What is the Human Genome Project?

Completed in 2003, the Human Genome Project  was a 13-year project coordinated by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health. During the early years of the HGP, the Wellcome Trust became a major partner; additional contributions came from Japan, France, Germany, China, and others. Project goals were to

  • identify all the approximately 20,000-25,000 genes in human DNA,
  • determine the sequences of the 3 billion chemical base pairs that make up human DNA,
  • store this information in databases,
  • improve tools for data analysis,
  • transfer related technologies to the private sector, and
  • address the ethical, legal, and social issues (ELSI) that may arise from the project.