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Human Genome News Archive Edition

Human Genome News, July 1990; 2(2)

DOE Human Genome Coordinating Committee

The DOE Human Genome Coordinating Committee (HGCC), which was formerly called Human Genome Steering Committee, held its fifth meeting in Pasadena, California, on April 2-3. Some of the items discussed are highlighted below.

Postdoctoral Fellowships

Proposed genome-specific postdoctoral fellowships, modeled on the DOE Hollaender Fellowships, would involve similar competitive applications and joint DOE and institutional support. The fellowships would be tenable at any DOE-supported university or laboratory project of $150,000 or more. Short-term fellowships patterned on the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) program were also considered.


HGCC heard reports from several genome organizations, including the Joint Working Group on Mapping and those given below.

Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues. A report was given on the February Workshop of the Joint Working Group on Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues (ELSI) Related to Mapping and Sequencing the Human Genome. The role of ELSI is to anticipate problems and issues arising from expanded genetic information and from the use of human material and samples. The following priority items were discussed: education of the public and professional groups, and confidentiality and use of test data. The working group may evaluate the cystic fibrosis experience as a model for handling information resulting from the genome project.

HUGO. The Human Genome Organisation (HUGO) reported that new funding for the administration and promotion of efforts to create working groups for each chromosome may contribute to international coordination of the genome effort. HUGO anticipates that expanding its membership will increase international communication and cooperation. DOE is actively involved with HUGO, and members of HGCC are among HUGO's current members. Charles R. Cantor, HGCC Chair, is Vice President of HUGO for the Americas region.

Sequencing Initiation

In a separate strategy session, HGCC discussed the possibility of starting to sequence DNA, particularly cDNA, earlier in the project than previously planned. There were two major factors in this discussion: (1) initiation of sequencing on a small scale because of the availability of more advanced sequencing technologies and (2) the realization that sequenced cDNA could be used as functional sequence tagged sites (STS) for mapping studies. Additionally, cDNA sequence identification would reveal functionally important DNA regions, since these DNAs are copies of mRNA. Establishment of chromosome-specific cDNA libraries and clones will be discussed during future meetings of HGCC, which is scheduled to meet June 19 in Bethesda, Maryland.

Reported by Sylvia J. Spengler
Human Genome Center
Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory

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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.