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Human Genome News, September-December 1995; 7(3-4):10

Nature and Science Publish Special Genome Issues

Milestones in human genome mapping and sequencing are among the topics covered in special fall issues of Nature and Science.


The Genome Directory, a 379-page supplement to the September 28 issue of Nature, features a compendium by Craig Venter [The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR)] of 88,000 unique ESTs from cDNA sequences expressed in 37 human tissues at various developmental stages.

The issue also features a description of the latest G‚n‚thon YAC contig map of the human genome by Daniel Cohen and Ilya Chumakov (CEPH) and colleagues. The map covers 75% of the human genome in 225 contigs having an average size of 10 Mb.

Detailed physical maps of four human chromosomes are also presented.

Chromosomes 3 and 12. More-detailed, second-generation YAC contig maps based on the original G‚n‚thon YAC physical map. The chromosome 3 map by Robert Gemmill and Harry Drabkin (Eleanor Roosevelt Institute) and colleagues covers 80% of the chromosome in 24 contigs and incorporates physical and genetic map data. Raju Kucherlapati (Albert Einstein College of Medicine) and his collaborators describe a map covering about 75% of human chromosome 12 in 13 contigs and incorporating genetic, physical, and cytogenetic map data.

Chromosome 22. High-density YAC contig map by Ian Dunham (Sanger Centre) and colleagues representing the practical limits of currently available YAC resources and comprising available physical and genetic data.

Chromosome 16. Map incorporating a low-resolution map of mega-YACs and a high-resolution sequence-ready map of cosmid contigs and mini-YACs. The map, by Robert Moyzis and Norman Doggett (Los Alamos National Laboratory) and associates, includes physical, genetic, and cytogenetic data and provides almost complete coverage of the chromosome 16 euchromatic arms.

The Nature Home Page is at https://www.nature.com/


The annual Genome Issue of Science (October 20) features articles on technological developments in genome research, clinical applications, and concerns regarding the social impact of rapidly accumulating genetic information. The issue includes the following:

Genetic Discrimination and Health Insurance. Kathy Hudson [National Center for Human Genome Research (NCHGR)], Karen Rothenberg (University of Maryland School of Law), Lori Andrews (Chicago-Kent College of Law), Mary Jo Ellis Kahn (National Breast Cancer Coalition), and Francis Collins (NCHGR) present a series of recommendations for state and federal policymakers in "Genetic Discrimination and Health Insurance: An Urgent Need for Reform." Drafted by the NIH-DOE Joint Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications Working Group and the National Action Plan on Breast Cancer, the recommendations and definitions suggest that genetic information, including family histories, not be used to establish insurance premiums or eligibility.

Human Genome Project Sequencing Progress. Maynard Olson (University of Washington, Seattle) assesses technical progress in "A Time to Sequence." He argues for an early move to large-scale sequencing of human DNA.

[Science offers electronic forums on the above articles (http://www.aaas.org/science/beyond.htm#genome).]

Mycoplasma genitalium genome. Claire Fraser (TIGR) and collaborators report the complete sequencing of the bacterium with the smallest known genome of any self-replicating organism in "The Minimal Gene Complement of Mycoplasma genitalium." In "Life with 482 Genes," André Goffeau (Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium) discusses this achievement.

Gene Therapy. Ronald Crystal (New York Hospital Cornell Medical Center) provides an overview of relevant clinical trials and concludes that the therapeutic transfer of genes into humans is feasible and should be pursued further in "Transfer of Genes to Humans: Early Lessons and Obstacles to Success." Two separate reports also in this issue describe efforts to apply gene therapy to people with ADA-SCID, a hereditary, usually fatal disease resulting in a nonfunctioning immune system.

Caenorhabditis elegans progress. Jonathan Hodgkin (Medical Research Council, U.K.), Ronald Plasterk (Netherlands Cancer Institute), and Robert Waterston (Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis) present a wall chart summarizing progress in the project to characterize the genome of the nematode C. elegans. A significant portion of the complete C. elegans DNA sequence has been determined, and its potential for yielding clues to understanding developmental, cell, and neurobiology is already unfolding. The chart is also accessible electronically [http://www.aaas.org/science/science.html].

Other Relevant Articles. Other genome-related articles include a story on a new strategy with the potential to analyze proteins directly and see how they change with disease, a report on a chromosome 4 physical map of the flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana, and two reports describing new approaches to monitoring gene expression. Current and some back issues of Science are available electronically (http://www.aaas.org/science/science.html).

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The electronic form of the newsletter may be cited in the following style:
Human Genome Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Human Genome News (v7n3).

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.