June 25, 2000 5:54 AM   Subscribe

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Human Genome Project completed!!!!!
posted by grumblebee (7 comments total)
!!!holy crap!!!
I wonder what new cures will be down the road.
posted by starduck at 2:47 PM on June 25, 2000

The one question I've never seen answered is this:

Whose genes did they analyze?

We're all different, and while there 97% similarity, there's also 3% difference. They sure didn't analyze mine.

So who is the "reference human"?
posted by Steven Den Beste at 2:57 PM on June 25, 2000

He's a Caucasian male, Steven, but I don't believe any details beyond that have been released.
posted by snarkout at 3:28 PM on June 25, 2000

From the five year plan (about a third down, search for it):

"A frequently asked question is: whose genome will be sequenced? The answer is: no one's. The first complete human genome to be sequenced will be a composite of sequences from many sources, most of these being cell lines that have existed in laboratories all over the world for some time. The sequence will thus be a generic sequence representative of humans in general and not of any particular individual. The complete sequence will provide a standard against which other partial sequences can be compared."

From there it goes on to explain why a generalized genome map is still useful.

One of the newsweeklies (can't remember which or when, sorry) did an article on this a few months ago in which the source was said to be a single-digit group of anonymous volunteers. Anonymous was emphasized, several times.

These seem to conflict a little bit, but I'm inclined to trust the newsweekly, myself.

posted by Freakho at 5:19 PM on June 25, 2000

Is it just me, or does this seem like something straight out of a game of Civilization?
posted by Aaaugh! at 11:03 AM on June 26, 2000

the hgp isn't really *finished* - what they have done is completed a rough map that includes all the genes in the human genome. rough being the operative term. they still need to identify the purpose of all those genes, or as many as they can. what they have done now is to line them up, not decode them or identify what proteins they all make.

(also, I am pretty sure salon is wrong when they say celeron is in competition with the publicly funded project. that used to be true, but as I understand it, they joined forces a little while ago.)
posted by rabi at 12:49 PM on June 26, 2000

Rabi, Celeron are still in disagreement with the publicly funded consortium, Celeron wants to be able to patent the map, the publicly funded people want the whole thing to be available to everyone. They joined forces to complete the work but now one side (I guess) wants to make money from the discovery while the other wants it to be free.
posted by Markb at 12:59 AM on June 27, 2000

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