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June 5, 1996

Yeast Genome Sequencing Raises Human Hopes

JAMA. 1996;275(21):1624. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530450014005

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A MAJOR MILESTONE along the road to sequencing the entire human genome has been reached. An international team of scientists has announced the completion of sequencing the entire genetic code of baker's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae)—all 12 057 500 base pairs.

"The accomplishment gives us confidence that we can expect to get the Human Genome Project [the sequencing of the entire human genome] done ahead of schedule and under budget," said Francis Collins, MD, PhD, director of the National Center for Human Genome Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Md, which funded and coordinated the research. Collins spoke at a press conference held at the NIH to announce the achievement.

Worldwide Effort  The work was the result of collaborative efforts by 92 laboratories in Canada, Europe, Great Britain, Japan, and the United States. It followed an agreement to divide the sequencing among various laboratories according to expertise