Two decades after the draft sequence of the human genome was unveiled to great fanfare, a team of 99 scientists has finally deciphered the entire thing. They have filled in vast gaps and corrected a long list of errors in previous versions, giving us a new view of our DNA.
The consortium has posted six papers online in recent weeks in which they describe the full genome. These hard-sought data, now under review by scientific journals, will give scientists a deeper understanding of how DNA influences risks of disease, the scientists say, and how cells keep it in neatly organized chromosomes instead of molecular tangles.
For example, the researchers have uncovered more than 100 new genes that may be functional, and have identified millions of genetic variations between people. Some of those differences probably play a role in diseases.
Experts who were not involved in the project said it will enable scientists to explore the human genome in much greater detail. Large chunks of the genome that had been simply blank are now deciphered so clearly that scientists can start studying them in earnest.
Read more at The New York Times