Herbert Boyer

It’s important to remember where the biotechnology industry comes from: the demonstration of gene splicing by Herbert Boyer and Stanley Cohen in 1973. Investor’s Business Daily has a great non-interview (Boyer doesn’t give interviews) profile of Boyer, retelling the story of Boyer’s meeting with Robert Swanson and the formation of Genentech, one of the first biotechnology companies.

There’s an interesting side-note to this story, which relates to current concerns over regulations inhibiting scientific progress – one year after the demonstration of gene splicing, an international moratorium on genetic manipulation was implemented. The moratorium was lifted a year later, opening the door to biotechnology commercialization.

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