Having Fun While Doing Good: 20 Years of Bioeconomy Conferences in Ravello

June 13, 2016

The discovery of DNA in 1955 opened new opportunities for utilizing biological knowledge for practical applications. The medical biotechnology industry emerged in the late 1970s with the patenting of the human growth hormone, the Cohen-Boyer patent for genetic recombination, and the creation of Genentech. Scientists were also looking for agricultural applications of these emerging technologies. First applications included enzymes for breads and cheeses and a vaccine against swine diarrhea. In 1987 the ice-minus bacteria that targeted frost damage in strawberries was first applied in open fields in Berkeley, after the US government established a regulatory framework for the introduction of GMOs in agriculture. At the same time, Jeremy Rifkin and other activists started legal actions to halt the new technology, and new companies, like Agracetus were established.  Read more