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Monday, 26 June, 2000, 18:28 GMT 19:28 UK
Cracking the code
Genome BBC
As scientists publish their analysis of the human genetic code, BBC News Online brings you coverage of the main players in the genome project and analysis of the significance of the breakthrough.


11 February

Human genetic code
Human genetic code
International teams of researchers publishing their findings on the human genome say it heralds a new age in science and medicine. Data from the genome project should help fight diseases like diabetes and cancer, drug addiction and even mental illness, bringing possible cures much closer.

 Click here to watch a report by the BBC's Joe Campbell


Sir John Sulston
Sir John Sulston

Sir John Sulston, former director of the Sanger Centre, led the team which sequenced a third of the human genome. He says the findings of our genetic similarity to other organisms provided firm proof for the theories advanced by Charles Darwin on the unity of life.

 Click here to watch an interview with Sir John Sulston


Celera's lead scientist Craig Venter
Celera's lead scientist Craig Venter

The work - which is being published in the journals Science and Nature - is being hailed as one of the most significant breakthroughs. Craig Venter from Celera Genomics says the company sequenced 99% of the human genome and 'assembled' three billion letters of genetic code

 Click here to listen to an interview with Craig Venter


Last June, the two competing teams of researchers announced that they had each completed rough drafts of the human genetic blueprint. Watch and listen to events on 26 June, 2000:

 The BBC's Niall Dickson: "This is just the start"

 The BBC's David Concar: "Who controls the code is controversial"

 US President Bill Clinton: "Today we are learning the language in which God created life"

 Dr Francis Collins, head of the Human Genome Project at the US National Institutes of Health: "Today, we celebrate the revelation of the first draft of the human book of life"

 Dr Craig Venter, Chief Executive of Celera Genomics: "I am concerned that there are some who will want to use this new knowledge as a basis for discrimination"

 Dr John Sulston, Sanger Centre, UK: "In 1998, rather sadly in my opinion, the American effort split into a private and a public effort"

 Dr John Sulston, Sanger Centre, UK: "This is a good time to make a progress report"

 Dr Michael Dexter, Wellcome Trust: "This is a momentous day"

 Rough draft details: The Sanger Centre's Jane Rogers says gaps still need to be filled in

 Dr James Watson, co-discoverer of DNA structure: "It's a giant resource that will change mankind, like the printing press"

 Prof Fred Sanger, co-inventor of DNA sequencing: "Our method was primitive, but it was a great step forward"

 Prof Steve Jones, geneticist at University College London: "The project now has to deliver on its great promises"

 Prof John Burn, clinical genetics, Newcastle University, UK: "Now we can look down the list of genes and see which one is causing the problem"

 Dr Peter Little, geneticist, Imperial Coll London: "Doctors will find it much easier to advise us on our environment and our lifestyles"

 Dr Arthur Caplan, Pennsylvania University Bioethics department: "We need an international agreement that genetic information needs to be obtained by consent"

 The BBC's Becky Milligan: "Could this new age of biology be the start of a new age of discrimination?"

 The BBC's Christine McGourty: "The hype surrounding the human genome project has already sent shares in the biotech sector soaring"

 The BBC's Pallab Ghosh: "Will genetics shape social policy?"

 The BBC's Pallab Ghosh: "The human genome project should eventually lead to cures for some of the western world's most wretched diseases"

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See also:

26 Jun 00 | Sci/Tech
Scientists crack human code
26 Jun 00 | Sci/Tech
Gene row is over
26 Jun 00 | Sci/Tech
G-Day for biology
26 Jun 00 | UK Politics
Leaders hail 'wondrous' human map
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