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December 16, 2002
Volume 80, Number 50
CENEAR 80 50 p. 39
ISSN 0009-2347



Three leaders of the international Human Genome Project analyzed the human genome sequencing method used by Celera Genomics last year and concluded that it relied to such a great extent on publicly available data that Celera did not produce an independent sequence [Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 99, 3712 (2002); C&EN, March 11, page 40]. Celera disagreed vehemently with the findings.

Genomics officials decided that the next major human genome mapping effort will target haplotype blocks, extended blocks of genomic DNA that are inherited as units (C&EN, Nov. 4, page 24).

Two teams independently sequenced the genomes of important rice subspecies by whole-genome shotgun sequencing [Science, 296, 79 and 92 (2002); C&EN, April 8, page 9]. The studies could aid efforts to develop healthier and hardier rice varieties.

International consortia obtained genome sequences for Plasmodium alciparum, the parasite that causes the deadliest form of malaria in people, and Anopheles gambiae, the mosquito that carries and transmits the parasite [Nature, 419, 498 (2002); Science, 298, 129 (2002); C&EN, Oct. 7, page 10].

And an international consortium substantially completed the genomic sequence of the mouse [Nature, 420, 520 (2002); C&EN, Dec. 9, page 7]. Mice turn out to have some 30,000 genes--about the same number as humans. And noncoding DNA is largely shared by both mice and people, suggesting that this "junk DNA" may play a much greater role in gene regulation than was formerly realized [Nature, 420, 578 (2002)].

Among proteomics developments this year, a set of 3,617 associated proteins (25% of the yeast proteome) was identified by a team led by Daniel Figeys of MDS Proteomics, Toronto, and 232 distinct multiprotein complexes were identified and roles for 344 proteins proposed by Giulio Superti-Furga and Anne-Claude Gavin of Cellzome and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, Germany, and coworkers [Nature, 415, 141 and 180 (2002); C&EN, Jan. 14, page 6].


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