x 3 1/32 in x 1/4 in
Object Name:
name tag
Description (Brief):
Dr. Kenneth Culver wore this name tag during his time as a member of the team conducting the first NIH-approved human gene therapy treatment in September 1990. To learn more, see object 1999.0008.01, the blood cell separator.
Source:
Accession File
Location:
Currently not on view
Subject:
Science & Mathematics
Health & Medicine
Biotechnology and Genetics
ID Number:
1993.0445.04
Catalog number:
1993.0445.04
Accession number:
1993.0445
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Biotechnology and Genetics
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Syringe

view Syringe digital asset: Syringe from plastic bag
User:
Blaese, R. Michael
Patient:
Riggins, Zachary
Physical Description:
plastic (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
Measurements:
average spatial: 12.5 cm x 3 cm x 2.1 cm; 4 29/32 in x 1 3/16 in x 13/16 in
overall: 3/4 in x 1 1/4 in x 5 in; 1.905 cm x 3.175 cm x 12.7 cm
Object Name:
syringe
gene therapy
Associated place:
United States: California, San Francisco
Date used:
1993
Associated date:
1993-05
Description (Brief):
In 1993 doctors administered gene therapy to three-day-old Zachary Riggins at the University of California at San Francisco, using this syringe. Zachary’s treatment was a slight variation on an earlier gene therapy trial first used on Ashanti DeSilva in 1990 (see object 1999.0008.01). Gene therapy refers to a kind of genetic engineering whereby sections of DNA (genes) are introduced into cells in order to treat disease. Zachary suffered from a genetic disorder known as ADA deficiency (also known as ADA-SCID or “bubble boy” syndrome), which led to his having a compromised immune system.
As soon as Zachary was born, doctors harvested blood stem cells from his umbilical cord to be used in gene therapy. They employed a modified virus to insert working copies of the ADA gene into his harvested cells, grew them for some time in the lab, and then injected the modified cells into Zachary’s bloodstream using this syringe. By focusing on stem cells, which are long–lived and give rise to other cells, doctors hoped that the treatment would provide a lasting cure. Previous attempts at gene therapy relied on cells which do not replicate, meaning that patients needed a new round of gene therapy each time the treated cells died off.
While the reintroduced stem cells did remain in the Zachary’s bloodstream for a long time, so few of them had been successfully transformed by the gene therapy that the treatment did not have the hoped-for impact.
Source:
Accession file
“Brave New Babies.” Leon Jaroff. Time Magazine.Vol. 175. No. 21. 31 May 1993.
“Engraftment of gene-modified umbilical cord blood cells in neonates with adenosine deaminase defieciency.” Donald B. Kohn et al. Nature Medicine. Vol. 1, Issue 10. October 1995. p. 1017.
“Gene Therapy: Treating the bubble babies.” Public Health Genetics Unit, Wellcome Trust. 21 November 2002. http://genome.wellcome.ac.uk/doc_wtd020936.html
The Forever Fix: Gene Therapy and the Boy Who Saved It. Ricki Lewis. New York: St. Martin’s Press. 2012.
Location:
Currently not on view
Subject:
Health & Medicine
Science & Mathematics
Biotechnology and Genetics
ID Number:
1993.3179.01
Catalog number:
1993.3179.01
Nonaccession number:
1993.3179
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Biotechnology and Genetics
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Genetic Code Chart, Nirenberg

