The race to sequence the human genome - Tien Nguyen
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Fred Sanger won the 1980 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his contribution to the Sanger method, which was used by both the Human Genome Project and Celera. This sequencing technique involves making many copies of DNA in a test tube. Each copy is one letter longer than the last and is capped by a fluorescently labeled base: an A, T, G, or C. Then scientists, or robots, can sort the DNA chains by size and use the colors to read out the strand’s genetic code. You can find an excellent animated video describing the Sanger method here. This TED-Ed lesson also addresses the sequencing of the human genome: How to sequence the human genome. For more on DNA itself, watch these TED Ed lessons: The twisting tale of DNA and How I discovered DNA.
In 2001, both Celera and the Human Genome Project published their initial findings in the journals Science
and Nature, respectively. The Human Genome Project ended their article with a quote by T.S. Eliot: “We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, and know the place for the first time.”
This video was created with the support of the U.S. Office of Research Integrity: http://ori.hhs.gov.
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