Two meetings were held in Bermuda in 1996 and 1997 to discuss how human sequence data should be released. The output of these meetings is discussed below. Meetings are listed in reverse chronological order.
The following standards were agreed:
The following proposals were endorsed by the participants:
Sequence data should be classified simply as "finished" or "unfinished" and should be stored in distinct databases; consideration should be given to establishing a public database for unfinished sequence data.
Sequence annotation should be standardised if possible, and include the following information:
Potential development of a database listing all gaps in 'finished' sequence.
Mapping investment does not automatically entitle sequencing claims over the same region until a sequence-ready map has been generated.
Potential conflicts with other sequencers to be resolved by early communication.
Collaborations with groups with a biological interest in a region should be subject to the same principles of data release and communication.
Investigate whether the Human Sequence Map Index should be relocated to be more closely associated with the other major human sequence databases.
Claims allowed on the Index:
The following principles were endorsed by all participants. These included officers from, and scientists supported by, the Wellcome Trust, the U.K. Medical Research Council, the NIH NCHGR (National Center for Human Genome Research) , the DOE (U.S. Department of Energy), the German Human Genome Programme, the European Commission, HUGO (Human Genome Organisation), and the Human Genome Project of Japan. It was noted that some centres may find it difficult to implement these principles because of legal constraints and it was, therefore, important that funding agencies were urged to foster these policies.
It was agreed that all human genomic sequence information, generated by centres funded for large-scale human sequencing, should be freely available and in the public domain in order to encourage research and development and to maximise its benefit to society.
It was agreed that these principles should apply for all human genomic sequence generated by large-scale sequencing centres, funded for the public good, in order to prevent such centres establishing a privileged position in the exploitation and control of human sequence information.
In order to promote coordination of activities, it was agreed that large-scale sequencing centres should inform HUGO of their intention to sequence particular regions of the genome. HUGO would present this information on their World Wide Web page and direct users to the Web pages of individual centres for more detailed information regarding the current status of sequencing in specific regions. This mechanism should enable centres to declare their intentions in a general framework while also allowing more detailed interrogation at the local level.
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.
Published from 1989 until 2002, this newsletter facilitated HGP communication, helped prevent duplication of research effort, and informed persons interested in genome research.