view Genetic Code Chart, Nirenberg digital asset number 1
Physical Description:
paper (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 89.3 cm x 35.4 cm; 35 3/16 in x 13 15/16 in
Object Name:
chart
Description (Brief):
This chart was used in the National Institute of Health lab of Dr. Marshall Nirenberg, a scientist who won the 1968 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work in helping to “crack the genetic code,” or to understand the way DNA codes for the amino acids that are linked to build proteins.
The chart, made from several sheets of graph paper taped together, shows the twenty amino acids in columns across the top of the chart. The 64 nucleotide codons, the specific segments of DNA that code for amino acids, are on the vertical axis. All entries on the chart are handwritten and some sections of the graph are circled or outlined in red. Dr. Nirenberg's signature is visible at the top of the chart. It was prepared by Nirenberg to keep track of which codons stood for which amino acids.
By the late 1950s, scientists understood that DNA was the molecule containing the instructions for life. The structure of DNA was also known-- a sort of twisted ladder shape known as double helix where the “side rails” consisted of a sugar phosphate backbone and the “rungs” were made of paired nucleic acid bases (represented by A, T, G, C). The structure suggested that the order of the bases formed a code representing the order in which amino acids should be joined to produce different kinds of proteins.
But what was the code? What order of bases made up the “code words” or "codons” DNA used to represent each of the 20 amino acids? Researchers hypothesized that each codon for amino acid would be three bases long. If it was only two bases long, that would allow for only 16 different combinations of the four bases (4^2 = 16). If each codon was three bases however, that would result in 64 possible codons (4^3 =64), plenty of codons to represent each of the 20 amino acids separately.
With this knowledge, Dr. Nirenberg and his colleagues set about trying to figure out which three-base combinations represented each amino acid. It was known at the time that DNA is “transcribed” into a template RNA that interacts with ribosomes in the cell to produce proteins. Because RNA, not DNA, is what the cell reads directly to make proteins, Dr. Nirenberg reasoned that he could use a man-made stand-in for RNA that had a repeating known sequence (the same codon over and over) to produce proteins consisting of only one amino acid.
These stand-ins were known as “oligonucleotides” (see object 2001.0023.02). Using a cell-free system (one that has all the necessary parts for protein synthesis in a test tube rather than in a cell) Dr. Nirenberg introduced the oligonucleotides, consisting only of a single base, uracil, represented by U, over and over. This meant the only codon that could be read by the system was UUU or “poly-U.”
He then fed the system a supply of all 20 amino acids, one of which was radioactively labeled. Twenty different experiments were done, with only a single kind of amino acid radioactively labeled per experiment. Only when the cell was supplied with the radioactively labeled amino acid, phenylalanine, did the specially made poly-U oligonucleotide produce a radioactive protein. Nirenberg had demonstrated that the codon “UUU” is the code word for phenylalanine, and in doing so, he had cracked the first word in the genetic code.
Within five years, between the work of Nirenberg and that of several scientists using similar methods, the code for the remaining 63 codons would be understood. This chart was used to record progress in the efforts to decode those remaining 63 codons by recording the number of pmoles of radioactive aminoacyl-tRNA that bound to the ribosomes in response to a codon.
Location:
Currently not on view
Subject:
Nobel Prize
Biotechnology and Genetics
Science & Mathematics
ID Number:
2001.0023.01
Accession number:
2001.0023
Catalog number:
2001.0023.01
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Biological Sciences
Biotechnology and Genetics
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Polynucleotide Synthesizer Model 280, Solid Phase Chemistry Module

view Polynucleotide Synthesizer Model 280, Solid Phase Chemistry Module digital asset: Front of Vega Biotechnologies polynucleotide synthesizer's solid phase chemistry unit with solvent and reagent bottles
Measurements:
overall: 51 cm x 54.3 cm x 33.3 cm; 20 3/32 in x 21 3/8 in x 13 1/8 in
Object Name:
polynucleotide synthesizer
solid phase chemistry module, polynucleotide synthesizer
Description (Brief):
In the late 1970s the growing field of genetics created a demand for made-to-order short-chain DNA molecules, known as polynucleotides. These designer stretches of DNA were important laboratory tools. Scientists used them both as probes to find specific DNA sequences in a larger genome and as the building blocks of custom genes for genetic engineering. Building polynucleotides by hand in the lab, however, was expensive, time consuming, and boring work.
In December 1980 Vega Biotechnologies introduced the first polynucleotide synthesizer or “gene machine,” which automated production of short DNA chains. The machine lowered the time needed to make a fifteen-base strand of DNA from several months to about a day, greatly reducing the price of customized DNA for research and industry. The instrument consisted of two parts: a chemistry unit and a computer unit. The chemistry unit assembled DNA using solid-phase chemistry techniques. The computer unit controlled the reaction and could be programmed with the desired DNA sequence for synthesis.
Sources:
Joseph A. Menosky, “Cheap, Fast Designer Genes,” The Washington Post, September 6, 1981, C1.
Untitled Essay by Leon E. Barstow, President of Vega Biotechnologies, from Accession File.
Accession File 1984.0719, National Museum of American History.
Location:
Currently not on view
Subject:
Science & Mathematics
Science & Scientific Instruments
Chemistry
Biotechnology and Genetics
ID Number:
1984.0719.01
Catalog number:
1984.0719.01
Accession number:
1984.0719
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Biotechnology and Genetics
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Online Media:

