chapter  8
22 Pages

Sequencing human genomes

WithAdam Bostanci

The history of the Human Genome Project is a history of mapping projects. In its course, geneticists and molecular biologists surveyed the human chromosomes with cytogenetic, genetic, and physical markers. The maps featuring these landmarks were subsequently often collated or mapped onto one another, and eventually biologists began to “sequence” human DNA, a process customarily explained as mapping the hereditary material at the highest possible resolution. But even this final phase of the Human Genome Project occurred not once, but twice. In February 2001, independent research groups described preliminary drafts of the human DNA sequence in separate publications: a consortium of laboratories commonly known as the Human Genome Project published its draft in Nature (International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium 2001). The other version of the human genetic code was the product of Celera Genomics, a company in Rockville, Maryland. This draft was described in the same week’s issue of Science (Venter et al. 2001).