Genomics and Gene Expression
Sequencing the entire human genome was a daunting task conceived by an initiative from the Department of Energy in 1986. The goal was to have a high-quality reference set of sequence information from each human chromosome. The initiative was strengthened when the National Institutes of Health (NIH) joined the effort in 1990. During the 1990s, many other collaborators around the world joined the effort. Finally, in June 2000, the first working draft of the human genome was announced. The sequence was refined, and a final high-quality sequence was finished in April 2003. The Human Genome Project has also involved sequencing entire genomes of model organisms such as mouse and Drosophila, enhancing computational methods for sequence data analysis, comparing the function of genes among different organisms, and studying human variation.
The availability of genome sequences has revolutionized many areas of biology from the construction of evolutionary trees to the design and testing of pharmaceuticals. Genomics has also affected gene expression studies by providing methods to analyze thousands of genes simultaneously instead of just examining individual genes.