Human Genome Now Fully Mapped

Scientists finally finish decoding the last 8 percent of the human genome. It holds enormous promise for improving our understanding of human evolution and illness.


Scientist injecting DNA into a special machine
Machines similar to this one made the project possible. Credit: Oxford Nanopore Technologies

A team of 99 researchers from across the globe published a complete draft of the human genome in the academic journal Science.


The breakthrough comes nearly twenty years after the Human Genome Project made a similar claim by ignoring sections of DNA that were then believed to be unimportant.


During the process, the team also corrected thousands of structural errors in our previous most complete reference genome. The achievement cannot be overstated: It holds enormous promise for improving our understanding of human evolution and illness.


Having one complete genome brings us a big step closer to the kind of personalized medicine that researchers have talked about for decades. Time will tell whether personalized medicine can live up to its promise of providing affordable, targeted treatments based on an individual's genetic make-up, but researchers remain optimistic.

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