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An idiosyncratic and incomplete list citing some highlights in the history of structural virology set in the context of the history of virology and other historical moments.

year structural virology virology the world
1933-1935 crystallization of TMV, (Wendall Stanley, Science 81:644-645, 1935) isolation of human influenza virus, 1933 (Smith, Andrewes, Laidlaw) FDR and the New Deal
1937-1939 Crystallization of tomato bushy stunt virus (several publications by Bawden and Pirie) yellow fever vaccine tests prove successful (Theiler, 1939)

bacteriophage one step growth curve (E. L. Ellis and M. Delbruck, J. Gen Physiol. 22:365-384, 1939)

Spanish Civil War
1941 Tomato bushy stunt virus (TBSV) and tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) shown to give clear X-ray diffraction patterns (Bernal and Fankuchen (J. Gen Physiol 25: 111-146) discovery that influenza virus hemagglutinates red blood cells (G. Hirst Science 94: 22-23) Pearl Harbor
1945 An X-ray diffraction pattern obtained on a single crystal of tobacco necrosis virus (D. Crowfoot and G.M. J. Schmidt, Nature 155, 504-505.
Michael Rossmann Oral History
  Death of President Roosevelt

the end of the second world war

atomic bomb explosion

1946-1949   Enders, Weller and Robbins cultured poliovirus in human embryonic tissues (Science 109:85-87, 1949) India achieves independence from Great Britain; creation of Pakistan (1947)

the first digital computer ENIAC is put to use (1946)

Jackie Robinson joins the Brooklyn Dodgers (1947)

1952-1953 Determination of the structure of DNA by X-ray diffraction (not strictly virology, but too important to skip) (Watson and Crick Nature171:737-738 1953) Hershey-Chase experiment showed that DNA and not protein of T2 bacteriophage entered the bacterial cell.(J. Gen Physiol. 36, 39-56, 1952)

Transduction by bacteriophage discovered by N Zinder &J Lederberg (J.Bact. 64:679.1952)

First test of Hydrogen bomb.(1952)

Joseph Stalin dies (1953)

Earl Warren becomes Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (1953)

1954-1955 R Franklin proposed the arrangement of protein subunits in TMV based on X-ray diffraction studies (Nature 175, 379-381,1955).

Crystallization of polio virus (Schwerdt and Schaffer)

fine structure genetic mapping of the rII region of T-even phage (Benzer PNAS 41, 344-354.)

Jonas Salk's vaccination studies using killed polio virus shown to be successful

Brown vs Board of Education (1954) the Supreme Court decision leading to school desegregation

Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on the bus in Montgomery, Alabama (1955)

1956-1957 Crick and Watson propose the subunit structure of spherical viruses (Nature 177, 474-475, 1956)

X-ray diffraction patterns of TBSV show high degree of symmetry (Caspar, Nature 177, 475-476, 1956)

Infectivity of TMV RNA reported by H.Frankel-Conrat (J.Am.Chem.Soc 78:882-883, 1956) and A. Gierer G. Schramm (Nature177:702-703, 1956)

Interferon discovered by Isaacs and Lindenmann (Proc Roy Soc B[London] 147:258-267,1957)

Segregation in public transportation in US declared unconstitutional (1956)

Soviet Union launches Sputnik (1957)

1959-1960 first high resolution structure of a protein (myoglobin, Kendrew) -an important milestone for all structural studies

negative staining of samples gives higher resolution of virus structures (Brenner and Horne Biochim Biophys Acta 34: 103-110, 1959)

bacteriophage infection leads to synthesis of new enzyme in bacteria (J. G. Flaks and S. S Cohen, J. Biol Chem 234: 1501-1506 ,1959) Castro overthrows Batista in Cuba (1959)
1961-1962 Principles of icosahedral virus structure published by Caspar and Klug, Cold Spring Harbor Symp. vol 27,1962. first deciphering of the genetic code (Nirenberg and Matthaei, 1961) Berlin wall (1961)

First man to orbit earth in space- Gagarin in Soviet rocket (1961)

Cuban Missile crisis (1962)

1963-1965     J.F. Kennedy assassinated(1963)


1968-1969   polio RNA shown to be translated from a single initiation site and proteolytically processed (D.F. Summers and J. V. Maizel Jr. PNAS 59:966-971, 1968; M. F. Jacobson and D. Baltimore PNAS 61: 77-84, 1968) Martin Luther King assassinated (1968)

NASA puts a man on the moon (1969)

US bombing of Cambodia (1969)


Reverse transcriptase discovered D. Baltimore, Nature 226:1209 H. Temin &S. Mizutani Nature 226: 1211

1975-1976   Recombinant DNA Asilomar meeting

vaccination against potential swine flu epidemic

1978-1979 structure of tomato bushy stunt virus at 2.8 angstroms resolution (Harrison et al. Nature 276: 368- 373)Harrison Oral History elimination of the disease of smallpox  
1980-1981 structure of southern bean mosaic virus at 2.8 angstroms (Abad-Zapatero et al. Nature 286: 33- 39, 1980) Rossmann Oral History

structure of satellite tobacco necrosis virus at 4 angstroms (Unge et al. Nature 285: 373-377, 1980)

Founding of the American Society for Virology, 1981

first reports of what was to become the AIDS epidemic

1981-1982 structure of the influenza hemagglutinin I.A. Wilson, J.J. Skehel, D. C. Wiley, Nature 289: 366-373, 1981) conformational change in HA observed at low pH  
1983   Identification of HIV as the cause of AIDS  
1985 structure of the common cold virus (rhinovirus) (Rossmann et al. Nature 317:145-153)

structure of poliovirus
( J.M. Hogle, M. Chow and D. J. Filman Science 229: 1358-1365)



| Introduction | Some historical highlights: structural virology and virology |
| Solving the Structure of Icosahedral Plant Viruses | Picornavirus Structure | Poliovirus | Polio
The Influenza Virus Hemagglutinin
| The Influenza Virus Neuraminidase |
Issues of Science and Society |contributors|
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