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Human Genome News Archive Edition

Human Genome News, April-June 1996; 7(6)

Spell Checking the Genome

Left unchecked, damage to human DNA can wreak havoc with biological systems, resulting in diseases such as cancer. DNA molecules are especially vulnerable when copying themselves or when exposed to such environmental insults as ionizing radiation and chemicals.

Fortunately, a system of sensitive DNA repair enzymes monitors the genome for damage and repairs most errors. In fact, human DNA repair systems allow only about 3 mistakes to escape their notice during replication of the 3 billion base pairs in the human genome, a feature that is important in enabling evolutionary changes.

Designating DNA repair enzymes "Molecule of the Year" in 1994, Science acknowledged these amazing molecules that "preserve our health, maintain our species, make evolution possible, and contribute to a sound scientific policy on environmental hazards" [266, 1925 (December 23, 1994)].


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The electronic form of the newsletter may be cited in the following style:
Human Genome Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Human Genome News (v7n6).

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.