Progress, and Applications
of the Human Genome Project
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy Human Genome Program
Human Genome News Archive Edition
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In the News
Web, Publications, Resources
HGP and the Private Sector: Rivals or Partners?
With the June 26 announcement by the publicly funded Human Genome Project (HGP) and Celera Genomics that the draft sequence of the human genome was essentially complete, the complementary aspects of the public and private sectors sequencing projects were realized.
Since spring 1998, when Celera Genomics announced its sequencing goal, other private companies also have declared their intention to sequence or map genomic regions to varying degrees. Some people questioned whether the HGP and the private sector were duplicating work, and they wondered who would win the race to sequence the human genome. Although the HGP and private companies do have overlapping sequencing goals, their finish lines are different because their ultimate goals are not the same.
In a sense, through its policy of open data release, the HGP has all along facilitated the research of others. Additionally, the HGP funds projects at small companies to devise needed technologies. DOE, NIH, the National Institute for Standards and Technology, and other governmental funding sources also are supporting further application and commercialization of HGP-generated resources.
HGP products have spurred a boom in such spin-off programs as the NIH Cancer Genome Anatomy Project and the DOE Microbial Genome Program. Genomes of numerous animals, plants, and microbes are being sequenced, and the number of private endeavors is increasing. Technology transfer from developers to users and participation in collaborative, multidisciplinary projects closely unite researchers at academic, industrial, and governmental laboratories.
Scientific vs Commercial Goals
More than the Reference Sequence
Other near-term HGP goals from the latest 5-year plan are to enhance bioinformatics (computational) resources to support future research and commercial applications. The HGP also aims to explore gene function through comparative mouse-human studies, train future scientists, study human variation, and address critical societal issues arising from the increased availability of human genome data and related analytical technologies.
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Last modified: Wednesday, October 29, 2003
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