The Human Genome Project

The working structure

This publicly funded project has been underway with laboratory work largely being conducted in the US, UK and France since 1990 formally although efforts began some four years earlier. Needless to say a project of this time and size has soaked up hundreds of millions of dollars. The work involved was time consuming and continues to be so. With the arrival of privately funded Celera Genomics on the scene in 1998 things began to speed up. In order to complete the human genome mapping that the publicly funded project had spent years compiling in a matter of four years, simply put Celera has been using a complex IT system developed by PE Biosystems. Celera Genomics is a tracking stock business unit of PE Biosystems Group that is part of the New York Stock Exchange-listed PE Corporation.

Part of the publicly funded research has concentrated on the ethical implications of being able to map the human genome. For example, identification of a disease-carrying gene within an individual would almost certainly push up life and health insurance premiums. At the extreme, protestors fear the remergence of Nazi-style eugenics.