Editor’s note: February was a key month for the proposed project to map and sequence the human genome. The National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences issued its report “Mapping and Sequencing the Human Genome,” which sounds a strong call for an immediate, largescale program. Meanwhile, David Baltimorebiologist, devoted part of his keynote address at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science to a cautionary note regarding the project. Here are excerpts from the report and from Baltimore’s address.

Acquiring a map, a sequence, and an increased understanding of the human genome merits a special effort that should be organized and funded specifically for this purpose. Such a special effort in the next two decades will greatly enhance progress in human biology and medicine.

"The technical problems associated with mapping and sequencing the human and other genomes are sufficiently great that a scientifically...

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