News relating to the Human Genome Project has been covered by The Scientist in many issues. I would like to respond that it is of more than passing interest to some of us that other "genomic" problems fail to interest the scientific policymakers.

As E.O. Wilson has shown (Issues in Science and Technology, 2(1):20-9, 1985), the great preponderance of living species is undescribed. Their total genomic diversity will be lost forever in the next few years as tropical habitats are destroyed through human activity. At the same time, the National Seed Storage Laboratory collection is slowly dying away through financial neglect (P. Raeborn, Issues in Science and Technology, 6(2):71-6, 1989-90). While these irreplaceable pools of genetic diversity are being allowed to expire, the advocates of the Human Genome Project continue to consume ever-increasing amounts of money in pursuit of a questionable goal.

The human genome will be around for a...

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