2000 Three independent research groups determine atomic resolution structures of the ribosome.

◀ 2000 Masashi Miyano, Krzysztof Palczewski, and Ronald E. Stenkamp get first glimpse of a G protein-coupled receptor: a class of membrane proteins that are the targets of as many as 30% of marketed drugs.

2000s Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) leads to a boom in U.S. natural gas production.

2001 Human Genome Project and Celera Genomics independently publish papers reporting the complete sequencing of the human genome. Pictured are J. Craig Venter (left) and Francis S. Collins.

2001 FDA approves Gleevec (imatinib) for treating leukemia caused by a specific gene defect.

2001 Oliver Sacks lovingly melds chemistry and memoir in his book “Uncle Tungsten.”

▶ 2001 The pharmaceutical company Cipla announces that it will supply AIDS drugs to Africa for a small fraction of market prices.

2002 FDA approves Humira (adalimumab), the first fully human monoclonal antibody drug, for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

2004 Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov isolate individual sheets of graphene, sparking interest in the 2-D material’s superlative properties.

▼ 2004 The cholesterol-managing drug Lipitor (atorvastatin) becomes the first drug to top $10 billion in annual sales.

2008 Fictional chemistry-teacher- turned-meth-lord Walter White’s story comes to TV in “Breaking Bad.”

2009 FDA approves first human clinical trial of an embryonic stem-cell-based therapy. The trial is halted two years later.

◀ 2009 NASA scientists definitively detect water on the moon.


▶2009 IBM researchers improve the resolution of atomic force microscopy so much that they are able to visualize all of the atom positions and bonds of a single molecule for the first time.

Download C&EN 90th Anniversary Poster Timeline (pdf)