The Human Genome Project, which began officially in 1990, was the largest international collaboration ever undertaken in biology and involved thousands of scientists.
It was a project of such a huge size that no one thought it would be possible at that time, but with the support of key scientists and considerable funding, the Human Genome Project began…
The Human Genome Project brought scientists together from across the globe. Worldwide collaboration and support was an essential part of the project’s success.
John Sulston and Bob Waterston led the way for the Human Genome Project after they successfully sequenced the genome of the nematode worm, Caenorhabditis elegans, the first animal to be sequenced.
Some scientists involved in the Human Genome Project upset the collaborative nature by trying to patent sections of the DNA sequence for their own financial gain.
The Human Genome Project was a pioneer for encouraging open access to scientific research. In 1996, those involved agreed that all new information produced should be made freely available to all within 24 hours.
The entry of Celera Genomics into the human genome sequencing arena in 1998 galvanised the public effort, leading to a race to sequence the human genome.
The announcement of the first draft of the human genome on 26 June 2000 was big news.
In 2003, two years ahead of schedule, scientists announced that the human genome had been sequenced with an accuracy of 99.99 per cent. It was described as ‘the end of the beginning’.
It has been over a decade since the Human Genome Project was finished, so what has been happening since and how is the completed human genome sequence being used?
Eric Lander is the founding director of the Broad Institute of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard. He was one of the leaders of the Human Genome Project and his work has been key in developing tools to investigate disease.
Dr Francis Collins led the Human Genome Project from 1993. In his work, he was responsible for discovering the genes mutated in cystic fibrosis and Huntington’s disease. He is currently director of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The Sanger Institute takes its name from the double Nobel Prize winner and ‘father of genomics’, Frederick Sanger.
Yeast is one of the simplest eukaryotic organisms but many essential cellular processes are the same in yeast and humans. It is therefore an important organism to study to understand basic molecular processes in humans.
The discovery of the structure of DNA by James Watson and Francis Crick in 1953 is one of the most famous scientific discoveries of all time.
Professor Dame Janet Thornton was director of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), which shares the Wellcome Genome Campus with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, from 2001 to 2015.
The mouse is closely related to humans with a striking similarity to us in terms of anatomy, physiology and genetics. This makes the mouse an extremely useful model organism.
Some children with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), a genetic disorder characterised by a reduced number of immune cells, have been treated using gene therapy.
Allan Bradley was director of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute from 2000 to 2010. His appointment as director coincided with the completion of the draft human genome sequence by the Human Genome Project.
How was DNA first discovered and who discovered it? Read on to find out...
Professor Sir John Sulston was the founding director of the Sanger Centre (now the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute) from 1992 until 2000 when the ‘working draft’ of the human genome sequence was completed.
The fruit fly, also known as Drosophila melanogaster, has the longest history in genetics and research out of all the model organisms.
The human brain, in all its staggering complexity, is the product of millions of years of evolution.
The zebrafish (Danio rerio) has become a popular model organism only relatively recently. It is a tropical fish from the minnow family with a genetic structure surprisingly similar to ours.
Neglected tropical diseases affect the poorest of the world’s populations but relatively little is known about their biology. Genomics is now providing insight into these diseases and enabling scientists to develop new strategies to prevent and treat these debilitating diseases.
The Guinea worm is a water-transmitted parasite that develops over a year in its host before painfully emerging from the skin. It is hoped that it will soon become the first parasite to be eradicated but there are a few challenges to overcome first…
In 1984, Alec Jeffreys developed the technique of DNA fingerprinting in his laboratory at the University of Leicester. These techniques have revolutionised the way that the police solve crimes.
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