Polynucleotide Synthesizer Model 280, Solid Phase Microprocessor/Controller Model 100B

view Polynucleotide Synthesizer Model 280, Solid Phase Microprocessor/Controller Model 100B digital asset: Front of Vega Biotechnologies polynucleotide synthesizer's solid phase microprocessor/controller
Object Name:
solid phase microprocessor/controller (100B), polynucleotide synthesizer
Description (Brief):
In the late 1970s the growing field of genetics created a demand for made-to-order short-chain DNA molecules, known as polynucleotides. These designer stretches of DNA were important laboratory tools. Scientists used them both as probes to find specific DNA sequences in a larger genome and as the building blocks of custom genes for genetic engineering. Building polynucleotides by hand in the lab, however, was expensive, time consuming, and boring work.
In December 1980 Vega Biotechnologies introduced the first polynucleotide synthesizer or “gene machine,” which automated production of short DNA chains. The machine lowered the time needed to make a fifteen-base strand of DNA from several months to about a day, greatly reducing the price of customized DNA for research and industry. The instrument consisted of two parts: a chemistry unit and a computer unit. The chemistry unit assembled DNA using solid-phase chemistry techniques. The computer unit controlled the reaction and could be programmed with the desired DNA sequence for synthesis.
Sources:
Joseph A. Menosky, “Cheap, Fast Designer Genes,” The Washington Post, September 6, 1981, C1.
Untitled Essay by Leon E. Barstow, President of Vega Biotechnologies, from Accession File.
Accession File 1984.0719, National Museum of American History.
Location:
Currently not on view
Subject:
Science & Mathematics
Science & Scientific Instruments
Chemistry
Biotechnology and Genetics
ID Number:
1984.0719.21
Catalog number:
1984.0719.21
Accession number:
1984.0719
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Biotechnology and Genetics
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Online Media:

Spray Can

view Spray Can digital asset number 1
Physical Description:
metal; plastic (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 21 in x 6 1/2 in; 53.34 cm x 16.51 cm
Object Name:
spray can
Description (Brief):
This spray can was used by scientists from Advanced Genetic Systems to spray bacteria onto strawberry plants in the first release of genetically modified microorganisms approved by the federal government.
For more information, see object 1987.0770.01.
Location:
Currently not on view
Subject:
Biotechnology and Genetics
Agriculture
Science & Mathematics
Food
Credit Line:
Gift of the Advanced Genetic Sciences, Inc.
ID Number:
1987.0770.02
Accession number:
1987.0770
Catalog number:
1987.0770.02
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Biological Sciences
Biotechnology and Genetics
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Online Media:

Arthur Kornberg Symposium Poster

view Arthur Kornberg Symposium Poster digital asset: Poster, Arthur Kornberg Symposium
Physical Description:
paper (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 50.8 cm x 76.2 cm; 20 in x 30 in
Object Name:
poster
Date made:
1988
Description (Brief):
This white poster features a red stylized image of DNA replicating and the signature of American biochemist Arthur Kornberg. It advertises the Arthur Kornberg Symposium in May 1988. The year marked the seventieth anniversary of Kornberg's birth. Kornberg is best known for his discoveries relating to the mechanism of DNA replication, including the first isolation of the enzyme DNA polymerase.
Location:
Currently not on view
Subject:
Science & Mathematics
Biotechnology and Genetics
ID Number:
1990.3199.01
Catalog number:
1990.3199.01
Nonaccession number:
1990.3199
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Biological Sciences
Biotechnology and Genetics
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

