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
High-Quality Sequence of Human Chromosomes 21, 22 Achieved
Two international research consortia marked major milestones in the Human Genome Project (HGP) with the completion of the first high-quality DNA sequences for two human chromosomes. Chromosomes 22 and 21 sequences, respectively, were reported in the December 2, 1999, and May 18, 2000, issues of Nature. These two chromosomes, smallest in the human genome, account for 2% to 3% of the total 3 billion DNA bases. [For an explanation of when a chromosome is considered finished, see sidebar.]
Gene variants on chromosome 22 have been implicated in immune system function and in at least 27 disorders, including congenital heart disease, schizophrenia, mental retardation, birth defects, and leukemia and other cancers. Scientists reported that at least eight regions are present in duplicate, leading to speculation about this phenomenons evolutionary importance. Duplication can be studied closely when comparable animal genome sequences become available.
Analysis of chromosome 21 genes may permit a deeper understanding of Down syndrome and its complications, as well as a range of such other linked genetic disorders as Alzheimers disease and some forms of cancer.
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.