Introduction The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) sequenced the first genome of a free-living organism, the bacterium Haemophilus influenzae, in 1995. This landmark project, led by TIGR scientist Robert Fleischmann, led to a series of genome sequencing projects. The human genome project and ENCODE were the pioneering projects. The latest is the Genographic Project
1. The Human Genome Project is a worldwide research effort initiated by the Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health in 1987 as a multi-disciplinary effort to understand the basis of human heredity. This international collaboration is being carried out at several genome centers located in the United States, England, France and Japan. The focus of the Human Genome Project is the characterization of the human genome by determining the complete nucleotide sequence of our 24 different chromosomes, including the estimated 50,000 to 100,000 genes contained in human DNA.
Rapid technological advances accelerated the completion date to 2003. 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.
To help achieve these goals, researchers also studied the genetic makeup of several nonhuman organisms. These include the common human gut bacterium Escherichia coli, the fruit fly, and the laboratory mouse. Sequence and analysis of the human genome working draft was published in February 2001 and April 2003 issues of Nature and Science.
A unique aspect of the U.S. Human Genome Project is that it was the first large scientific undertaking to address potential ELSI implications arising from project data. The National Human Genome Research Institutes (NHGRI) Ethical, Legal and Social Implications
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