8. Genetic Engineering

While genetic engineering still has the ring of science fiction to it, the manipulation of DNA through biotechnology is currently used in medicine and agriculture. Among other applications, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are used to mass-produce insulin and create disease-resistant crops. Though genetically modified food has caused controversy, the process of genetic engineering has shown promise for treating certain kinds of cancer. In 1980, the US supreme court ruled that genetic life could be patented, setting a precedent that continues to affect financial and scientific concerns today.

The J-Connection?

Jewish American scientist Paul Berg created the first recombinant DNA molecules in 1972 by combining two viruses, which led to the development of modern genetic engineering. One year later, Herbert Boyer and his Jewish colleague Stanley Cohen created the first transgenic organism by inserting genes into an E. coli bacterium.