Human Genome Project Information. Click to return to home page.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy Human Genome Program

Human Genome News Archive Edition

Human Genome News, July 1990; 2(2)

Joint Sequencing Working Group To Study Research Priorities

The human genome programs of NIH and DOE have established the Joint Sequencing Working Group to study and make recommendations on research priorities needed to meet the goal of sequencing 3 billion nucleotides of human DNA within 15 years. Although recent improvements in sequencing technologies are reducing the time and cost required, continued improvement is needed before scientists will be able to sequence the entire genome.

Within 5 years, the Human Genome Project seeks to improve existing methods or develop new ones to lower sequencing cost from the current $3 to $5 per base pair to well below $1. Another 5-year goal is to sequence an aggregate of 10 Mbp of human DNA (and 30 Mbp from model organisms) in large, continuous stretches.

To date, complete DNA sequences have been determined for some viruses, of which the largest sequenced so far is the cytomegalovirus containing 240 kbp. Investigators are attempting to sequence bacterial genomes that contain about 4.5 Mbp. Although many short stretches (an aggregate of nearly 7 Mbp) of human DNA have been sequenced, the complete sequence of the human genome will total some 500 times that amount. Projects will be initiated to develop and assess strategies and technologies for sequencing whole chromosomes and for reducing the cost.

To begin formulating strategies for achieving these goals for sequencing, the working group met on May 10 in Herndon, Virginia.

Joint Sequencing Working Group

  • Ellson Chen (Genentech, Inc.)
  • Ronald Davis (Stanford University)
  • John Devereux (Genetics Computer Group, Inc.)
  • Walter Gilbert (Harvard University)
  • Leroy E. Hood (California Institute of Technology)
  • Mark Pearson (E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.)
  • Joseph F. Sambrook, Chair (University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center)
  • Phillip A. Sharp (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  • William Studier (Brookhaven National Laboratory)

Reported by Leslie Fink, Chief
Office of Human Genome Communication

Return to Table of Contents

The electronic form of the newsletter may be cited in the following style:
Human Genome Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Human Genome News (v2n2).

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.