For the first time, scientists have sequenced a complete human genome, a historic feat that will help researchers better understand how DNA is different in people and the role genetics play in disease.
The research was published Thursday in the journal Science. In 2003, the Human Genome Project announced that it had sequenced 92% of the human genome, and over the past two decades a team of nearly 100 scientists have worked to fully reveal the remaining 8%.
“Having this comprehensive information will allow us to better understand how we form as individual organisms and how we vary not only between other humans but also between other species,” the research director told CNN. Evan Eichler of the University of Washington.
Newly discovered genes are very complex. Because DNA regions have multiple repeats, it was difficult to string DNA together in the correct order using previous sequencing techniques, CNN explains. Over the past 10 years, two new DNA sequencing technologies have been developed, allowing researchers to sequence up to 1 million letters of DNA at a time, with few errors, and 20,000 letters with precision. of 99.9%.
Eichler said the researchers found that “these genes are extremely important for adaptation. They contain immune response genes that help us adapt and survive infections, plagues and viruses. They contain genes that are … very important in predicting drug response.” Learn more on CNN.