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2. A short history of biomedicine > Unraveling the code

Unraveling the code

James Watson of double-helix fame was awed by the Human Genome Project (HGP): “Had anyone suggested in 1953 (the year the double helix structure was published) that the entire human genome would be sequenced within fifty years, Crick and I would have laughed and bought them another drink.”12 In 1988, Watson was asked to head up the fledging genome project, with the goal of determining the order of the approximately 3.2 billion to 3.4 billion nucleotides (containing base pairs of A’s, T’s, C’s, and G’s) that make up DNA in the human genome. The term genome refers to the entire complement of genetic information located in the nucleus of every cell in a given species; genomics is the study of the genome. Initially, the HGP was a collaborative effort of universities and research centers in the USA, Europe, and Japan, and was mostly funded by governments.


  

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