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Human Genome Project Information.

The Human Genome Project (HGP) began in 1990 as a collaboration of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The project's goals include designing detailed genetic and physical maps of the human genome to determine the complete nucleotide sequence of the three billion base pairs that comprise human DNA and to identify the estimated 100,000 genes within the human genome. While developing tools for data analysis, the project also aspires to store this information in a database.

To provide both background and updates on this ambitious undertaking, the DOE and the NIH have established the HGP Information Web site, located at The site hosts HGP resources ranging from answers to basic questions like "what is a genome" to information on the project's latest discoveries.

Under the Project Information heading, visitors can click on What's New to read the continuously updated Genetics in the News or the Research Digest, which announces consortia and recent research developments. The Media Guide link leads to basic and background information, including Genetics 101, a fact sheet explaining the DOE's involvement in the HGP, a link to the National Human Genome Research Institute home page, information on goals and grants, and a glossary of genetic terms. This link also leads to a genome image gallery.

More technical information is available through links under the Research heading, including resources on sequencing, mapping, instrumentation, and informatics with HGP updates. The Research in Progress link leads to Web sites that display the entire working draft sequence of the human genome and provide tools for its use. The U.S. & International Research Sites link leads to other research organizations that have contributed to genetic research. The Chromosome Launchpad link directs visitors to gene maps, sequences, and associated genetic disorders for individual chromosomes. And the BACs [Bacterial Artificial Chromosomes] link accesses a database that is the preferred clone resource for generating draft sequences of the human genome.

The Educational Resources section provides background publications, videos, posters, teaching aids, and bioscience career resources for students and teachers. For information on gene testing, genetic counseling, and the various tests available, users can click on the Medicine section. Here, health care providers can also explore links related to continuing medical education in genomics and other professional resources.

Various articles on genetic privacy, discrimination against gene therapy, and genetics in the courtroom are referenced under the Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues heading, which mentions that 3-5% of the HGP's annual budget goes toward studying the ethical, legal, and social implications surrounding the availability of genetic information. This represents the world's largest bioethics program, a model for programs around the world.
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Author:Greene, Lindsay A.
Publication:Environmental Health Perspectives
Date:Jan 1, 2001
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