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November 2001

Genomic Neurology: A New Beginning

Arch Neurol. 2001;58(11):1739-1741. doi:10.1001/archneur.58.11.1739

A PARADIGM SHIFT in the conceptualization of neurogenetics occurred on June 26, 2000, when the initial sequencing of the human genome was announced by Francis Collins, Director of the Human Genome Project of the National Institutes of Health, and J. Craig Venter of Celera Genomics. The press conference for this momentous announcement was held at the White House and was sponsored jointly by then-President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Tony Blair in London, linked by satellite. On February 15, 2001, the International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium (led by Collins), and on February 16, 2001, the Celera Genomics Group (led by Venter), published their respective initial sequences of the human genome.1,2 Both groups reported that the number of protein-encoding transcripts, or genes, in the human genome is about 30 000—far less than previously predicted. DNA was sequenced from 5 individuals: 3 males and 2 females, including 1 of African, 1 of Chinese, 1 of Hispanic Mexican, and 2 of European descent.

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