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E. Coli Genome Reported: Milestone Of Modern Biology Emerges From Wisconsin Lab

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The sequencing of the E. coli genome, said Blattner, was a necessary precursor to the sequencing of the human genome, now underway as part of the Human Genome Project under the direction of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) of NIH. When scientists achieve this monumental goal, they will begin the daunting task of reading and understanding all of our protein-coding genes. They will accomplish this task, in part, by searching databases to find conserved biological motifs, first elucidated using simple model organisms like bacteria, yeast, worms and flies. By decoding the human genome, scientists can begin to decipher the genetic aspects of all disease, leading to improved treatments and even cures.

The NHGRI, a component of NIH, is a major partner in the Human Genome Project, the international research effort to map the estimated 50,000 to 100,000 genes and to read the complete set of genetic instructions encoded in human DNA. NHGRI also supports research on the application of genome technologies to the study of inherited disease, as well as the ethical, legal and social implications of this research. While primary funding for E. coli work came from the NHGRI, critical equipment was provided by the Division of Research Resources of the NIH. Substantial remodeling funds were provided to create the E. coli Genome Center by the WISTAR program of the State of Wisconsin, and research support was also provided by Genome Therapeutics Inc., SmithKline Beecham Inc., Dnastar Inc., and IBM.


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Contact: Terry Devitt
trdevitt@facstaff.wisc.edu
608-262-8282
University of Wisconsin-Madison
3-Sep-1997


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