The ESP Timeline (one of the site's most popular features) has been completely updated to allow the user to select (using the timeline controls above each column) different topics for the left and right sides of the display.
New Left Column
New Left Column
New Right Column
New Right Column
The first Elliott 152 computer appeared
Zuse sold first Z4 computer
At a Cold Spring Harbor Symposium, Ernst Mayr argues that all hominid specimens so far found should be categorized in the genus Homo: H. transvaalensis, H. erectus, and H. sapiens.
E. Chargaff lays the foundations for nucleic acid structural studies by his analytical work. He demonstrates for DNA that the numbers of adenine and thymine groups are always equal and so are the numbers of guanine and cytosine groups. These findings later suggest to Watson and Crick that DNA consists of two polynucleotide strands joined by hydrogen bonding between A and T and between G and C.
E. M. Lederberg discovers lambda, the first viral episome of E. coli.
On May 24, a mob of 3500 whites attempt to prevent a black family from moving into an apartment in Cicero, Illinois. Illinois Gov. Adlai Stevenson calls out the Illinois National Guard to protect the family and restore order.
On May 24, the United States Supreme Court rules that racial segregation in District of Columbia restaurants is unconstitutional.
Ferranti Mark 1 delivered to Manchester University
LEO I computer became operational
The first UNIVAC was delivered
UNIVAC-1 goes online
Barbara McClintock publishes a paper describing "jumping" genes that can move around within an organism's genome.
CBS News Uses UNIVAC Computer to Predict Election
Grace Hopper completes the A-0 Compiler
Heinz Nixdorf founded Nixdorf Computer
Bwana Devil, a low-budget polarized 3-D film, premieres in late November and starts a brief 3-D craze that begins in earnest in 1953 and fades away during 1954.
A. D. Hershey and M. Chase demonstrate that the DNA of phage enters the host, whereas most of the protein remains behind.
F. Sanger and his colleagues work out the complete amino acid sequence for the protein hormone insulin, and show that it contains two polypeptide chains held together by disulfide bridges.
J. Lederberg and E. M. Lederberg invent the replica plating technique.
N. D. Zinder and J. Lederberg describe transduction in Salmonella.
IBM announces the Model 650 computer
Jay Forrester installed magnetic core memory at MIT
J. D. Watson and F. H. C. Crick propose a model for DNA comprised of two helically intertwined chains tied together by hydrogen bonds between the purines and pyrimidines.
W. Hayes discovers polarized behavior in bacterial recombinations. He isolates the Hfr H strain of E. coli and shows that certain genes are readily transferred from Hfr to F- bacteria, whereas others are not.
On May 17, the United States Supreme Court, in Brown vs the Board of Education, declares segregation in all public schools in the United States unconstitutional, nullifying the earlier judicial doctrine of "separate but equal."
20th September First FORTRAN Program Runs
IBM Announces Model 705 Computer
Jack Tramiel starts Commodore
Leica M Introduced
(no entry for this year)
Rosa Parks refuses to relinquish her bus seat to a white man on December 1, initiating the Montgomery bus boycott. Soon afterward, Martin Luther King, Jr., becomes the leader of the boycott.
Fourteen-year-old Chicago resident Emmett Till is lynched in Money, Mississippi, on August 28.
Apple Co-Founder Steve Jobs is Born
Bill Gates, cofounder of Microsoft Corporation, was born
English Electric Deuce Computers introduced
ENIAC is retired
S. Benzer works out the fine structure of the rII region of phage T4 of E. coli, and coins the terms CISTRON,RECON, and MUTON.
First keyboard used to input data
IBM brings out the Magnetic Disk Memory
IBM introduces the IBM 350
Jay Forrester Receives Patent on "Core" Memory
Pegasus, produced by Ferranti Ltd., went into service in March 1956
Wang Sells Core Memory Patent to IBM
F. Jacob and E. L. Wollman are able experimentally to interrupt the mating process in E. coli and show that a piece of DNA is inserted from the donor bacterium into the recipient.
Congress passes the Civil Rights Act of 1957, the first legislation protecting black rights since Reconstruction.
In September, Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower sends federal troops to Little Rock, Arkansas, to ensure the enforcement of a federal court order to desegregate Central High School and to protect nine African-American students enrolled as part of the order.
