Study Author: Karen Young Kreeger

Researchers have been comparing parts of genomes at the individual gene level for years. Portions of the genomes of tens of thousands of species-from bacteria to humans-reside in private and public databases around the world. Pharmaceutical scientists sift through these collections, panning for potential drugs and therapies, while basic investigators in an array of fields search for similarities and differences in the species' blueprints for life.

But what researchers haven't had available to examine until a short while ago is the complete genetic road map of a free-living species.

electron micrograph Clyde Hutchinson
IN ITS ENTIRETY: Mycoplasma genitalium, denoted by arrow in left figure, was fully sequenced by three teams, one led by UNC's Clyde Hutchison. These much-prized data became available with the recent publication of the first two full genomes derived from independent organisms. In July, a collaboration of two teams-one headed by J. Craig Venter,...

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