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NHGRI adds 18 organisms to sequencing pipeline

ificu, Trichinella spiralis) and the lamprey (Petromyzon marinus).

It is well known that most sequences of the human genome originated long before humans themselves. Consequently, scientists will use the genome sequences of the nine non-mammalian animals to learn more about how, when and why the human genome came to be composed of certain DNA sequences, as well as to gain new insights into organization of genomes. In addition, two of the organisms are also of direct interest to researchers investigating human disease. Trichinella is a parasitic roundworm that is transmitted by eating raw or undercooked pork, and Biomphalaria is a tropical freshwater snail that serves as an intermediate host for the parasitic fluke that causes schistosomiasis, a debilitating disease prevalent in many areas of the mideast, Africa, Asia, and Brazil.

In addition to sequencing this variety of non-human organisms, the NHGRI's sequencing program also plans to advance continuing efforts to catalogue the variations found among genomes of different people. Details of that component of the plan, which is aimed at understanding the role that natural genomic variants play in causing diseases, will be developed at a workshop that NHGRI plans to hold later this summer.

Sequencing efforts will be carried out by the five centers in the NHGRI-supported Large-Scale Sequencing Research Network: Agencourt Bioscience Corp., Beverly, Mass.; Baylor College of Medicine, Houston; the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, Mass.; The Institute for Genomic Research, J. Craig Venter Science Foundation Joint Technology Center, Rockville, Md.; and Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis. Assignment of each organism to a specific center or centers will be determined at a later date.

NHGRI's new selection process began with the formation of two working groups comprised of experts from across the research c
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Contact: Geoff Spencer
spencerg@mail.nih.gov
301-402-0911
NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute
4-Aug-2004


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