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Human Genome News Archive Edition

Human Genome News, May 1994; 6(1)

NCHGR Sequencing Technology Development Plan

The following plan for sequencing technology development and transfer provides a philosophical framework for activities of the NCHGR Sequencing Technology Branch. The plan was prepared by Robert Strausberg and Carol Dahl.

Effective technology development and transfer are key to accomplishing the sequencing goals of the Human Genome Project. Technologies for rapid, cost-effective DNA sequencing and mapping will maximize the usefulness of the ultimate information and resource products of the Human Genome Project.

These technologies, information, and resources will revolutionize biological and biomedical research, diagnostics, and therapeutic strategies. The way basic science research is conducted in both large and small laboratories will change profoundly. These changes, which may have their greatest impact in smaller laboratories, will provide the resources for creative new approaches to complex scientific concepts.

Strategies for technology development and transfer must ensure that genome products are rapidly introduced in the marketplace. These products will impact basic health care for the general public and find a wide variety of applications in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, agricultural, chemical, and other industries.

Collaborative approaches among academic and industrial laboratoriesþwith close integration at all stages of research, development, and implementationþoften are the most effective for developing products best suited to the needs of the user community. No preconceived notions should determine which group will take the lead in the initial research stages. Instead, the focus should be on building the best team for the task.

Within the Sequencing Technology Branch, some projects are focused more on producing genomic sequence, while others are targeted toward developing new technologies. This programmatic balance is needed to ensure that technology development within the branch addresses the truly important issues.

Initial plans for developing new technology or instrumentation should consider how the technology will be made available to the community. This is important because emerging markets for critical technologies will be small in some cases, and the commercial incentive may not be apparent immediately.

In many cases, effective skills and resources are expected to come from industry-to-industry interactions. For example, startup Company A may have better skills in innovative research and no preconceived notions or products that limit creativity, whereas established Company B may have more skills in the finishing stages of product development, marketing, and sales. Similarly, two startup companies may have complementary basic skills and knowledge.

Also, with many government organizations having effective programs in technology development, coordination of those efforts is vital. Because the link between basic technology and application is sometimes not obvious, a general sense of other technology programs that currently seem far removed from the genome project is important.


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Human Genome Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Human Genome News (v6n1).

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.