Oncology & Cancer

Turning 'junk' DNA into gold

Mining the rich uncharted territory of the genome or genetic material of a cancer cell has yielded gold for Princess Margaret scientists: new protein targets for drug development against prostate cancer.

Genetics

Important gene variants found in certain African populations

In the nearly 20 years since the Human Genome Project was completed, experts in genetic variants increasingly have raised concerns about the overemphasis on studying people of European descent when performing large population ...

Neuroscience

The future of mind control

Electrodes implanted in the brain help alleviate symptoms like the intrusive tremors associated with Parkinson's disease. But current probes face limitations due to their size and inflexibility. "The brain is squishy and ...

Genetics

Decoding the human immune system

For the first time ever, researchers are comprehensively sequencing the human immune system, which is billions of times larger than the human genome. In a new study published in Nature from the Human Vaccines Project, scientists ...

Diabetes

Mapping the 100 trillion cells that make up your body

There are about 100 trillion cells that make up the human body. A new megascience endeavor will catalog and image each of the 200 or more types of cells from the 80 known organs and identify the genes that are active in these ...

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Human Genome Project

The Human Genome Project (HGP) was an international scientific research project with a primary goal to determine the sequence of chemical base pairs which make up DNA and to identify and map the approximately 20,000-25,000 genes of the human genome from both a physical and functional standpoint.

The project began in 1990 initially headed by James D. Watson at the U.S. National Institutes of Health. A working draft of the genome was released in 2000 and a complete one in 2003, with further analysis still being published. A parallel project was conducted outside of government by the Celera Corporation. Most of the government-sponsored sequencing was performed in universities and research centers from the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Britain. The mapping of human genes is an important step in the development of medicines and other aspects of health care.

While the objective of the Human Genome Project is to understand the genetic makeup of the human species, the project also has focused on several other nonhuman organisms such as E. coli, the fruit fly, and the laboratory mouse. It remains one of the largest single investigational projects in modern science.[citation needed]

The HGP originally aimed to map the nucleotides contained in a haploid reference human genome (more than three billion). Several groups have announced efforts to extend this to diploid human genomes including the International HapMap Project, Applied Biosystems, Perlegen, Illumina, JCVI, Personal Genome Project, and Roche-454.

The "genome" of any given individual (except for identical twins and cloned organisms) is unique; mapping "the human genome" involves sequencing multiple variations of each gene. The project did not study the entire DNA found in human cells; some heterochromatic areas (about 8% of the total) remain un-sequenced.

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