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November 2001

The Unending String

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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2001;155(11):1193-1194. doi:10.1001/archpedi.155.11.1193

AS EACH WEEK BRINGS an exciting new development in the area of genetics, or an equally controversial new discussion point, it is important to take time occasionally to reflect on what the future might hold. The formal announcement of the sequencing of the genome appeared just this past February,1 and although incomplete in its particulars, it was remarkable in providing the enumeration of the 3 billion letters that encode the genetic portion of a human. Since the formal start of the Human Genome Project, the study of the ethical, legal, and social implications has been an important component. The clever decision by Dr James Watson to include formal support for nonscientific investigative aspects of human genetics in the United States, as well as parallel efforts in the United Kingdom and through the Human Genome Organization (HUGO), has provided an important forum for discussion of a wide range of topics.

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