ENCODE reveals regulatory machinery in DNA
The human genetic instruction book just got more readable. Nearly a decade after the Human Genome Project assembled the genome’s 3 billion chemical units, an international consortium has revealed how the components fit together into sentences and chapters.
Already, the genome’s tales are revealing how genetic variants contribute to disease, giving researchers insights into human evolution and even changing how scientists define a gene.
“The questions we can now ask are more sophisticated and will yield better answers than the ones we were asking nine years ago,” says Eric Green, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, which coordinated and funded the mammoth Encyclopedia of DNA Elements, or ENCODE, project.
Results from ENCODE, which involves more than 400 researchers around the globe, appear in the Sept. 6 Nature, with more than 30 companion papers published in Science, Genome Research, Genome Biology