Some things that happened in 1973
- Herbert Boyer and Stanley N. Cohen developed recombinant DNA technology, showing that genetically engineered DNA molecules may be cloned in foreign cells. Genetic engineering ultimately gave us a wide range of benefits, from synthetic insulin (Humulin) to Golden Rice, which mitigates Vitamin A deficiencies.
- The combined measles-mumps vaccine was licensed.
- The antibiotic fosfomycin, used to treat bladder infections, and now included on the World Health Organization’s list of the safest and most effective medicines needed in a health system, was released.
- The cell phone was invented, with the first mobile call made by Motorola employee Martin Cooper on April 3.
- Work began on System R, the first commercial relational database, at IBM’s San Jose Research Laboratory (now now Almaden Research Center). Relational databases now power most software applications and web sites.
- Work began on TCP/IP, the fundamental protocols of the Internet.
- A NY Times columnist was born who, in 2020, can’t immediately think of “a major problem in our society that tech has solved in our lifetimes.”
(Here’s my full response to this on Twitter.)
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