Principals behind joint-venture proposal and public effort seek to define relationships
A private effort to sequence the human genome four years ahead of the Human Genome Project's 2005 goal could either compete directly with the federal project or meld seamlessly with it. Before any relationship between the two efforts becomes formalized, scientists and federal officials involved with the Human Genome Project must determine whether the private approach will work, who will own the data, how quickly that data will be released, and how complete a picture of the genome that data will paint.

The private effort, a joint venture between Perkin-Elmer Inc., a Norwalk, Conn., manufacturer of sequencing equipment, and J. Craig Venter , president and director of The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) in Rockville, Md., would be embodied by a new company formed to sequence the entire human genome by 2001, and at an estimated cost of $150...

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