You might think that formal publication of the publicly funded mouse genome would be a bit of an anticlimax. Some of its major findings have been known and scrutinized for months, and the draft has been in the free databases since May 2001. But the papers published in tomorrow's Nature (December 5, 2002) make clear not just how momentous the mouse genome project is, but also offer a glimpse of the many ways it can contribute to human life and knowledge.

The mouse genome sequence has helped fill in many gaps in the human sequence, which will be completed finally next year, said Kirstin Lindblad-Toh, of the Whitehead Institute/MIT Center for Genome Research and lead author of the massive main paper. "Still, for me the greatest satisfaction from the mouse genome comes from the wealth of information one can get about the human genome by comparing the two,"...

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