The Human Genome Project

The Human Genome Project 


The Human Genome Project was a thirteen year long endeavor to sequence the entire human genome, as well as identify all the genes in human DNA. The project was initially meant to take 15 years, but due to the rapid technologic advancements over the years, it was completed two years early. The project was coordinated by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health.  

The sequencing method that was used during the Humane Genome Project was called Shotgun Sequencing. Shotgun sequencing was used because in the Chain-termination method (see Original Sequencing Methods page), only very short fragments could be used. In shotgun sequencing, long strand of DNA were randomly broken up into short pieces which could then be sequenced using the chain-termination method to obtain what are called reads. After multiple, overlapping reads were obtained, computer programs would re-piece the DNA sequence back together, using the overlapping ends. This would produce the end product, the sequence of a long strand of DNA. Because it enabled sequencing of long DNA fragments, shotgun sequencing was the first method that allowed full genome sequencing.

Click on photo for more information about the Human Genome Project


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