It's a BioWorld! Poster

view It's a BioWorld! Poster digital asset: Poster, It's a BioWorld!
Physical Description:
paper (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 68.6 cm x 68.6 cm; 27 in x 27 in
Object Name:
poster
Date made:
ca 1990
Description (Brief):
This brightly colored poster shows a timeline of events in the history of genetics and biotechnology along the top and bottom edges. Events range from Mendel's experiments with pea plants on heredity in the mid-1800s to the first patent awarded for a genetically engineered mammal in 1988. The left and right edges of the poster list biotech companies and funders. The center of the poster depicts applications of biotechnology to medicine, agriculture, industry, and the environment. It was collected at the International Biotechnology Expo in 1990.
Location:
Currently not on view
Subject:
Science & Mathematics
Health & Medicine
Agriculture
Biotechnology and Genetics
ID Number:
1990.3203.01
Catalog number:
1990.3203.01
Nonaccession number:
1990.3203
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Biological Sciences
Biotechnology and Genetics
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Iowa's Biotech Express Banner

view Iowa's Biotech Express Banner digital asset: Banner, Iowa's Biotech Express.
Physical Description:
vinyl (overall material)
Measurements:
average spatial: 91.4 cm x 386 cm; 35 31/32 in x 151 31/32 in
Object Name:
banner
Used:
United States: Iowa, Ames
United States: Iowa, Iowa City
Date made:
1987
Description (Brief):
In 1987 the Iowa Biotechnology Consortium, a joint effort of Iowa State University, the University of Iowa, and the Iowa Department of Economic Development arranged the Iowa Biotech Showcase to promote the state as a center for biotechnology research and industry. At that time Iowa hoped to take advantage of the economic benefits promised by the expanding interest in biotechnology. Representatives from 50 businesses listened to presentations from researchers and agriculture companies about Iowa’s potential for becoming biotech’s answer to Silicon Valley. A train called the Iowa Biotech Express, on which this banner hung, served as a highlight of the event, transporting attendees between two of the state’s major research institutions, the campuses of Iowa State and the University of Iowa.
Sources:
Accession File
“Iowa Ties Rebound to Biotech Express.” Wechsler, Lorraine. The Scientist. October 19, 1987. Accessed online. http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/9038/title/Iowa-Ties-Rebound-to-Biotech-Express/
Location:
Currently not on view
Subject:
Science & Mathematics
Biotechnology and Genetics
ID Number:
1991.0396.01
Catalog number:
1991.0396.01
Accession number:
1991.0396
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Biological Sciences
Biotechnology and Genetics
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Syringe

view Syringe digital asset: Syringe.
Patient:
DeSilva, Ashanthi Vinod
Physical Description:
plastic (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
metal (overall material)
Measurements:
average spatial: 16.4 cm x 4 cm x 2.5 cm; 6 15/32 in x 1 9/16 in x 31/32 in
overall: 1 in x 6 1/2 in x 1 1/2 in; 2.54 cm x 16.51 cm x 3.81 cm
Object Name:
syringe
gene therapy
Date used:
1990-09
Associated date:
1990-09-14
Description (Brief):
In September 1990, four-year-old Ashanti DeSilva became the first patient to participate in the National Institutes of Health’s first human gene therapy trial. Doctors used this syringe in her treatment. To learn more, see object 1999.0008.01, the blood cell separator.
Source:
Accession File
Location:
Currently not on view
Subject:
Health & Medicine
Science & Mathematics
Biotechnology and Genetics
ID Number:
1993.0445.06.01
Catalog number:
1993.0445.06.01
Accession number:
1993.0445
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Biotechnology and Genetics
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Online Media:

Infusion Bag

view Infusion Bag digital asset: Infusion bag.
Patient:
DeSilva, Ashanthi Vinod
Physical Description:
plastic (overall material)
paper (overall material)
Measurements:
average spatial: 37 cm x 12.7 cm x 2.2 cm; 14 9/16 in x 5 in x 7/8 in
overall: 1 1/4 in x 5 1/4 in x 15 in; 3.175 cm x 13.335 cm x 38.1 cm
Object Name:
infusion bag
gene therapy
Date used:
1990-09
Associated date:
1990-09-14
Description (Brief):
In September 1990, four-year-old Ashanti DeSilva became the first patient to participate in the National Institutes of Health’s first human gene therapy trial. Doctors used this infusion bag in her treatment. To learn more, see object 1999.0008.01, the blood cell separator.
Source:
Accession File
Location:
Currently not on view
Subject:
Health & Medicine
Science & Mathematics
Biotechnology and Genetics
ID Number:
1993.0445.06.02
Catalog number:
1993.0445.06.02
Accession number:
1993.0445
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Biotechnology and Genetics
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Online Media:

