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.
Robert H. Waterston is an American biologist well known for his work on sequencing the genome of the nematode worm C. elegans alongside John Sulston. He is also recognised for his part in sequencing the human, mouse and chimpanzee genomes.
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.
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.
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.
While many species of amphibians have been studied by scientists, the one that stands out in genetics is the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis.
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.
The fruit fly, also known as Drosophila melanogaster, has the longest history in genetics and research out of all the model organisms.
The 1950s and early 1960s saw a dazzling explosion in molecular biology. The structure of DNA had been uncovered and the mysteries of biology seemed eminently solvable. What would be the next big thing?
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