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Human Genome News Archive Edition

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

Santa Fe '96

Early Successes with Sequencing BACs

BAC clones are showing early promise as sequencing substrates, and some teams are using BAC end-sequence data to build the physical maps called - scaffold sequence maps - for further sequencing.

Cecilie Boysen (California Institute of Technology) discussed her early successes in using BAC clones to obtain the complete, contiguous, 1.1-Mb sequence of the human T-cell receptor alpha/delta locus.

BACs perform with high fidelity; the entire sequence is easily obtained using the shotgun method; contamination with Escherichia coli sequence can be kept low; and repeat areas, as well as assembly and editing steps, are handled well by Phil Green's Phred and Phrap programs (see Sequence Finishing section in "Sequencing" article).

Boysen also discussed a method to obtain insert and sequence information directly from BAC DNA. This method resulted in an almost 100% success rate, averaging 495 bp with few errors.

She briefly outlined a strategy developed by Leroy Hood (University of Washington, Seattle), Craig Venter (TIGR), and Hamilton Smith (Johns Hopkins University). In this strategy, scientists sequence the ends of BACs from a 15- to 20-fold library to generate a sequence scaffold, pick seed clones every 10 Mb or so, and sequence them completely. The sequenced clones are then compared to the database containing all the end-sequence information, and clones that overlap the least are chosen for sequencing.


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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.

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