Drawing, Gene Therapy

view Drawing, Gene Therapy digital asset number 1
Artist:
DeSilva, Ashanthi
Physical Description:
paper (overall material)
crayon (overall material)
ink (overall material)
white (overall color)
orange (overall color)
red (overall color)
yellow (overall color)
periwinkle (overall color)
brown (overall color)
Measurements:
average spatial: 23 cm x 30.2 cm; 9 1/16 in x 11 7/8 in
overall: 1/8 in x 12 in x 9 in; .3175 cm x 30.48 cm x 22.86 cm
Object Name:
drawing
drawing, gene therapy
Place made:
United States: Ohio, North Olmsted
Date made:
1991
Description (Brief):
In September 1990, four-year-old Ashanti DeSilva became the first patient to participate in the National Institutes of Health’s first human gene therapy trial. She made this colored pencil drawing, depicting her experience undergoing apheresis for her treatment, on October 9, 1991.
To learn more about the first NIH gene therapy trials, see object
1999.0008.01, the blood cell separator.
Source:
Accession File
Location:
Currently not on view
Subject:
Health & Medicine
Science & Mathematics
Biotechnology and Genetics
ID Number:
1993.3185.01
Catalog number:
1993.3185.01
Nonaccession number:
1993.3185
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Biotechnology and Genetics
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Mad Scientist And The Bionic Tomato Painting

view Mad Scientist And The Bionic Tomato Painting digital asset: Painting, Mad Scientist And The Bionic Tomato
Physical Description:
oil paint (overall material)
paper (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 45.7 cm x 34.5 cm; 18 in x 13 9/16 in
Object Name:
painting
Date made:
before 1994
Description (Brief):
This oil painting on paper by Talchi "Terry" Miura depicts a man in a white lab coat flipping a switch to send a stream of electricity into a giant tomato with bolts and stitches.
The use of a tomato in the painting likely refers to the Flavr Savr, the first genetically engineered food to become widely available in the United States. In the mid-1980s, scientists at the California biotech company Calgene altered tomatoes, interfering with their production of an enzyme that causes softening. At the time, growers picked mass-market tomatoes while still green. Later they induced the produce to ripen by spraying it with ethylene gas. Firm, green tomatoes transported well but lacked “vine-ripened” flavor. Calgene marketed the Flavr Savr as a fruit picked at the peak of ripeness that could remain firm through travel to grocery store shelves
.
Although some groups voiced concerns, the Flavr Savr was generally well received despite costing twice the price of a regular tomato. In the years leading up to its release in May 1994, Calgene openly publicized its research and asked the FDA to release a statement about the tomato’s safety. Open communication and the company’s willingness to label the Flavr Savr as genetically modified seems to have contributed to the Flavr Savr’s acceptance and success.
Regardless of its generally positive reception, the tomato was only available for three years. Calgene, a small biotech company, stumbled when faced with the realities of large-scale commercial horticulture. By 1997 Calgene rival Monsanto had purchased a large portion of the company and pulled the Flavr Savr from the market.
Miura’s painting, with its Frankenstein’s monster of a tomato, signals the growing fears over genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the years to come. Some GMOs, particularly those released by Monsanto, were quite commercially successful. Nevertheless, refusal by companies to label GMOs has inspired public distrust of these products. The term “Frankenfood,” coined in the early 1980s, was increasingly used to negatively refer to GMO products from the mid-1990s through the early 2000s.
Sources:
Dan Charles, “The Tomato That Ate Calgene” in Lords of the Harvest: Biotech, Big Money, and The Future of Food (Cambridge: Basic Books, 2002): 126–48.
Michael Winerip, “You Call That A Tomato?” New York Times, June 24, 2013, accessed October 9, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/24/booming/you-call-that-a-tomato.html.
Location:
Currently not on view
Subject:
Agriculture
Science & Mathematics
Biotechnology and Genetics
Credit Line:
Gift of Talchi Miura
ID Number:
1994.3002.01
Nonaccession number:
1994.3002
Catalog number:
1994.3002.01
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Biological Sciences
Biotechnology and Genetics
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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