1. The idea of sequencing the entire human genome was first proposed
at scientific meetings organized by the US Department of Energy and others from
1984 to 1986.
2. Through 1995, work progressed rapidly on two fronts:
a. The first was construction of genetic and physical maps of the human and
mouse genomes, providing key tools for identification of disease genes and
anchoring points for genomic sequence.
b. The second was sequencing of the yeast and worm genomes, as well as
targeted regions of mammalian genomes.
3. Pilot projects were launched to demonstrate the feasibility
large-scale sequencing, with a target completion date of March 1999. The projects
successfully produced finished sequence with 99.99% accuracy and no gaps. They
also introduced bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs), a new large-insert
cloning system that proved to be more stable than the cosmids and yeast artificial
chromosomes (YACs) that had been used previously.
4. The second sequence production phase is now under way. Its
aims are to achieve
full-shotgun coverage of the existing clones during 2001, to obtain clones to fill the
remaining gaps in the physical map, and to produce a finished sequence (apart
from regions that cannot be cloned or sequenced with currently available
techniques) no later than 2003.