Between 1977 and 1986, the United States produced more than 42% of all articles on mapping and sequencing the human genome that appeared in 3,200 of the world’s leading scientific journals, the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) reported in a study issued in late April. “The United States is the clear leader in basic research, publishing more articles on mapping and sequencing than European or Asian nations,” it concluded.

The next largest contributor over this period was the United Kingdom, whose researchers produced 9.1% of some 10,000 papers surveyed. France ranked third at 6.1%, West Germany fourth at 4.6%, USSR and Eastern Europe fifth at 3.9%, Japan sixth at 3.9%, Canada seventh at 3.1%, and all others less than 3% each (see chart).

There was some variation year to year in percentage share. For example, the U.S. contributed 46% in 1983 compared with 38% in 1979. Japan increased its...

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