DNA Sequencers' Trial by Fire

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Science  08 May 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5365, pp. 814-817
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5365.814

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Midway through the Human Genome Project, the 15-year international effort to sequence our entire genetic code by the year 2005, 97% of the genome remains to be deciphered and not one of the six pilot centers funded by the U.S. National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) in 1996 to encourage faster, cheaper DNA sequencing methods has achieved its promised production rate. To address these issues, NHGRI intends this fall to create a Cooperative Research Network of sequence production centers, with funding of about $70 million a year through 2005--a jump from the current rate of about $40 million a year. At least eight groups, including the six existing pilot operations and two genome research centers, will be competing for a place in the network; the winners will receive 5-year grants to continue and expand sequence production.