Guide to Biotechnology

The biotechnology industry originated in the 1970s, based largely on a new recombinant DNA technique whose details were published in 1973 by Stanley Cohen of Stanford University and Herbert Boyer of the University of California, San Francisco. Recombinant DNA is a method of making proteins—such as human insulin and other therapies—in cultured cells under controlled manufacturing conditions. Boyer went on to co-found Genentech, which today is biotechnology’s largest company by market capitalization.