Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy Human Genome Program
Human Genome News Archive Edition
In this issue...
HGP and the Private Sector
In the News
Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues
Web, Publications, Resources
Meeting Calendars & Acronyms
HGP and the Private Sector: Rivals or Partners?
With the June 26 announcement by the publicly funded Human Genome Project (HGP) and Celera Genomics that the draft sequence of the human genome was essentially complete, the complementary aspects of the public and private sectors sequencing projects were realized.
Since spring 1998, when Celera Genomics announced its sequencing goal, other private companies also have declared their intention to sequence or map genomic regions to varying degrees. Some people questioned whether the HGP and the private sector were duplicating work, and they wondered who would win the race to sequence the human genome. Although the HGP and private companies do have overlapping sequencing goals, their finish lines are different because their ultimate goals are not the same.
In a sense, through its policy of open data release, the HGP has all along facilitated the research of others. Additionally, the HGP funds projects at small companies to devise needed technologies. DOE, NIH, the National Institute for Standards and Technology, and other governmental funding sources also are supporting further application and commercialization of HGP-generated resources.
HGP products have spurred a boom in such spin-off programs as the NIH Cancer Genome Anatomy Project and the DOE Microbial Genome Program. Genomes of numerous animals, plants, and microbes are being sequenced, and the number of private endeavors is increasing. Technology transfer from developers to users and participation in collaborative, multidisciplinary projects closely unite researchers at academic, industrial, and governmental laboratories.
Scientific vs Commercial Goals
More than the Reference Sequence
Other near-term HGP goals from the latest 5-year plan are to enhance bioinformatics (computational) resources to support future research and commercial applications. The HGP also aims to explore gene function through comparative mouse-human studies, train future scientists, study human variation, and address critical societal issues arising from the increased availability of human genome data and related analytical technologies.
The electronic form of the newsletter may be cited in the following style:
The Human Genome Project (HGP) was an international 13-year effort, 1990 to 2003. Primary goals were to discover the complete set of human genes and make them accessible for further biological study, and determine the complete sequence of DNA bases in the human genome. See Timeline for more HGP history.
Published from 1989 until 2002, this newsletter facilitated HGP communication, helped prevent duplication of research effort, and informed persons interested in genome research.