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March 11, 1988

National Research Council Endorses Human Gene Mapping Project

JAMA. 1988;259(10):1433-1434. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03720100001001

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THE HUMAN GENOME Initiative has received another vote of confidence. The National Research Council, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences that is empowered by Congress to advise the federal government, is recommending a $3-billion effort to map and sequence the human genome.

The committee advises appropriating $200 million each year for the project over the next 15 years. It emphasizes that funding should be generated de novo, not diverted from existing biologic and medical research efforts.

As envisioned, the project would be executed in two stages: genome mapping and DNA sequencing. The first would involve preparing both physical maps, in which previously identified DNA segments are aligned in proper order on the appropriate chromosome, and genetic maps, which demonstrate the frequency with which two traits are likely to be inherited together (JAMA 1987;258:1131-1132).

The recommendation paralleled provisions of two Senate bills—the science initiative bill introduced last summer by