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Human Genome News Archive Edition
Vol.9, No.3   July 1998

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Also available in pdf.

1997 Santa Fe Highlights

Human Genome Project Administration

In the News

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Software and the Internet

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Meeting Calendars & Acronyms

  • Genome and Biotechnology Meetings 
  • Training Courses and Workshops 
  • Acronyms

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New Five-Year Plan in Process as HGP Passes Midpoint

Midlife traditionally presents an opportunity for making evaluations, as progress toward milestones is measured and courses are altered. So, too, with the Human Genome Project (HGP), the massive 15-year biological undertaking begun in 1990 to obtain the sequence of all 3 billion bases in human DNA. Rapid progress and technology developments during the first half of the project have affirmed researchers optimism that the task can be completed on time and within budget. A new set of U.S. goals for the next 5 years will be presented to Congress this fall.

The new plan was developed during a series of individual and joint DOE-NIH workshops on various aspects of the project. The DOE planning committee, chaired by Raymond Gesteland (University of Utah), met May 28-29 with its NIH counterpart and a broad group of 120 researchers for a final evaluation of the plan. At that meeting, the consensus was that (1) the U.S. HGP should stick with its original goal of achieving full and highly accurate human sequence and (2) improving sequencing capacity is paramount. Priorities for the next 5 years include the following:

  • Clone and sequence full-length cDNAs of humans and model organisms, especially mouse.
  • Develop and improve software for determining and assembling sequences and recognizing expressed genes.
  • Identify single-nucleotide polymorphisms as measures of human variation.
  • Continue to study ethical, legal, and social issues related to the project.

Human Genome Project Value
Although initially controversial in the scientific community, the genome project's value has been proved beyond question. The wider biological and scientific communities in the United States and around the world are developing tools and applications for the new data in such wide-ranging fields as medicine, agriculture, bioremediation, and industrial enzymology.

International efforts have played a critical role in the project's success, with at least 18 countries now supporting programs for analyzing the genomes of a variety of organisms ranging from microbes to economically important plants and animals to humans.


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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 (v9n3).

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.