"The Department of Energy is very proud of its historic role in the sequencing of the human genome--and very excited by the advances our pioneering discovery-class science now is making possible in the fields of both medicine and energy," said Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham. "DOE launched the human genome program and developed the DNA sequencing and computational technologies that made possible the unraveling of the human genetic code. Now we are using these skills and resources as a powerful tool for clean energy and a cleaner environment."
U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM), a leading congressional proponent of efforts to sequence the human genome, was the catalyst for freeing up the first significant federal genomics investment. "DOE has risen to the challenge and fulfilled the promise made to the public. Their work has led to the identification of signatures embedded in the DNA sequence that control the intricate functions conducted by the trillions of cells in our bodies.
"The considerable resources that DOE has assembled to tackle the human genome are now being dedicated to illuminating the genomes of organisms that may figure into biological solutions to such challenges as economical hydrogen production, carbon sequestration, and environmental clean-up," Domenici said.
Three Chromosomes Completed
JGI is the first of the five primary Human Genome Project sequencing sites, known as the "G5," to publish scientific articles describing each of the human chromosomes that they originally committed to sequence. DOE's commitment entailed chromosomes 5, 16, and 19, all sequenced by JGI, representing 11 percent of the human genome.