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Human Genome News, May 1990; 2(1)

Five-Year Plan Goes to Capitol Hill

A 5-year plan (FY 1991-1995) detailing the goals of the U.S. Human Genome Project was presented to members of congressional appropriations committees in mid-February. This document, coauthored by DOE and NIH and titled Understanding Our Genetic Inheritance, The U.S. Human Genome Project: The First Five Years (FY 1991-1995), examines the current state of genome science. The plan also sets forth complementary approaches of the two agencies for attaining scientific goals and presents plans for administering research agendas; it describes collaboration among U.S. and international agencies and presents budget projections for the project.

According to the document, "a centrally coordinated project, focused on specific objectives, is believed to be the most efficient and least expensive way" to obtain the 3-billion-bp map of the human genome. In the course of the project, especially in the early years, the plan states that "much new technology will be developed that will facilitate biomedical and a broad range of biological research, bring down the cost of many [mapping and sequencing] experiments, and find application in numerous other fields."

The plan builds upon the 1988 reports of the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) and the National Research Council (NRC) on mapping and sequencing the human genome. "In the intervening two years," the document says, "improvements in technology for almost every aspect of genomics research have taken place. As a result, more specific goals can now be set for the project."

The document describes objectives in the following areas:

  • mapping and sequencing the human genome and the genomes of model organisms;
  • data collection and distribution;
  • ethical, legal, and social considerations;
  • research training; technology development; and
  • technology transfer.

These goals will be reviewed each year and updated as further advances occur in the underlying technologies.

The overall budget needs for the project are "still anticipated to be the same as those identified by OTA and NRC, namely about $200 million per year for approximately 15 years," the document says.

A copy of the 5-year plan will be distributed to everyone on the mailing list of this newsletter and also will be available to anyone requesting a copy.

Reported by Leslie Fink, Chief
Office of Human Genome Communication

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Human Genome Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Human Genome News (v2n1).

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.