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Human Genome News Archive Edition

Human Genome News, January 1991; 2(5)

NCHGR Names Benton To Oversee Computing Needs

A big challenge facing the Human Genome Project is the development of new computer software and hardware to gather, store, and analyze the vast amount of information from the project's mapping and sequencing research. The 50,000 to 100,000 genes in the human genome are estimated to contain information, which, if printed in dictionary type, would require a 220,000-page volume about 25 feet thick.

Informatics-a new scientific discipline-uses mathematics, computer science, and biology to create tools for acquiring and managing genome research data and for analyzing biological information contained in human and model organism genomes. Although computing has become more common in biomedical research, further software development and integration of machines and databases are needed.

To oversee the informatics program, which will develop computer technologies capable of meeting Human Genome Project needs, W. David Benton has joined the National Center for Human Genome Research (NCHGR) as Assistant to the Director for Scientific Data Management.

Benton comes to NCHGR from IntelliGenetics, Inc., where he managed the DNA sequence database GenBank®. Benton received his B.A. degree in chemistry from St. Olaf College and his Ph.D. in cell biology from the University of Minnesota, where he studied the sequence of ribosomal RNA genes in plants. From 1980 to 1985, he worked as a molecular and cell biologist for the Atlantic Richfield Plant Cell Research Institute in Dublin, California. In the Stanford University laboratory of Ronald Davis, Benton developed the method now widely used for screening bacteriophage DNA for recombinant sequence.


HGMIS Staff

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Human Genome Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Human Genome News (v2n5).

Human Genome Project 1990–2003

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.

Human Genome News

Published from 1989 until 2002, this newsletter facilitated HGP communication, helped prevent duplication of research effort, and informed persons interested in genome research.