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Human chromosome 5 final sequence analysis released to public

WALNUT CREEK, CA-- Four years after publicly revealing the official draft human genetic sequence, researchers have reached the halfway point in dotting the i's and crossing the t's of the genetic sentences describing how to build a human. The newly finalized chromosome 5 is the 12th chromosome polished off, with 12 more to go. As the new sequence reveals, this chromosome is a genetic behemoth containing key disease genes and a wealth of information about how humans evolved.

Chromosome 5 is the second of three chromosomes that the Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (JGI) has finalized in collaboration with colleagues at the Stanford Human Genome Center (SHGC). The final sequence analysis will be published in the Sept. 16 issue of Nature.

"This extremely accurate sequence will be a powerful tool for scientists trying to understand human disease," said Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham. "I'm pleased that the Department of Energy, which launched the human genome project in the mid-1980s, could help make this important contribution."

Lawrence Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos national laboratory scientists and staff comprise the JGI, one of the world's largest and most productive public genome sequencing centers. JGI, in partnership with SHGC, completed the sequencing of three of the human genome's chromosomes--numbers 5, 16 and 19--which together contain some 3,000 genes, including those implicated in forms of kidney disease, prostate and colorectal cancer, leukemia, hypertension, diabetes and atherosclerosis. The chromosome 19 sequence was published in the April 1, 2004, issue of Nature.

"I am confident that the interesting features that we have identified from this sequence information are data that the research community can trust and put to good use," said Richard M. Myers, Professor and Chair of Genetics, who is also the director of the Stanford Human Genome Center.

Chromosome 5, the largest to
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Contact: David Gilbert
degilbert@lbl.gov
925-296-5643
DOE/Joint Genome Institute
15-Sep-2004


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