Sandwalk: The 20th anniversary of the human genome sequence: 1. Access to the data and the complicity of Science

Professor Larry Moran blogs about the human genome project now at the 20th anniversary of the project:


That decision by Science did cost them: for years almost all of the large-scale public genome-wide studies went to Nature instead, e.g. the mouse and chimpanzee genome papers, HapMap, Thousand Genomes.


Didn’t know of this controversy at all, and I am surprised (though I guess I shouldn’t be) to read that quote by Craig Venter. Big Egoes eh?

Possibly an understatement. It only came out later that the genome Venter had sequenced was almost entirely his own – something he failed to mention either in the Science paper or to his IRB.


Larry now has a 3rd post up in this series:

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  • ribosomal RNA genes: There are mutliple copies of the large ribosomal RNA operon and multiple copies of 5S RNA genes. A good estimate of the average number in a typical human genome is about 300.

This is an interesting fact and really shows how gene copy numbers tie to gene dosage effects. Expression of ribosomal genes are of course the bottleneck through which all other protein coding genes must go. I’ve read there are other species with over 700 intact and functional copies of genes encoding ribosomal components.

From the 3rd blog entry in the series:

That one surprised me a bit. From the literature and the databases I had seen I thought there were thousands of human miRNA. I had assume most of them were functional. Interesting.

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