What is the Human Genome Project?
Between 1990 and 2003, Human Genome Project undertook
the immense task of sequencing the 3 billion bases of genetic
information that reside in every human cell.
The Human Genome Project, which began officially in 1990, was
the largest international collaboration ever undertaken in biology
and involved thousands of scientists.
The sequencing of the 3 billion bases of DNA in the human genome
will allow researchers to identify human genes, assisting our
understanding of the genetic basis of disease and of the key
biochemical and developmental processes of the human body.
The project was undertaken by the Wellcome Trust Sanger
Institute in the UK, US laboratories funded by the National Human
Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and the US Department of Energy,
and several other centres worldwide.
Background: The Human Genome
Having begun in earnest in 1995, the programme announced a
working draft of 90 per cent of the human genome in June 2000. The
'working draft' provided invaluable information for biomedical
researchers and acted as the foundations on which the finished
genome is built.
Feature: History of the
Human Genome Project
In February 2001, the Consortium published an initial analysis
of the human genome. The most surprising discovery was that humans
have only about 30 000 genes – many people had expected humans to
have about 100 000 genes.
The final, high-quality human genome sequence was completed in
2003. This is the 'gold standard' reference sequence that
researchers will use for decades to come. The analysis of the final
sequence, published in October 2004, reduced the human gene number
to 20-25 000.
News: Finished human
genome contains even fewer genes than expected
The Sanger Institute sequenced one-third of the human genome,
focusing on chromosomes 1, 6, 9, 10, 13, 20, 22 and X (some of
which were shared with other centres).
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute: Human Genome Project