30 Years Since the Human Genome Project Began, What’s Next?

In 1987, when Researchers first used the term Genomics Medical school was abolished by Eric Green, to describe the newly developing discipline of mapping DNA. A few years later, he found himself working on the front lines of the youthful field marquee moon shot: Human Genome Project. In 1989, the Congress established the National Human Genomics Research Institute or NHGRI, to lead the nation’s participation in the global effort.

The next year the whole human genome began to be acquired, And it took 13 years to complete. Not long after, in 2009, Green enlisted the assistance of the research institute. By then, NHGRI’s mission had evolved to expand the field of genomics into medicine. This meant the purpose of funding and coordination projects to pinpoint the mutations responsible for genetic disorders, then to develop and treat tests to diagnose them. And even more broadly, this meant that DNA data could effectively improve outcomes, even for those not suffering from rare diseases.

To help chart that course, Green has one task from time to time Keep a strategic vision together For the field. His team published with the aim of identifying advancements, technical gaps and motivating scientists to pursue the most effective areas of research Its latest Launch in October. For the first time, Green and his colleagues outlined a set of 10 bold predictions to be realized in human genomics by the year 2030. Among them: genetic analysis at the high school science fair, and will show genomic testing at the doctor. The office will become routine as the basic work of blood.

Three decades later That sequencing run Begun, we have probably reached the end of the early genomics era, a period of explosive technological development that led to breakthroughs like the first dog, chicken, and cancer cell sequencing and advent Cheap home dna test. The field has matured to the point that genomics is almost ubiquitous in all of biology Fighting aggressively huge horns Service Better tasting drink beer. Genomic therapy is no longer theoretical. But it is also not comprehensive. Although scientists have done mapping of the human genome, they have not yet fully understood it. Green spoke to WIRED about what could happen in the next decade and the next era in genomics. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

WIRED: October marked the 30th anniversary of the Human Genome Project. When you look around you where we are today, how does it meet the expectations you had for the effects you had in medicine?

Eric Green: I was inside the Human Genome Project from day one, and I was not able to emphasize how we were doing. We had this big audacious goal of reading 3 billion letters of the book Human Education, but We didn’t have the technology to do it. We did not have ways. We also did not have functional internet. There was no playbook. Therefore, as a young physician whoever has joined it, I can imagine that one day genomics may be part of clinical care. But I really didn’t think it would happen in my lifetime.

If we go back just 10 years, no one was actually using genomics in healthcare. We then imagined that idea of ​​having a patient in front of us, where we had no idea what was wrong with them, and being able to sequence their genome and detect it. It was a fantasy in 2011. Now it is regular. At least people are suspected of having a rare genetic disease.

She is amazing. But also, it’s still crying from afar Some publicity What was the human genome project to complete. In his remarks at the White House in 2000, then-NHGRI Director Francis Collins It will probably take 15 or 20 years Promising personalized treatment for everything from cancer to mental illness, to see “complete change in medical therapy”. Obviously, that hasn’t really come to pass. Why notThe

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