DNA -- Human Genome Project
Science Ticker
Nature News & Comment

Human Genome Sequence Almost Complete

Researchers added 200 million DNA base pairs and 115 protein-coding genes — but they’ve yet to entirely sequence the Y chromosome

In 2003, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Watson and Crick's seminal publication describing DNA's structure, an effort spearheaded by the US  completed the Human Genome Project. Except, it wasn't really complete.

About 15 percent of the sequence was missing, in large part due to technical limitations that prevented researchers from figuring out how certain stretches of DNA fitted together. But we've been getting closer in recent years, and a team of scientists led by the University of California-Santa Cruz report they have completed the last stretch of the marathon. In the process they have discovered about 115 new genes that code for proteins totaling nearly 20,000.

A preprint of the findings was reported May 27. Go to Nature News and Comment to read more about this genetic development.