Published online 09 August 2017
Basic Local Alignment Search Tool published in the Journal of Molecular Biology in 1990.
Inferring the function of a protein 40 years ago required finding a related protein with a known function. To determine the similarity between two proteins meant comparing their amino acid sequences using a time-consuming algorithm.
In 1983, biologist David Lipman and colleague W. John Wilbur reported a faster method to identify the similarity between two unrelated sections of DNA or protein. A year later, a global team of scientists used the technique to show that amino acid sequences from a human growth factor closely resembled sequences from a cancer gene in a chicken virus. The paper marked significant progress in the basic understanding of cancer development and revealed the value of computational tools for making biological discoveries …
Replacing the complementarity-determining regions in a human antibody with those from a mouse published in Nature in 1986.
In 1986, Greg Winter and colleagues at the UK’s Medical Research Council (MRC) described in Nature a method for swapping pieces of a mouse antibody with those from a human to create a chimeric antibody. This was the second essential step in the development of antibody-based therapies for human disease, which represented more than 40% of total sales of biopharmaceutical products in 2016.
The first step occurred a decade earlier when Nobel prize winning researchers Georges Köhler and César Milstein developed mouse antibodies that recognize a single foreign molecule. While such monoclonal antibodies, had a wide range of applications in medical research and diagnostics, their use in medicine was limited
Nature 548, S9–S11 (10 August 2017) doi:10.1038/548S9a