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Biological Chemistry

Institute sets new targets

March 20, 2006 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 84, ISSUE 12

NIH's National Human Genome Research Institute has announced its latest round of genetic sequencing targets, which focus on increasing the understanding of how human genes function and how genomic differences among individuals influence health and disease risks. The targets are identified in three plans that are part of the overall strategy for NHGRI's Large-Scale Sequencing Research Network. "The goal of our sequencing program is to build the most powerful toolbox possible for advancing human health," NHGRI Director Francis S. Collins says. "By identifying and seeking to fill crucial gaps in our knowledge, these new sequencing plans represent yet another important step in that direction," he adds. In the first plan, which has the highest priority, structural variations in the human genome from 48 human DNA samples will be identified. In the second plan, primate DNA sequences will be added to the existing draft sequences of a number of species, and additional sequence information will be added in genome regions of high biological interest. The third plan calls for the sequencing of genomes of eight new mammals to identify similar or conserved genomic features.

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