Progress, and Applications
of the Human Genome Project
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy Human Genome Program
Human Genome News Archive Edition
In this issue...
Also available in pdf.
1997 Santa Fe Highlights
In the News
Over the years, the team led by Bento Soares (University of Iowa) has optimized methods for producing cDNA libraries, a technically challenging undertaking, and is continuing to produce libraries of the highest quality. Individual clones from these libraries have been arrayed at Livermore and distributed worldwide for characterization by the international I.M.A.G.E. (Integrated Molecular Analysis of Gene Expression) Consortium. To date, over 3 million I.M.A.G.E. clone replicas have been sent to more than 1000 laboratories worldwide; end users analyze the clones and return data on them (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/dbEST/index.html).
At the Santa Fe meeting, Soares described further progress in developing cDNA libraries and serial subtractive hybridization strategies (within and across different pooled libraries). These strategies are expected to minimize redundancy and identify cDNAs not yet represented in publicly available collections of human, mouse, and rat cDNAs.
Soares observed that finding novel cDNAs is increasingly challenging as researchers approach completion of human and mouse gene-discovery efforts. His group uses pools of I.M.A.G.E. clones, from which ESTs have been derived, as drivers in hybridizations with single or multiple normalized libraries, thus generating subtracted libraries enriched for new cDNAs. Sequence analysis of two subtracted libraries indicated a fourfold reduction in representation of the driver clones.
Charles Auffray (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) reviewed the goals of EURO-IMAGE, which include generating and sequencing a master set of unique full-length cDNA clones (based on I.M.A.G.E. Consortium resources), representing 3000 transcripts and 6 Mb of finished sequence. The European consortium is integrating its efforts with those in the United States and Japan. A meeting of I.M.A.G.E. participants is tentatively planned for March 1999 in Kazusa, Japan.
Auffray outlined some major challenges of systematic large-scale efforts to obtain the human "transcriptome" (the complete collection of all unique sequenced gene transcripts). He also discussed generating insights into gene function by exploring similarities and linking the information to the proteome (complete set of proteins; see article).
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