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Human Genome Project Information

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Completed in 2003, the Human Genome Project (HGP) was a 13-year project coordinated by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health. During the early years of the HGP, the Wellcome Trust (U.K.) became a major partner; additional contributions came from Japan, France, Germany, China, and others. See our history page for more information.

Project goals were to

  • identify all the approximately 20,000-25,000 genes in human DNA,
  • determine the sequences of the 3 billion chemical base pairs that make up human DNA,
  • store this information in databases,
  • improve tools for data analysis,
  • transfer related technologies to the private sector, and
  • address the ethical, legal, and social issues (ELSI) that may arise from the project.

Though the HGP is finished, analyses of the data will continue for many years. Follow this ongoing research on our Milestones page. An important feature of the HGP project was the federal government's long-standing dedication to the transfer of technology to the private sector. By licensing technologies to private companies and awarding grants for innovative research, the project catalyzed the multibillion-dollar U.S. biotechnology industry and fostered the development of new medical applications.


Gene Patent Ruling Raises Questions for Industry (Nov. 2, 2010, NYT)

New Gene Tests Aimed at Reducing Colon Cancer (Oct. 28, 2010, NYT)

The Once and Future Genome (June 25, 2010, Seed Magazine)

Biology 2.0 Special Report on the Human Genome (June 17, 2010, The Economist)

The Genome at 10: Two-part article (June 12 and June 14, 2010, NYT)

Human Genome at 10: 5 Breakthroughs, 5 Predictions (Mar. 31, 2010, National Geographic)

Disease Cause is Pinpointed with Gene (Mar. 10, 2010, NYT)

Cost of Decoding a Genome is Lowered (Aug. 10, 2009, NYT)


What's next?
Genoic Science Program

A systems biology program using genomic data and high-throughput technologies for studying the proteins encoded by microbial and plant genomes to develop a predictive understanding of the biological systems relevant to solving energy and environmental challenges including bioenergy production, environmental remediation, and carbon cycling.

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Last modified: Tuesday, May 31, 2011

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