How many humans genome's did they sequence.

So they’ve pretty much sequenced the ‘functional’ parts of the human geneome.

How many people did they take the DNA specimens from in the first place?


No one really knows. Each laboratory in the process acquired its own samples. These donors were promised anonymity due to the repercussions that genetic sequencing can have on the donor.

As the genome is 99.9% homologous from person to person, it was only important to have enough samples DNA to make the work possible, not enough to find anomalies.

Huh, it makes you wonder what could happen in the future with genetic engineering if some of their limited DNA samples did have anomolies…

The genome differs very little from person to person (look up RFLP), and even if a test subject did have anomolies, the gene can still be cloned from a normal human sample since you only need a small fragment of a gene to make primers to amplify the DNA you’re after. I’m assuming the test subjects weren’t missing entire chromosomes.

For example, I am a Structural Biologist and crystallize proteins to determine their structure. First I must pick the protein I’m after, find the sequence, obtain a source, design primers, clone it, transform the DNA into bacteria, grow the protein up, purify it, crystallize it, and shoot it with Xrays to determine it’s structure at the atomic level. If I found the sequence to say human Rhodopsin, obtained some human cells for a DNA source, built primers to Rhodopsin, and cloned it, I would have the DNA sequenced to determine if my gene is in agreement with what was discovered during the Human Genome project. Sometimes they do differ by a few base pairs (usually it’s the DNA polymerase messing up) but you then have to decide if the mutation is a) still similar enough to the original sequence to be used or b) a mutation that exists in the environment and is actually a working copy of the protein, just not in agreement with the human genome project.

So in the case of genetic engineering, it’s not that big a deal - the important thing is just to know SOME of the sequence.

I remember reading in the Washington Post that the CEO of Celera (the company that first sequenced it) had his own DNA used in the endeavor. The article went on to say that other scientists in the field thought this was irresponsible, but the CEO defended it. Anyone know what the guy’s name is?

Even so, I believe more than one person’s was used, and his was just part of the process.

Just remembered: the Celera CEO’s name is Craig Venter

I really have no idea, but I was under the impression that the human genome included all the genes present in the human population - not just the genes that happen to be posessed by a particular individual.

G. Cornelius…all humans have the same genes and number of genes. The difference is in the allele, or the phenotypic expression of those genes.

Didn’t the publicly funded team say it was some guy from Buffalo because that’s where the specimen’s were taken from?

In re the Kid, I don’t recall any such statement. The public team was quite large, with multiple labs collaborating.

In re the Human Genome Project: do keep in mind it does not purport to fully describe human genetic variation – there is seperate research into allelic variation in the world – but rather the basic structure of the genome.

Given the low variability, in comparision to most other animals, in humans, there is not that large a question, the project is/was intended as a guide book for further research into functionality and into variation.

Returning to the point, I believe I recall correctly the Celera group had a sample of 7. As I recall all Americans, but from various ethnicities.

At the Sanger Centre Genome wossname in Hinxton ) they used anonymous doners from Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge.

I believe they specifically wanted it to be “everyman’s” genome rather than a specific individual’s (ie. Venter’s) - I understand this was as much a moral decision as a practical one.