The Scientist 13[15]:12, Jul. 19, 1999


Are We There Yet?

Researchers Differ on When a Genome Sequence Is Complete By: Karen Hopkin

A great deal of fanfare and much celebration greeted the publication of the C. elegans sequence in Science this past December.1,2 "Caenorhabditis elegans made it big today as Human Genome Project researchers in the United States and Great Britain announced they have sequenced the animal's 97 million-base genome," stated the official press release distributed by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). And Science's table of contents touted its special section commemorating "the completion of the genome sequence for C. elegans."

But is the worm sequence really complete? It all depends on what you mean by complete. "At some level it's a little arbitrary when you declare a sequence essentially complete," says NHGRI Director Francis Collins. And the worm sequence contained 100 or...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?