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HGP Research Area: Sequencing Technologies

The Human Genome Project (HGP) was completed in 2003. Increasing throughput while reducing sequencing cost was a primary goal of the HGP. Solving this problem helped accelerate the completion of the HGP.

Although sequencing capacity was far greater in 1998 than at the inception of the HGP, achieving project sequencing goals required a two- to threefold improvement. Further incremental advances in sequencing technologies, efficiency, and cost were accomplished. For future sequencing applications, planners emphasize the importance of supporting novel technologies that may be 5 to 10 years in development.

Sequencing Technology Goals

  • Continue to increase the throughput and reduce the cost of current sequencing technology.
  • Support research on novel technologies that can lead to significant improvements in sequencing technology.
  • Develop effective methods for the advanced development and introduction of new sequencing technologies into the sequencing process.

Area HGP Goal Standard Achieved Date Achieved
Capacity and Cost of Finished Sequence Sequence 500 Mb/year at <$0.25 per finished base Sequence >1,400
Mb/year at <$0.09 per finished base
November 2002


Text from F. Collins, Ari Patrinos, et al., "New Goals for the U.S. Human Genome Project: 1998-2003," Science 282, 682-689 (1998). See HGP Goals for more details on the project's goals.

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Published from 1989 until 2002, this newsletter facilitated HGP communication, helped prevent duplication of research effort, and informed persons interested in genome research.