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Completion of the Drosophila genome sequence

The Drosophila research community thanks Celera Genomics and the publicly-funded genome projects for delivering the fruitfly genome sequence

PITTSBURGH, PENN. March 23, 2000 -- The publication and release of the complete DNA sequence of the fruit fly Drosophila in the current issue of Science reports an achievement that will have enormous impact on understanding human biology and disease. Nearly two-thirds of the genes known to cause human disease are present in the Drosophila genome, including genes responsible for birth defects, neurodegeneration, and cancer. These findings demonstrate that basic research using Drosophila has enormous value in the fight against human disease.

This occasion caps a century of ground-breaking discoveries made using Drosophila, several of which were recognized by Nobel prizes. These include the demonstration that radiation causes mutations and the discovery of genes that control the basic body plan of all organisms.

Drosophila has the largest genome sequence produced to date. This daunting project was only accomplished at an accelerated pace because private industry and government funded public efforts collaborated in a true partnership. The Drosophila Board, representing the community of Drosophila researchers, sincerely thanks Celera Genomics, Inc. and the Drosophila Genome Projects for providing this important resource to our research community.

The completion of the Drosophila genome sequence heralds a new era of biomedical discovery. The Drosophila community welcomes this leap forward and the opportunity it affords to advance our understanding of how organisms function and how genetic defects cause disease.

The Drosophila Genome Project is a consortium of the Berkeley Genome Project, European Genome Project, Baylor College of Medicine Human Genome Center, and FlyBase. The Dros
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Contact: Gary Karpen
karpen@salk.edu
412-281-3700 ext2606
Salk Institute
22-Mar-2000


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