Departmental Papers (HSS)

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A Guide to the Human Genome Project: Technologies, People, and Institutions


There are many scientific reports and full-length books dealing with the Human Genome Project in all its facets; this simple, concise guide is intended for those who need a broad overview and a quick reference.

The information presented here is drawn from such journals as Cell, FASEB Journal, and Science; from official publications, in particular Human Genome News, the Office of Technology Assessment's Mapping Our Genes, and the Department of Energy's program reports; and from several secondary sources, including the prepublication draft of Gene Quest, by Robert Mullan Cook-Deegan, an insider's historical account, and the exploration of techniques in Exons, Introns, and Talking Genes, by Christopher Wills. The report focuses almost entirely on the genome project in the United States. We have shortened and simplified whenever possibly, providing citations and a bibliography for those who would like more detailed information.

We begin by exploring the origins of the genome project and the questions and criticisms it has provoked in the scientific community. Then we explore important techniques; the isntitutions connected with the prokect, including designated genome centers, important suppliers of resources, and corporations; systems of communication; and the ethical, legal, and social issues raised by the project. After two appendixes—lists of key personnel and of the disease associated with each chromosome—the report closes with a bibliography, a glossary (including a list of acronyms), and a timeline.

Copyright/Permission Statement

This volume has gone out of print, and has been reproduced here with the permission of the original publisher, The Chemical Heritage Foundation.



Date Posted: 01 December 2017