BCS - British Computer Society is Founded
CDC Introduces 1604 Computer
DEC is founded
Ferranti Mercury Introduced
FORTRAN-1 is formally published
May 1957 LEO II Installed
First Asahi Pentax SLR introduced.
First digital computer acquisition of scanned photographs, by Russell Kirsch et al. at the U.S. National Bureau of Standards (now the NIST).
Francis Crick proposes the "central dogma" of genetic information transfer: DNA specifies RNA and RNA specifies cell proteins.
V. M. Ingram reports that normal and sickle-cell hemoglobin differ by a single amino acid substitution.
Jack Kilby created the first integrated circuit
George W. Beadle, Edward L. Tatum, and Joshua Lederberg share a Nobel Prize in Medicine for Beadle and Tatum's discovery that genes act by regulating definite chemical events, and for Lederberg's discoveries concerning genetic recombination and the organization of the genetic material of bacteria.
F. H. C. Crick suggests that during protein formation the amino acid is carried to the template by an adaptor molecule containing nucleotides and that the adaptor is the part that actually fits on the RNA template. Crick thus predicts the discovery of transfer RNA.
F. Jacob and E. L. Wollman demonstrate that the single linkage group of E. coli is circular and suggest that the different linkage groups found in different Hfr strains result from the insertion at different points of a factor in the circular linkage group that determines the rupture of the circle.
M. Meselson and F. W. Stahl use the density gradient equilibrium centrifugation technique to demonstrate the semiconservative distribution of density label during DNA replication in E. coli.
The US flag is modified to have forty-nine stars, reflecting the addition of one new state: Alaska.
COBOL is introduced
The Xerox 914 is the first office copier for sale
AGFA introduces the first fully automatic camera, the Optima.
Nikon F introduced.
J. Lejeune, M. Gautier, and R. Turpin show that Down syndrome is a chromosomal aberration involving trisomy of a small telocentric chromosome.
R. L. Sinsheimer demonstrates that bacteriophage phiX174 of E. coli contains a single-stranded DNA molecule.
In the early 1990's, Robert Robbins was a faculty member at Johns Hopkins, where he directed the informatics core of GDB — the human gene-mapping database of the international human genome project. To share papers with colleagues around the world, he set up a small paper-sharing section on his personal web page. This small project evolved into The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.
In 1995, Robbins became the VP/IT of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. Soon after arriving in Seattle, Robbins secured funding, through the ELSI component of the US Human Genome Project, to create the original ESP.ORG web site, with the formal goal of providing free, world-wide access to the literature of classical genetics.
Although the methods of molecular biology can seem almost magical to the uninitiated, the original techniques of classical genetics are readily appreciated by one and all: cross individuals that differ in some inherited trait, collect all of the progeny, score their attributes, and propose mechanisms to explain the patterns of inheritance observed.
In reading the early works of classical genetics, one is drawn, almost inexorably, into ever more complex models, until molecular explanations begin to seem both necessary and natural. At that point, the tools for understanding genome research are at hand. Assisting readers reach this point was the original goal of The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.
Usage of the site grew rapidly and has remained high. Faculty began to use the site for their assigned readings. Other on-line publishers, ranging from The New York Times to Nature referenced ESP materials in their own publications. Nobel laureates (e.g., Joshua Lederberg) regularly used the site and even wrote to suggest changes and improvements.
When the site began, no journals were making their early content available in digital format. As a result, ESP was obliged to digitize classic literature before it could be made available. For many important papers — such as Mendel's original paper or the first genetic map — ESP had to produce entirely new typeset versions of the works, if they were to be available in a high-quality format.
Early support from the DOE component of the Human Genome Project was critically important for getting the ESP project on a firm foundation. Since that funding ended (nearly 20 years ago), the project has been operated as a purely volunteer effort. Anyone wishing to assist in these efforts should send an email to Robbins.
With the development of methods for adding typeset side notes to PDF files, the ESP project now plans to add annotated versions of some classical papers to its holdings. We also plan to add new reference and pedagogical material. We have already started providing regularly updated, comprehensive bibliographies to the ESP.ORG site.
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