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Human Genome News Archive Edition

Human Genome News, May 1990; 2(1)

NIH PAC and NIH-DOE Joint Subcommittee Discuss Mapping and 5-Year Plan

Committees See Need for Long-Range Continuity in Mapping Projects
At the third meeting of the NIH Program Advisory Committee on the Human Genome (PACHG), held on December 4, 1989, members reviewed and approved the draft of a 5-year plan for the Human Genome Project. The plan had been requested from NIH by Congress and was developed jointly by NIH and DOE staff and advisors during the late summer and autumn of 1989.

The draft plan established quantitative goals for the development of a human genetic linkage map, physical maps of human chromosomes and some mouse chromosomes, and technology for large-scale DNA sequencing. Other program topics outlined in the plan included informatics; ethics, legal, and social implications; training; technology development; and technology transfer.

Linkage and physical mapping goals engendered the most discussion. With respect to linkage maps of each human chromosome, advisors agreed that for the next 5-year period, a 2- to 5-centimorgan (cM) map is an appropriate goal that would set the average distance between markers at 2 cM with no gap greater than 5 cM. [On average, 1 cM is believed to be roughly equivalent to 1 million base pairs (bp).] The committee also agreed to establish a working group to address a number of issues:

  • adequacy of resources being devoted to the linkage mapping component of the NIH program,
  • support mechanisms needed to achieve the 5-year goals, and
  • possible requirements of new strategies for constructing the map.

This working group was also charged with developing a detailed plan for implementing the sequence-tagged site (STS) system of reporting mapping data. The group met at the end of March and will report to the PACHG in June. The meeting report will be in a future issue of Human Genome News.

Joint NIH-DOE Subcommittee Meets

The physical mapping discussion was taken up again on December 5 at the first meeting of the Joint NIH-DOE Subcommittee on the Human Genome established under the 1988 Memorandum of Understanding between NIH and DOE. A major focus of this discussion was the need for long-range continuity in mapping and sequencing projects. A number of committee members maintained that technological efforts in mapping and sequencing should be focused toward significantly increasing the distance over which map or sequence continuity can be established.

Reported by Mark Guyer
Assistant Director for Program Coordination

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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.