The Human Genome Project (HGP) began in 1990 as a joint effort by the US Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health. The project originally was planned to last 15 yr; however, a working draft of the human genome sequence was published in February 2001 (6). The goals of the HGP included the identification of the approx 30,000 genes in human DNA, sequence determination of the 3 billion chemical basepairs that make up human DNA, the storage of this information in databases, the improvement of tools for data analysis, the transfer of related technologies to the private sector, and assessment of the ethical, legal, and social issues that might arise from the project (www.ornl.gov).
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