Archive Site Provided for Historical Purposes
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy Human Genome Program
In this issue...
Also available in pdf.
1997 Santa Fe Highlights
Human Genome Project Administration
In the News
Software and the Internet
Meeting Calendars & Acronyms
The Human Genome Management Information System (HGMIS) was established in 1989 by the DOE Human Genome Program Task Group to inform scientists, policymakers, and the public about the program's research. To make Human Genome Project (HGP) data, technologies, and implications more accessible, HGMIS produces Human Genome News and a number of other information resources.
Sites for Different Audiences
HGMIS started its Web site in 1994 to house the electronic version of HGN. As interest in the genome project and Web use expanded, HGMIS added other publications, information, and links to make the site a comprehensive, text-based Web server on project-related topics. Gradually, in a shift that reflects Web trends in general, public users became predominant.
To address the growing interests of a population beginning to realize the societal impact of genetic research while continuing to meet the needs of the broad scientific community, HGMIS divided its Web site into two sections in January. One section is targeted to the general public and the other to researchers, but all users still have easy access to both sections.
The decision to split the Web site was based on an evaluation of user needs. HGMIS considered a user survey; the types of domains accessing the site; and user questions, a large number of which were from students seeking basic facts. Content and ease of access for the public and researchers were crucial considerations in the site's renovation. In addition to providing informative text, this comprehensive site about HGP also serves as a launch pad to myriad related sites.
The HGMIS site, which contains 1800 text files, has received numerous awards and has been listed by several exclusive Web rating systems. Some 2400 outside sites link to the site, whose files are accessed by about 17,000 host computers each month for about 2 million file transfers annually. HGMIS has adapted its design to accommodate as many users as possible.
The public section, Human Genome Project Information, emphasizes materials to facilitate public knowledge about genetics. The site includes project history; recent developments and discoveries; ethical, legal, and social issues; information for people with genetic conditions; educational materials; and resources for teaching high school and college classes. HGMIS reviewed questions and comments over the previous year for commonalities to develop two new files: Human Genome Project (HGP) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and QuikFact Finder. These pages, which answer many routine questions once fielded individually by HGMIS staff, are proving very popular with students and newcomers to the project.
To contribute to its user-friendly stance, the public-oriented section takes a less formal tone and avoids jargon where possible. Much of the material has been reorganized to target such specific groups as teachers and students.
The backbone of the technical section, Human Genome Project Information: Research in Progress, comprises the pages that categorize files by such subject areas as Mapping; Sequencing; Informatics; Instrumentation; and Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues. These pages, developed in a previous remodeling, provide general information and link directly to current research abstracts, HGN articles, and Web resources related to the subject area. In addition, the research section contains HGP publications, conference and workshop listings, funding and training opportunities, and links to the larger genome community.
Print Document Access
Most HGMIS print documents, along with publications from other sources, are provided electronically through the Web site. These resources include Human Genome News; the DOE Primer on Molecular Genetics; To Know Ourselves; and reports on the DOE Human Genome Program, Santa Fe contractor-grantee workshops, and other related topics. In addition, Your Genes, Your Choices, produced by the American Association for the Advancement of Science with DOE support, is accessible via the HGMIS site.
Every good Web site adapts to changes in purpose, technology, and audience needs. As interest and requirements expand, HGMIS plans to add other useful features, including a resource page for medical professionals and an expanded listing of FAQs. The Human Genome Project Research and Human Genome Project Information sites will continue to evolve as user needs and the project progress.
The electronic form of the newsletter may be cited in the following style:
Human Genome Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Human Genome News (v9n3).
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.