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The Human Genome Project

The Human Genome Project
Yossi Segal

The Human Genome Project (HGP) was launched in 1988 under the supervision of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Energy (DOE) in the US. In 1990 it was shaped into the form of a 14-year program, designed to map and sequence the entire human genome and also of several model organisms, at an annual budget of 200 million dollars, totaling three billion dollars by its end in 2005.

Several other countries, headed by France, the UK and to a lesser extent Japan, joined this effort. Contiguous to this is an ongoing international collaboration of many other countries, including Israel.

This publication provides a description of the evolvement of the HGP, its goals, the countries and organization involved, and their activities and progress. It deals with the following issues:
- Evolvement of the HGP
- The process of deciphering the human gnome
- experimental procedures and developments
- National and international activities: International organizations; the US; France; UK; Japan; Israel
- Informative data, terminology and methods.

Activities in Israel:
The major body directing the scientific activities pertaining to the HGP in Israel is the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, assisted by its Advisory Committee on the Human Genome, appointed in March 1991.

The Academy has been engaged in promoting activities of the HGP in four different ways:
(1) Establishment of national centers: The Bioinformatics Center of the Weizmann   Institute of Science (mainly working on Chromosome 17); and the national  Laboratory for the Genetics of Israeli Populations at Tel Aviv University;
(2) Support and stimulation of research by means of earmarked grants;(3) Attraction of young scientists to the field through post-doctoral grants;(4) Dissemination of knowledge through meetings and workshops.
Related publications: ד´´ר יוסי סגל