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Human Genome News Archive Edition

Human Genome News, January 1998; 9:(1-2)

I.M.A.G.E. Consortium Aiding Rapid Development of Human Gene Catalog

In a cDNA library, the numerical representation of particular cDNAs varies over a thousandfold. The predominant members of cDNA libraries from all tissues are the genes for cellular maintenance functions. I.M.A.G.E.'s coordination minimizes the unwanted and expensive repetitive analysis of the already characterized cDNAs.

A single sequencing read of a few hundred cDNA bases usually is sufficient to serve as a distinguishing identifier (EST) of the predecessor mRNA. This approach was pioneered by J. Craig Venter, now director of The Institute for Genomic Research, which made public a major EST data release in June 1997. High-throughput production of ESTs from I.M.A.G.E. cDNAs has been funded predominantly by Merck & Co., with sequencing at the Washington University (St. Louis) Genome Center Human EST Project. ESTs are deposited in the public database dbEST, which supports queries on the similarities of ESTs and cDNAs to cDNA molecules whose analysis is just beginning.

The I.M.A.G.E. consortium manages the distribution of reference sets of cDNAs. In the United States, libraries of cDNA clones representing many different tissues are donated to I.M.A.G.E. at LLNL, where the clones are placed into reference arrays; replicas are provided to genome research centers and private-sector resource distributors. Over 3 million clone replicas have been sent to more than 1000 laboratories worldwide; the end users analyze the clones and return data on them. All data is entered into public databases, enabling researchers to compare it with their preliminary cDNA sequencing data and eliminate redundant efforts.

EST analyses of over 500,000 cDNA I.M.A.G.E. clones suggest that more than 50,000 of the estimated 60,000 to 80,000 human genes are represented. I.M.A.G.E. researchers at LLNL are providing "subtracting cDNA reagents" to aid the production of new cDNA libraries by Bento Soares (see article) that preferentially contain clones not already represented in the current I.M.A.G.E. collection.



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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.