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Human Genome News Archive Edition

Human Genome News, September 1990; 2(3)

DOE Establishes Center for Human Genome Research at LLNL

Secretary of Energy James D. Watkins has directed the department's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in Livermore, California, to establish a center to study the human genome. The Human Genome Center will be directed by Anthony V. Carrano, Genetics Section Leader in the Biomedical Sciences Division and member of HUGO, the DOE Human Genome Coordinating Committee, and the Joint DOE-NIH Subcommittee on the Human Genome. The Livermore Center becomes the third DOE center for human genome research. The other two are at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (LBL) in Berkeley, California, and at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

"I am excited about the work that Livermore will now do as a center," said Admiral Watkins. "The quality of their current work in the area justifies the creation of the center. The stature of DOE's genome program is growing, and it is appropriate that the stature of the work in our laboratories grows as well. The center is another example of the advantage of using the multidisciplinary resources of our national laboratories to contribute to an important national project."

Livermore is already participating in the Human Genome Project; research at the Livermore center includes the following:

  • continued physical mapping of chromosome 19 [Human Genome 1989-90 Program Report, DOE (1990)], which contains several genes important to the repair of damaged DNA;
  • investigation of new approaches to physical mapping of chromosomes [Genomics 4: 129-136 (1989)];
  • continued participation with LANL in the National Laboratory Gene Library Project (NLGLP) [HGN 2(1): 12-13 (May 1990)]; and
  • development of new computer software to analyze physical maps and graphically display resulting data (Genomics, 1990, in press).

Other activities will involve instrument development, including an image-analysis system used in fluorescent in situ hybridization studies; a general robotic tool to automate the handling of DNA and relieve researchers of highly repetitive tasks; and scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy for cost-effective, high-volume DNA sequencing.

The LLNL Biomedical Sciences Division has been involved in genetics research for 20 years, and its human genome work is building on expertise and research in molecular biology, cytogenetics, mutagenesis, computational sciences, and instrumentation, as well as its participation in the NLGLP. Livermore researchers have already mapped about 60% of chromosome 19 and have identified 3 genes that code for DNA repair.

The short-term goal of the department's Human Genome Program is to provide computational, engineering, and biological research capabilities needed to reduce the cost and increase the speed of DNA analysis. The long-term goal is to construct high-resolution physical maps of human chromosomes-the ultimate map being the DNA sequence. As part of the DOE mission to evaluate health effects of energy production and by-products, the agency is spending $26 million on the Human Genome Program this fiscal year and is requesting $46 million for the program in FY 1991.


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Human Genome Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Human Genome News (v2n3).

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.