The decision does not specifically launch large-scale sequencing on any of these organisms. Rather, it creates a pool of candidate organisms on which the institute-supported sequencing centers can choose to begin working as capacity becomes available. NHGRI supports large-scale sequencing at the Whitehead Institute/MIT Center for Genome Research in Cambridge, Mass., the Genome Sequencing Center at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo., and the Human Genome Sequencing Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Tex. Since the sequencing capacity of these centers is currently committed to the human, mouse, and rat projects, new genomic sequencing efforts may not start for some months. Before the centers can start sequencing any of these other organisms, they must get final permission from NHGRI. The institute will indicate on its website when a sequencing center has begun sequencing one of these organisms, as well as the strategy to be employed, and a timetable for the project.
"We've recently learned surprising things by comparing the mouse to the human genome," said Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, a part of the National Institutes of Health. "The addition of other genomes helps us find the important parts of the genome that have been conserved. For example, we
Contact: Geoff Spencer
NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute