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A New Gene Map of the Human Genome

The International RH Mapping Consortium

The Book of Life

The Human Genome Project is entering its climactic phase that will result, as early as 2003, in a complete and accurate DNA sequence representing the genetic blueprint and evolutionary history of the human species. Moreover, a "working draft" of this "book of life" may be available as early as 2001 and, in both cases, an index to the chapters and paragraphs will greatly enhance both the completion of the finished product as well as the practical utility of the intermediate results for biomedicine.

This new gene map represents such an index as it includes the locations, within this text, of more than 30,000 genes and provides an early glimpse of some of the most important pieces of the genome. Even more importantly, the map can be immediately applied by scientists to the identification and isolation of genes that either directly cause human ailments or increase our susceptibility to disease.

Gene Mapping Progress

The accompanying graph shows the tremendous progress that has been made in the mapping of human genes and this new map represents a major milestone in the Human Genome Project. Apart from its utility in advancing our understanding of the genetic basis of disease, it also provides a framework and focus for accelerated sequencing efforts by highlighting key landmarks (gene-rich regions) of the chromosomes. The construction of this new map was only made possible through the cooperative efforts of an international consortium of scientists who provide equal, full and unrestricted access to the data for the advancement of biology and human health.


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