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.
Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.