Lege Artis Medicinae

[Human genome project]

SASVÁRI-SZÉKELY Mária

FEBRUARY 20, 2003

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2003;13(02)

[The main goal of the Human Genom Project is to reveal the complete structure of the human DNA, involving the sequence determination of the three billion basepairs. The program was launched in 1990, executed in laboratories of the public sector in several countries. Results of this project are made public on the Internet. In 1998 a private sector company, Celera, was founded with the same goal. In 2001 both projects announced the accomplishment of the first draft of the Human Genome. A whole issue of Nature and Science magazine was devoted to present the first results of their findings. According to the results less than one percent of the genetic information is transcribed to proteins. The estimated number of genes was also lower than expected (30-40 thousand, which number recently increased to 40-60 thousand). Based on these findings, human complexity should be ascribed to the variability of the information units (domains) rather than to the number of genes. Once the complete sequence of the humane genome is accomplished, the ’pre-genomic era’ will be over and the ’post-genomic era’ will begin, dealing with understanding the genetic information, annotating the genes and mapping the genetic variability of people.]

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