(HGP) was an international scientific research project with the goal of determining the base pairs that make up human DNA, and of identifying and mapping all of the genes of the human genome from both a physical and a functional standpoint. It remains the world's largest collaborative biological project. Planning started after the idea was picked up in 1984 by the US government, the project formally launched in 1990, and was declared complete on April 14, 2003. It was funded by the National Institute of Health and the Dept of Energy.
The sequencing of the human genome holds benefits for many fields, from molecular medicine to human evolution. The Human Genome Project, through its sequencing of the DNA, can help us understand diseases including: genotyping of specific viruses to direct appropriate treatment; identification of mutations linked to different forms of cancer; the design of medication and more accurate prediction of their effects; advancement in forensic applied sciences; biofuels and other energy applications; agriculture, animal husbandry, bioprocessing; risk assessment; bioarcheology, anthropology and evolution. Another proposed benefit is the commercial development of genomics research related to DNA based products, a multibillion-dollar industry.
The process of identifying the boundaries between genes and other features in a raw DNA sequence is called genome annotation and is in the domain of bioinformatics. While expert biologists make the best annotators, their work proceeds slowly, and computer programs are increasingly used to meet the high-throughput demands of genome sequencing projects.
Beginning in 2008, a new technology known as RNA-seq was introduced that allowed scientists to directly sequence the messenger RNA in cells. This replaced previous methods of annotation, which relied on the inherent properties of the DNA sequence, with direct measurement, which was much more accurate. Today, annotation of the human genome and other genomes relies primarily on deep sequencing of the transcripts in every human tissue using RNA-seq. These experiments have revealed that over 90% of genes contain at least one and usually several alternative splice variants, in which the exons are combined in different ways to produce 2 or more gene products from the same locus.
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“Ever so often in the history of human endeavor, there comes a breakthrough that takes humankind across a frontier into a new era. ... today's announcement is such a breakthrough, a breakthrough that opens the way for massive advancement in the treatment of cancer and hereditary diseases. And that is only the beginning.” Tony Blair, Former Prime Minister of England
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For all of history up until the HGP, mapping the genome was impossible. But they did it.
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135 Lincoln's Cabinet of Rivals
134 The Underground City
133 Compulsory Eduction in the US
132 Nautilus Travels Under the North Pole
130 Ice Block Expedition of 1959
129 Norway's Floating Highway
128 Transcontinental Railroad
127 Satellite Mega-Constellations
126 War Rationing
125 Depression Era Scarcity
124 Countrywide Recycling
123 Trash-less City
122 Building the Empire State Building
121 Bell Rock Lighthouse
120 Doc's Accomplishments
119 American Independence
118 The Moon Landing
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